What's Wrong with the Europe Union and How to Fix It
The European Union seems incapable of undertaking economic reforms and defining its place in the world. Public apathy towards the EU is also increasing, as citizens feel isolated from the institutions in Brussels and see no way to influence European level decisions.
Taking a diagnosis and cure approach to the EU's difficulties, Simon Hix tackles these problems with distinct clarity and open-mindedness. What the EU needs, Hix contends, is more open political competition. This would promote policy innovation, foster coalitions across the institutions, provide incentives for the media to cover developments in Brussels, and enable citizens to identify who governs in the EU and to take sides in policy debates. The EU is ready for this new challenge. The institutional reforms since the 1980s have transformed the EU into a more competitive polity, and political battles and coalitions are developing inside and between the European Parliament, the Council, and the Commission.
This emerging politics should be more central to the Brussels policy process, with clearer coalitions and identifiable winners and losers, at least in the short term. The risks are low because the EU has multiple checks-and-balances. Yet, the potential benefits are high, as more open politics could enable the EU to overcome policy gridlock, rebuild public support, and reduce the democratic deficit. This indispensable book will be of great interest to students of the European politics, scholars, policy makers and anyone concerned with the future of the European Union.
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Why the European Union is more necessary than ever 8
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9 5 Chair alliances allocating amendments anti-European Barroso Commission benefits British Brussels candidates cent centre-left centre-right centre-right majority checks-and-balances co-decision procedure coalition Commission President commissioners committee chairs competition consensus d'Hondt d'Hondt method debate democratic deficit elites environmental EPP-ED EUL/NGL Eurobarometer Europe European citizens European Council European integration European level European Parliament elections European parties European People's Party example Figure German global gridlock incentives institutions internal market issues Jose Jose Jose Jose Jose labour markets largest party left-right legislation liberal liberalisation limited democratic politics losers losing side Maastricht Treaty Margot ment MEPs national elections national governments national parliaments national parties Nice Treaty party leaders policy agenda policy change policy gridlock policy outcomes policy-making political parties politicians positions prime minister Prodi Commission proposed qualified-majority voting regulation result Santer Commission sector Single European Act social democrat socialist tion treaty reforms voters winners winning workers