FACES OF EUROPE SEARCHING FOR LEADERSHIP IN A NEW POLITICAL by D. Pels

By D. Pels

The resounding Dutch ‘Nee’ to the ecu Constitutional Treaty got here with a novel paradox: the serious debate previous the referendum vote has made we all, sceptics and competitors incorporated, a bit extra eu. for the reason that then, soul-searching with reference to the identification, tradition, political challenge and actual limits of Europe has constructed right into a everlasting workout. The referendum debate during this appreciate absorbed, concentrated and generalized past issues concerning the Brussels technocracy, the advent of the euro, suspected circumstances of fraud by means of europarliamentarians, the perspectives of candidate-commissioner Buttiglione on marriage and homosexuality, and the long run admission of Turkey. It used to be lately renewed within the wake of the conflicting reactions by way of prime ecu politicians to the ‘Danish sketch trouble’ and the Lebanon warfare, which the Finnish presidency characterised as an ‘existential try’ for Europe. [C:\Users\Microsoft\Documents\Calibre Library]

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While formulating clearer views about the demarcation between supranational and national or ‘subsidiary’ issues and powers, the revised Treaty also needs to retain, clarify and perhaps radicalize those elements which promote a more focused and personal European leadership, such as the offices of President and that of Foreign Minister (no current election programme mentions the former, while the PvdA, the VVD and the SP also explicitly reject the latter). On the future horizon would lie a possible merger of the presidency of the Commission with that of the European Council, and the democratic election of the president by the European Parliament (or, if one accepts the previous analysis, by direct Europe-wide ballot).

Elgie, Robert (1995) Political Leadership in Liberal Democracies, Houndsmills, Basingstoke: MacMillan Press. Elzinga, Douwe Jan (2005) ‘Het referenduminstrument’, pp. 87-103 in Aarts & Van der Kolk. Etzioni-Halevy, Eva (1993) The Elite Connection. Problems and Potential of Western Democracy, Cambridge: Polity Press. T. (2004) ‘Persoonlijke president is goed voor Europa’, NRC Handelsblad, 29 October. Fortuyn, Pim (1998) Zielloos Europa, Utrecht: Bruna. Gunsteren, Herman van (2005) ‘De geboorte van de Europese burger’, Vrij Nederland, 18 June.

2 Horizontal and vertical balances Democracy, I have implied throughout, requires the separation of and competition between functions and powers in both the horizontal and the vertical dimensions. In this paper, I have emphasized that the vertical interaction between political elites and citizens, particularly in its current mediatized and personalized form, constitutes an undertheorized element of contemporary political thought, even though it is equally important for the functioning of a well-ordered democracy as its horizontal counterpart.

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