Representing Europeans

Rose, Richard (2015) Representing Europeans. The UK in a Changing Europe.

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Abstract

In a symbolic gesture toward creating an ever-closer union, the European Union conferred citizenship on everyone who is also a subject of one of its member states. However, the rights of European citizens are more like those of subjects of the pre-1914 German Kaiser than of a 21st century European democracy. Citizens may be able to vote for members of the European Parliament (EP), but this does not make the EU’s governors accountable – as is the case in a normal parliamentary democracy. Rather, what we have is a complex, multi-layered arena, in which ‘politics’ – that is, the articulation and reconciliation of different views about what government should do – is played out. This arena suffers from a democratic deficit, yet in a way also enjoys a democratic surplus.