The Nature of European Issues: Conceptual Clarifications and Some Empirical Evidence

  • Hermann Schmitt


Issues are at the core of the political process.1 In a democracy at least, people need to be able to know of them and to participate in decision-making and the political deliberations about them (Dahl 1998). This paper aims at clarifying the nature of European issues. The reader might wonder why one could be concerned about this topic. However, there is a widespread misconception in much of the literature and in public discourse. According to that, European issues are those that are “about” Europe. I argue, however, that European issues are all those that are subject to EU legislation, no matter whether they are about, say, the future decisionmaking rules in the European Council or unemployment. This conceptual stretch has important implications for analyses of the democratic quality of the EU political process.


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Copyright information

© VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften | GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hermann Schmitt
    • 1
  1. 1.Universität MannheimDeutschalnd

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