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Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Lucarelli et al. (2010): Debating Political Identity and Legitimacy in the European Union - 1 views

  • How can we conceptualize identity and legitimacy in the context of the European union? What is the role of narratives, political symbols, public debate and institutional practices in the process of identity formation and legitimacy consolidation? Debating Political Identity and Legitimacy in the European Union addresses these questions and brings together high profile scholars from various disciplinary backgrounds to debate the ontological and epistemological aspects of research on identity and legitimacy formation in the EU. Part I investigates key elements such as the relationship between ‘Europeanization’ of the EU member states and its effect on the political identity of their citizens; the relationship between the politicization of the EU and processes of identity and legitimacy formation; and the indispensability of European identity for legitimizing the EU. Part II looks at pathways to identity formation and legitimacy construction in the EU by considering alternative types of constitutional legitimacy; political symbolism; Europeanization and politicization of the debate on EU focusing on the foreign policy domain. Bringing together a wide but coherent range of high profile perspectives, this book will of interest to students and scholars of European studies, Political Science, Philosophy, Sociology and Law.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

06.09.10: Redefining democracy: A job for eurocrats? - European Journalism Centre - 0 views

  • Austrian writer Robert Menasse recently spent some time at the European Union institutions in Brussels on a research trip for a new novel that will be set in Europe in the year 2030. Formerly rather critical of the EU, the experience has led him to substantially change his mind and look elsewhere for the failures of the Union and underlying causes of discontent. In an essay for Graz-based Kleine Zeitung and several subsequent newspaper and radio interviews, he has elaborated on his observations and thoughts.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

02.09.10: Barroso blames capitals for plunge in EU popularity - 0 views

  • Faced with a plunging popularity of the EU institutions, European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso has blamed national capitals for not defending the European project during the economic crisis. The devastating results of a Eurobarometer published last week showing that support for EU institutions is waning across the continent are due to the economic crisis, argued Mr Barroso in an interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera. He said it is "normal" that citizens' confidence is dropping during such times.
  • "I admit that we should do more together in order to give confidence to citizens and consumers. But I also want to tell the truth: We won't solve the problems unless each nation sees the European project as its own," the Portuguese politician said. "In fact this is not the case now. When things go well it's their merit and when they go wrong it's Brussels' fault," he added.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Kammel (2010) The Democratic Deficit of the European Union: Its Origins and the Role of... - 0 views

  • Democracy and legitimacy in the European Union are issues of high importance in the academic discourse. Since its beginning, the democratic quality of the European Community and subsequently of the European Union has been questioned. However, the European Union is a political entity sui generis, composed of 27 Member States, and among which it fosters a unique economic and political partnership. This uniqueness gives rise to a series of problems, related to democracy in European governance. Therefore, the book tries to explain the nature of the European Union. A special focus is given to the democratic performance of the EU as a system of multi level governance. The book also analyzes the various reforms leading to a strengthening of the role of the European Parliament as the only directly elected institution within the EU from its early days as a powerless Assembly till today. By explaining the very specific democratic nature of the EU, the book aims to help to transfer the perception of the EU and its decision-making into a more realistic picture in order to overcome one of the most persistent myths of European integration.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

11.11.09: EU citizens' initiative raises political and legal headaches - 0 views

  • A major question mark hangs over online initiatives, with all the potential security problems they involve, and whether they should be allowed at all while there is also concern that an initiative could be so convoluted that it is unclear what the signatories actually want - something that could be fixed by using a standard formula. EU communications commissioner Margot Wallstrom has in the past predicted the tool will be "used immediately" by citizens, noting that it will be "the better if it causes some problems for the commission" as it will bring the institution more into contact with ordinary people and what they are looking for from the EU. The discussion paper takes the form of a series of questions which stakeholders and the public may reply to until the end of January 2010.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Tamvaki (2008): Legitimacy and EU Enlargement Politics - 0 views

  • In the aftermath of the most ambitious accession bargain, attention has been directed away from EU negotiations to the tricky task of selling the elite enlargement deal to the voters. Focusing on past enlargement rounds, this book explores the link between diverse elite motives for pursuing membership and relatively constant variation in EU public support. National elite attitudes to integration contain the clues to the explanation of why utilitarian and affective support has traditionally been higher in some countries than in others. EU public opinion does not simply reflect the economic interests and identities of individuals faced with an objective reality. Rather, citizens face an endogenously shaped world, filtered by elite opinions on membership. Drawing upon "flexibility," this book advances a model of "theoretical differentiation" distinguishing between rationally and affectively driven entrants. Empirically, the tenacity of "differentiation" in EU legitimacy is examined through the use of original and secondary data. Combining qualitative and quantitative methods, this study aspires to further debate on enlargement and public opinion engaging scholars and EU practitioners.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

