075 Participatory Democracy in the EU: Transnational Collective Action and its Impact on Democratic Legitimacy

The Role of Values in EU governance
Wednesday, July 12, 2017: 4:00 PM-5:20 PM
John McIntyre - Room 201 (University of Glasgow)
The principle of ‘participatory democracy’ suggesting that the involvement of citizens in EU policymaking could reduce the ‘democratic deficit’ was institutionnalized by the Lisbon Treaty as one of the European leading values. Its main mode of implementation is the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), a mechanism launched in 2012 through which one million people signing a petition can invite the European Commission to legislate on a particular issue. European participatory democracy can take other forms, such as transnational online debates, lobbying or collective action. The impact of these forms of political participation on EU politics and policies has still to be fully assessed.

In particular, the issue is to know whether, to which extend and how these channels of participation contribute to the politicization of the EU. Politicization can here be understood as a stronger ideological framing of policy stakes; as a polarization/conflictualization of deliberation and decision; and/or as an enlargement of the social constituencies contributing to the debate. Recently, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a leading topic on the EU agenda, fueled the emergence of transnational coordination between NGOs, trade unions and social movements. This example must be analysed in comparison with other types of past and present mobilizations to define what is new or not so new in such dynamics.

The questions explored are: Which forms of European participatory democracy have developed successfully so far? Can they contribute to the emergence of European public sphere(s)? Can they reinforce EU legitimacy and renew the understanding of democracy?

François Heinderyckx
Discussant :
Justin Greenwood
The European Union, a Stakeholders' Democracy. from the European Studies to Democratic Experiments
Nicolas Hubé, Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne; Philippe Aldrin, Sciences Po Aix en Provence
Contestation of Ttip in Spain: Europe As a Political Playing Field
Luis Bouza, College of Europe; Alvaro Oleart Perez-Seoane, Université libre de Bruxelles