The steady retreat of democracy in the EU
in Europe’s path to crisis
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One of the chief casualties of the extended economic crisis in the EU has been democratic politics. The EU's own mechanisms for decision-making have been set aside at particular moments; a core group of countries has assumed responsibility for crisis management. This chapter examines the increasingly strained relationship between the EU and the democratic process. It argues that ethical standards and competent decision-making are becoming casualties of the democratic deficit. The crisis which rocked the EU at the end of the 1990s briefly brought to the surface the view that the then thirteen-member EU was divided on a North-South basis in its attitude to public morality. The European Parliament, briefly emboldened by having taken resolute action against abuses inside the Commission, slumped back into torpor despite acquiring some increased powers as a result of the Maastricht Treaty.

Europe’s path to crisis

Disintegration via monetary union

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