26.05.09: EU Parliament facing legitimacy crisis, experts warn - 0 views

  • The increase in power of the European Parliament, which will grow further if the Lisbon Treaty is ratified by all 27 member states, has failed to increase the House's political legitimacy and runs the risk of compromising its unique position as the EU's 'democratic pillar', according to a new report.
  • The report, published by CEPS (Centre for European Policy Studies) research fellows Julia De Clerck-Sachsse and Piotr Maciej Kaczyński, argues that the Parliament's crucial importance as a forum for public debate is on the wane. 
  • On the positive side, the authors note, enlargement has not destabilised the Parliament's output, nor has it affected the strength of left-right political alignments, which remain cohesive.  In fact, the Parliament's sixth legislature (2004-2009) has boosted the institution's assertiveness, particularly under the co-decision  procedure, where Parliament and the European Council share decision-making powers.  The high cost of efficiency  However, this new assertiveness has come at a price. In its efforts to streamline decision-making and maintain efficiency, the enlarged EU assembly has moved more decisions to committees and cut down the amount of time for debate between MEPs in the plenary chamber.  In particular, the massive increase in first-reading agreements (when a legislative act is passed after only one reading in the chamber) gives the impression that "the bulk of political debate takes place behind closed doors, rather than publicly". In other words, if Parliament "adopts a compromise that is pre-negotiated by the responsible committee, there is little chance of a politicised and controversial debate," which is "crucial to capturing public attention," say the experts. Worse still, it runs the risk of Parliament being perceived as "merely rubber-stamping the Council's decisions". 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

05.05.09: EU politics to be YouTubed - 0 views

  • With an eye on the grassroots political campaign of Barack Obama, the communications-savvy US president, YouTube has teamed up with a European broadcaster to try and bring a similar 'Yes we can' buzz to EU politics one month ahead of the European elections. The video sharing website on Tuesday (5 May) announced it is going to collaborate with Euronews to provide an online forum for MEPs and experts to talk about the issues on voters' minds.
  • Later this week onwards, EU citizens from across the 27 member states can put a question to those running for office via a new YouTube channel called Questions for Europe
  • Can it be done in Europe They admit they are not sure what the answer to this question is, with the EU elections taking place across so many countries, involving so many languages and still largely focused on local issues. Michael Peters, managing director of Euronews, said his organisation was "really curious" about the type of questions it would get, and thought issues such as abortion could become topics debated EU-wide. The questions themselves, posted via videos on the Euronews website, will be answered either by Euronews journalists themselves, analysts or politicians.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Can the EU learn from Switzerland? - 0 views

  • This week Switzerland holds its national elections, while in Lisbon the EU leaders agreed on a new treaty. The two events have no direct connection, because Switzerland is not an EU member. However, a Swiss would have little difficulty understanding the EU's institutional quarrels. Switzerland has been successfully dealing with the challenge of keeping a multi-confessional, multi-lingual society together for more than 150 years, while respecting a large degree of autonomy for its 26 cantons.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

15.01.2007: Roman Herzog -> EU threatening parliamentary democracy - 0 views

  • Germany's state of parliamentary democracy is under threat from the European Union which is slowly taking away all the national parliament's powers, the country's ex-president has said. In an article for newspaper Welt am Sonntag, Roman Herzog pointed out that between 1999 and 2004, 84 percent of the legal acts in Germany stemmed from Brussels.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

25.01.07: Chance for a Real Debate on the EU's Constitution? - Comment on the Madrid me... - 0 views

  • Writer and commentator on European affairs Kirsty Hughes and Jose Ignacio Torreblanca, senior analyst at the Elcano Institute in Madrid argue in this article, that the EU should move on following the institutional impasse and regain political confidence.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Politeia: Network for Citizenship and Democracy in Europe - 0 views

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    The goals of POLITEIA are as follows: Creation of a structure that will set civic participation and education higher on the European and national agenda. Strengthening the capacities of the partner organisations by exchanging methods and practices. Being more present and visible in the European NGO-scene by focusing on the promotion of European citizenship through participation. Creating a pool of potential partners for European projects as well as being able to profit from European funds.
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