Democratic redistribution in the EU
in Towards a just Europe
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This chapter addresses the question, does the democratic duty to redistribute apply to the EU? The author argues that, at the EU level, coercion and democracy are sufficiently institutionalized to activate the democratic duty to redistribute for two reasons. First, the EU has the capacity to generate generalized compliance of its members with its laws. This is achieved through a complex combination of domestic and supranational norms and institutions, from the stage of law enactment to that of law enforcement. The author claims that the fact that the EU does not possess a unified monopoly of force in the Weberian sense is not an ultimate obstacle, since its supranational institutions can rely on national courts and police forces to enforce EU law. Secondly, the EU is a demoicracy, with key democratic institutions, a citizenship status, and a plurality of demoi. According to the author, responsibilities to realize democratic redistribution in the Union should be shared by the three levels of government – local, national, and supranational – by relying on the familiar principles of proportionality and subsidiarity. This means that the EU should act as a safety net for domestic social citizenship, supplementing national welfare systems whenever they fail to meet the requirements of the democratic duty to redistribute.

Towards a just Europe

A theory of distributive justice for the European Union

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