In recent years the financial and economic crisis of 2008–9 has progressed into an equally important political and democratic crisis of the EU. These troubled times have set the framework to re-assess a number of important questions in regard to representative democracy in the EU, such as the normative foundation of political representation, the institutional relationship between representatives and represented, the link between democracy and representation and new arenas and actors.
This book examines the diverse avenues through which different sorts of actors have expressed their voices during the Euro crisis and how their various interests are translated into the decision-making process. It offers a state-of- the-art assessment of what political representation means in this context as well as a contribution to the ‘representative turn’ in democratic theory. The authors address three key themes:
• The main actors and channels of political representation in the EU.
• Interlocking levels of representation in the EU and the way in which national and supranational representation works.
• How the European institutional system represents EU citizens through law and administration.
Focusing on the importance of representation in the legitimation of democracy, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of European Union politics, European studies, democratic theory, representation studies, civil society and transnational democracy.
The search for democratic representation in times of crisis 5
Part I: Electoral forms of representation and the democratic crisis of the EU
Compounded Representation in the EU: no country for old parliaments? 37
Party strategies towards interest groups in a Europeanized Europe 70
Anne Rasmussen and Gert-Jan Lindeboom
The Structure of EU-representation and the Crisis 105
John Erik Fossum
Representation in the Councils of the EU 140
The Committee of the Regions as representative assembly: mission impossible or miracle in the making? 176
Part II: Non-electoral forms of representation in multi-level representation in times of crisis
Representation and network governance in Europe 216
The European Commission and political representation: A new inter-institutional perspective 250
Nieves Pérez-Solórzano Borragán and Stijn Smismans
The involvement of the constituencies of European umbrella organizations in EU affairs 287
Democratic representation in transnational citizens’ forums? 324
Mediated representative politics: the Euro-crisis and the politicization
of the EU 366
Who is the Guardian for Constitutionalism in Europe after the Financial Crisis? 400
Michelle Everson and Christian Joerges
Part III: Concluding essays
Representation as the Cornerstone for Efficient and Legitimate
Concluding Notes: Rethinking Political Representation in a Supranational Context 472