chapter  5
19 Pages

The EU polity and its pattern of representation: the multilevel parliamentary field

Introduction It is widely held that the European Union (EU) harbours a democratic deficit. Most of the democratic deficit proponents understand it as a representative-democratic shortfall. There are two readings of how this shortfall manifests itself in the multilevel configuration of the EU. One understands the EU as undercutting national representative systems of government, the very harbingers of popular sovereignty (e.g., Grimm 1995; Graf Kielmansegg 1996). The other recognises that, whereas new institutions of democratic representation have been established at the European level, most importantly associated with the European Parliament (EP), this has not been enough to offset European integration’s weakening of national (and regional) representative systems (e.g., Føllesdal and Hix 2006).