The Long Road to a Democratic Networked European Union

  • Kyriakos Mikelis


The chapter offers a critical appraisal of the perspectives over European integration in terms of new governance and particularly networks. This specific case of regional integration has anyway raised intriguing issues, regarding the content and role of democracy, legitimacy, accountability and representation. The road leading to a networked European entity or a networked democracy might still be long, although networked processes or functions have already entailed serious consequences, both practically and normatively. Consequently, democracy appears to be the inevitable—albeit complex—guide during the respective course. In this framework, it is imperative to distinguish between the recognition of the feasibility per se of a post-majoritarian or post-liberal democracy and the correspondence of the emerging European realities to the relevant criteria. Simply put, the current literature tends to emphasize the challenges that the EU poses for political theory or organization as well as for (representative) democracy. This needs not to be refuted, but it still needs to be analyzed dialectically with the fact that democracy itself (however complex or even ambiguous) sets challenges, not to be taken lightly, for the emergence of the euro-polity.


European Union Policy Network Network Governance Multilateral Negotiation Democratic Quality 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Benz, A. (2003). Compounded representation in EU multi-level governance. In B. Kohler-Koch (Ed.), Linking EU and national governance (pp. 82–110). Oxford UK: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Blavoukos, S., & Pagoulatos, G. (2008). Negotiating in stages: National positions and the reform of the stability and growth pact. European Journal of Political Research, 47, 247–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bohman, J. (2007). Democracy across borders: From Dêmos to Dêmoi. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  4. Börzel, T. (2010). European governance: Negotiation and competition in the shadow of hierarchy. Journal of Common Market Studies, 48, 191–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Coen, D., & Thatcher, M. (2008). Network governance and multi-level delegation: European networks of regulatory agencies. Journal of Public Policy, 28, 49–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. De Bardeleben, J., & Hurrelmann, A. (Eds.). (2007). Democratic dilemmas of multilevel governance. Legitimacy, representation and accountability in the European Union (pp. 1–14). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  7. Diez, T. (1997). International ethics and European integration: Federal state or network horizon? Alternatives, 22, 287–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Eberlein, B., & Kerwer, D. (2004). New governance in the European Union: A theoretical perspective. Journal of Common Market Studies, 42, 121–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Eberlein, B., & Newman, A. (2008). Escaping the international governance dilemma? Incorporated transgovernmental networks in the European Union. Governance, 21, 25–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Eising, R., & Kohler-Koch, B. (1999). Introduction: Network governance in the European Union. In B. Kohler-Koch & R. Eising (Eds.), The transformation of governance in the European Union (pp. 3–12). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Elgström, O., & Jönsson, C. (Eds.). (2005). European Union negotiations: Processes, networks and institutions. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Føllesdal, A. (2006). Survey article: The legitimacy deficits of the European Union. The Journal of Political Philosophy, 14, 441–468.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Føllesdal, A., & Hix, S. (2006). Why there is a democratic deficit in the EU: A response to Majone and Moravcsik. Journal of Common Market Studies, 44, 533–562.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fossum, J., & Menendez, A. (2010). The constitution’s gift: A Constitutional theory for a democratic European Union. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  15. Héritier, A. (2003). Composite democracy in Europe: The role of transparency and access to information. Journal of European Public Policy, 10, 814–823.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hix, S. (1998). The study of the European Union II: The ‘new governance’ agenda and its rival. Journal of European Public Policy, 5, 38–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jachtenfuchs, M., Diez, T., & Jung, S. (1998). Which Europe? Conflicting models of a legitimate political order. European Journal of International Relations, 4, 409–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kassim, H., & Le Galès, P. (2010). Exploring governance in a multi-level polity: A policy instruments approach. West European Politics, 33, 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kern, K., & Bulkeley, H. (2009). Cities, europeanization and multi-level gGovernance: Governing climate change through transnational municipal networks. Journal of Common Market Studies, 47, 309–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kohler-Koch, B. (1999). Europe in search of legitimate governance. Arena Working Paper 99/27.Google Scholar
  21. Kohler-Koch, B. (2013). Civil society and democracy in the EU. High expectations under empirical scrutiny. In B. Kohler-Koch & C. Quittkat (Eds.), De-mystification of participatory democracy: EU-governance and civil society (pp. 1–17). Oxford UK: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kohler-Koch, B., & Rittberger, B. (2006). Review article: The ‘governance turn’ in EU studies. Journal of Common Market Studies, 44, 27–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lavdas, K., & Chryssochoou, D. (2011). A republic of Europeans: Civic potential in a liberal milieu. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  24. Maggetti, M., & Gilardi, F. (2014). Network governance and the domestic adoption of soft rules. Journal of European Public Policy, 21, 1293–1310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Neunreither, K. (1994). The democratic deficit of the European Union: Closer cooperation between the European parliament and the national parliaments. Government and Opposition, 29, 299–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Papadopoulos, Y. (2005). Taking stock of multi-level governance networks. European Political Science, 4, 316–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Peters, G., & Pierre, J. (2004). Multi-level governance and democracy: A Faustian bargain? In I. Bache & M. Flinders (Eds.), Multi-level governance (pp. 75–89). Oxford UK: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Peterson, J. (2009). Policy networks. In A. Wiener & T. Diez (Eds.), European integration theory (2nd ed., pp. 105–124). Oxford UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Piattoni, S. (2010). The theory of multi-level governance. Conceptual, empirical, and normative challenges. Oxford UK: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Scharpf, F. (2009). Legitimacy in the multilevel European polity. European Political Science Review, 1, 173–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Schmidt, V. (2013). Democracy and legitimacy in the European Union revisited: Input, output and ‘throughput’. Political Studies, 61, 2–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Schmitter, P. (2006). Governance in the European Union. A viable mechanism for future legitimation? In A. Benz & Y. Papadopoulos (Eds.), Governance and democracy: Comparing national, European and international experiences (pp. 156–175). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  33. Schout, A., Jordan, A., & Twena, M. (2010). From ‘old’ to ‘new’ governance in the EU: Explaining a diagnostic deficit. West European Politics, 33, 154–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Sørensen, E. (2005). Τhe democratic problems and potentials of network governance. European Political Science, 4, 348–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Steffek, J., & Nanz, P. (2008). Emergent patterns of civil society participation in global and European governance. In J. Steffek, C. Kissling, & P. Nanz (Eds.), Civil society participation in European and global governance: A cure for the democratic deficit? (pp. 1–29). New York: Palgrave MacMillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Suverierol, S. (2008). Beyond the myth of nationality: Analysing networks within the European commission. West European Politics, 31, 701–724.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Thurner, P., & Pappi, U. (2008). European Union intergovernmental conferences: Domestic preference formation, transgovernmental networks and the dynamics of vompromise. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  38. Torfing, J., Peters, B. G., Pierre, J., & Sørensen, E. (2012). Interactive governance. Advancing the paradigm. Oxford UK: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Tsakatika, M. (2007). Governance vs. politics: The European Union’s ‘constitutive’ democratic deficit. Journal of European Public Policy, 14, 867–885.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Warleigh, A. (2003). Democracy and the European Union: Theory, practice and reform. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  41. Wolf, K. D. (1999). Defending state sutonomy: Intergovernmental governance in the European Union. In B. Kohler-Koch & R. Eising (Eds.), The transformation of governance in the European Union (pp. 231–248). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  42. Zielonka, J. (2006). Europe as empire: The nature of the enlarged European Union. Oxford UK: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MacedoniaThessalonikiGreece

Personalised recommendations