Democratic Legitimacy and EU Foreign Policy: Is Such a Link Conceivable?
Even though the lack of democratic legitimacy that the European Union (EU) is widely perceived to suffer from has concerned scholars, students, and practitioners, attention has been only recently directed toward the area of foreign policy. The book aims to fill this gap by inquiring into the way in which the media through its activity and interactions with policymakers in the European public sphere (EPS) has the potential to endow the EU’s foreign policy with democratic legitimacy. In focusing on the media and its role within the public sphere, this book provides a robust understanding of democratic legitimacy, complementing approaches constructed around the principle of representation. The emphasis on democratic representation has characterized the few studies that have inquired into the link between the EU’s foreign policy and democracy. The notion of democratic legitimacy is here seen to encompass multiple aspects—transparency, accountability, responsiveness, and openness to public debate. The first part of this chapter provides an overview of the current debates on the foreign policy of the EU and the way they deal with the issue of democratic legitimacy. Three broad debates are identified, centered on the idea of the nation-state and the EU, the role of the Union’s institutions, and finally the role of the ontology on which the EU is predicated.
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