Public Support and EU Institutional Reform
Be it the euro crisis, Brexit, the rise of populist parties, or growing divisions in Europe – European voters increasingly question how the EU is tackling such problems, especially since not all EU institutions have full democratic legitimacy.
This controversy is not new: already in 1992, after the Danish referendum on the Maastricht Treaty, Commission official Pascal Lamy noted that the EU had to face democratic opinion and thus had to reform its technocratic way of decision-making. In the same vein, former Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker always underlined that the EU must ‘deliver’. But what is the best way to go? The recent reform proposals of Emmanuel Macron found little support outside France, as they poorly reflected European citizens’ diversity of interests.
Little is known about how the European public evaluates EU governance and the separation of powers in EU decision-making – despite the fact that the Commission generates extensive data from all Member States regarding the benefits of European integration and general trust in EU institutions. Is the Commission’s right of legislative initiative still sustainable? What about bicameral legislature? And regarding the European Court of Justice, does the public support the primacy of EU versus national norms?
Based on a novel survey generating fresh insights into public support across Member States, these and other questions will be at the centre of this ZEW Lunch Debate organised in cooperation with the University of Mannheim (Collaborative Research Center “Political Economy of Reforms”).