Revising some ‘modest proposals’ for making the European Union more democratic
Almost ten years ago, I proposed some ‘modest reforms’ that I thought could make the European Union more democratic (Schmitter 2000). They were intended as a ‘stealthful’ alternative to the more ‘aggressive’ strategy of adopting a formal constitution. A lot has happened in the ensuing years – including the rejection by referendum of that Constitutional Treaty in two Member States and, subsequently, the negotiation of a ‘down-sized’ version (the Lisbon Treaty) which is currently in the process of being ratified. In this chapter, I propose to re-visit some of the suggestions I made then and discuss what their present value might be. I persist in the assumption that it is desirable to democratize the EU, but that this cannot be accomplished simply by mimicking the institutions already present in the ‘domestic democracies’ of Member States.