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The Unfinished Democratization of Europe$
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Erik O. Eriksen

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199572519

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572519.001.0001

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Europe: On the Search for its Legitimacy

Europe: On the Search for its Legitimacy

(p.57) Chapter 4 Europe: On the Search for its Legitimacy
The Unfinished Democratization of Europe

Erik O. Eriksen

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the legitimacy problems of the Union and how they can be alleviated. The EU, as every system of domination, is in need of justification, but this may take different forms and may refer to different institutional solutions. Three such are outlined, respectively depicting the EU as a problem‐solving entity, as a value‐based community, and as a rights‐based union. As it becomes clear that neither a scaling down of the EU to the form of an international organization, nor a value‐based conception, making the EU into a unified nation state, are viable options, we are left with the third option: the EU as a post‐national, rights‐based union. This chapter shows that this conception is reflected in the constitution‐making process.

Keywords:   European Union, legitimacy problems, institutional solutions, EU as problem‐solving entity, EU as value‐based community, EU as rights‐based union, constitution‐making, European Convention

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