Ever since the early 1970s, parliamentarization has been conceived as the voie royale to democratize the European Union. And yet again, after decades of treaty revisions, Europe’s democratic deficits have never been so acute: with the Eurozone crisis, sweeping competencies have been delegated to agencies independent from national and European Parliaments: the troika on Greece, the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the European Court of Justice. As the next elections to the European Parliament are approaching (between the 22nd and the 25th of May 2014), Démocratiser l’Europe provides a new historical and sociological account that points at how “independent” institutions are actually the ones that have shaped EU government ever since the 1950s. Therefore, any overhaul of the political union should prioritize the bid to develop new forms of democratic connections with the various institutions that make up Europe’s “independent” branch.
Antoine Vauchez is a senior researcher in political sociology at the Centre européen de sociologie et de science politique (Université Paris 1-Sorbonne / CNRS). He has written on Europe’s legal integration ( L’Union par le droit, Presses de Sciences Po, 2013) and Europe’s independent agencies ( Démocratiser L’Europe, Seuil, 2014).
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