From Maastricht to Brexit by Richard Bellamy and Dario Castiglione

Challenges of Representation in the Context of EU Politicization

Democracy
 
European Union
 
Parliaments
 
Populism
 
Representation
 
Differentiation
 
Euroscepticism
 
European Parliament
 
Section Number
S10
Section Chair
Sandra Kröger
University of Exeter
Section Co-Chair
Richard Bellamy
European University Institute

Abstract
Recent crises have politicized EU policy-making. Politicisation involves issue salience, actor expansion, and polarization. Such politicization can involve hostility to the integration process, as in the case of the rise of populist Eurosceptic parties and movements. But it need not be equated with Euroscepticism and/or populism. Rather, it can also imply the assimilation of EU affairs into mainstream political debate by the main government and opposition parties. Either way, the landscape of representation in the EU has been markedly changed by the recent politicisation. This section will therefore focus on how challenges of representation play out in the context of EU politicisation, exploring the following issues:
• Is the politicisation of domestic public spheres a lasting phenomenon? Has the politicisation had lasting effects on how much the EU is debated in national parliaments, by political parties, and by non-state actors as well as by the media?
• Did those waves of politicisation change the way some or all of these actors represent the EU, which kind of image they seek to convey of the EU? Has politicisation contributed to an increased congruence between mainstream parties’ positioning on the EU and that of their respective voters?
• Since the start of the century, we have seen a sharp rise of parties on the extremes, often right-extreme, of the political spectrum. Whilst these parties often embrace an anti-EU discourse, it is nonetheless unclear in how far the EU contributed to their rise, and we will explore both the empirical and conceptual links between both phenomenon.
• Some have suggested that politicisation works in favour of Euroscepticism. Are there recent trends that work in favour or against this line of argument? Does politicisation offer an opportunity to develop democracy at the EU level, or does it carry more potential for fostering democracy with regard to the EU at the member state level?
• What does the high currency of populist parties imply for the theorisation of the EU? Are demoicratic approaches actually offering a ‘third way’ between liberal intergovernmentalism and supranationalism? Can forms of differentiated integration do justice to the heterogeneity of political preferences and social identities that have become more visible in the context of EU politicisation, or do they mask continued power imbalances?
This section looks at these questions empirically, theoretically and/or normatively.


Panel List

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Number 
Title 
 
P008A Republican Europe of States View Panel Details
P161Identifying Pathologies and Assessing Their Implications for Representative Democracy in Contemporary Europe View Panel Details
P284Politicisation, Power and Differentiated Integration View Panel Details
P285Politicisation, Representation and Legitimation Crisis(?) in the European Union View Panel Details
P286Politicising Europe in National and European Elections View Panel Details
P325Representation by National Parliaments and Parties in Times of Crisis View Panel Details
P327Representation, Truthfulness and Lies in Politics View Panel Details
P399The Politics of European Populism: Transnational Cooperation and Politicisation View Panel Details
P454Voters’ Realignment, Party System Change and Political Representation in the European Parliament View Panel Details
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