Impact of EU treaty reform failures on EEbehaviour
Posted 15/6/2008 00:34 (#66)
Subject: Impact of EU treaty reform failures on EEbehaviour

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Location: University of Bremen
Proposal for inclusion of additional survey items,
to be submitted to voters,
in adapted form to candidates,
and to be integrated in code book for mass media and party manifesto analysis

I suggest including items into the survey aimed at exploring the impact of the failures of EU treaty reform ratification over the past three years on
party manifestoes, candidates, media coverage and voters.

Even if the EES will be conducted only next year, it should be expected that the experiences of TCE and Lisbon treaty ratification crises will not have faded. The questions should be framed more generally, in terms of “EU treaty ratification”, the “EU institutional crisis”, but also detail more specific contested issues of EU institutional reform.

Drawing on hypotheses developed in the RECON 6FP project (ARENA, Oslo) as well as the ConstEPS project (Univ of Bremen), I suggest exploring to what extent and in which direction citizens' "enlightened" opinion and will formation (and eventually choice in national referendums) about Constitutional Treaty ratification impact their inclination towards European electoral democracy - vs. alternative models of "reconstituting democracy in Europe" (Europe of national democracies; vs "sui generis" models of the EU, for instance as a participatory governance arrangement beyond the state and without a state).

II. PROPOSED ITEMS (referring to the 2004 ESS, GB):

Q1a. replace 9 European Union by "EU treaty reform crisis" and "EU enlargement"
Q2. evaluation of parties compared to other agents/organisations/institutions’ competence of dealing with problems (markets, NGO’s, EU, IO’s);
Q3. distinction of different modes of governance in the EU (exclusively MS; exclusively EU; jointly EU & MSs; jointly MSs);

Include new items, similarly worded as
Q5. about EU constitutional treaty ratification 2004-5;
Q6. on constitutional treaty ratification
Q10. “If you had a say on a new EU treaty tomorrow, what changes would be particularly important for you
(here some of the TCE/Lisbon changes with impact on ordinary people are listed):
a. strengthening the EP
b. promoting opportunities for civil society participation
c. introducing direct democratic instruments for citzens, such as citizens’ legislative initiative;
d. more effective problem solving by majority voting
e. better visible and accountable leadership through European Presidency
f. Charter of fundamental rights
g. exit option for MS's
h. others?

Q11. item asking about attitudes for – against different kinds of a European institutional order
(see Marks/Steinbergen 2004: three dimensions of European political conflict):
a. social vs. market Europe (left - right)
b. federal Europea vs. Europe of nation states
c. democratic Europe promoting IHR vs. European of traditional values (TAN - GAL)

Q27a, MEANING of democracy (the democratic deficit?) in Europe:
a. government for the people (output legitimacy)
b. government by the people (direct or representative),
- primarily at national level
- primarily at supranational level
- both, at national and supranational level
c. democratic principles, procedures, arrangements

Q27b performance of the EP representatives (see Mansbridge "Rethinking Representation", APSR):
"How would you expect the representatives you elect to the EP to do their job best:
a. to stick closely to the promises they make in the party manifestoes?
b. to communicate with voters, to explain political problems and decisions
c. to represent the my interests

Q29c, include categories other than political parties, closeness to
a. interest associations,
b. civil society (NGO’s, self-help organisations)
c. social movements
d. political protest movements

D4c. include new item, whether parents and grandparents were born in country;

D4d. include item about travelling abroad in Europe:
- how often
- as a tourist, worker, student, business, other (EU freedoms)

I'd be happy to develop these last minute propositions and adapt them to the other instruments.

For further information on "Reconstituting Democracy in Europe" (RECON), see:
In particular: WP5 "Civil Society and the Public Sphere",

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