There has been a lot of talk about the European Union's so-called 'democratic deficit', by which is meant its lack of legitimacy in the eyes of its citizens. This book provides a critical analysis of the democratic stalemate in European politics. It argues that the root of the 'democratic deficit' has more to do with the domestic political fields of the Union's member-states and the structure of the evolving European political field than with the relationships between supranational institutions. The book analyses the complex ways 'Europe' is integrated into domestic politics and shows how domestic political fields and cultures have prevented deepening integration. As a result of the formation of a European political field, political resources in European 'postnational' and 'postabsolutist' polities are being redistributed. The theory of structural constructivism proposed fuses French structural theories of politics and a 'bottom-up' approach to European integration. The book examines the relationship between French political traditions and the construction of a European security structure from the point of view of identity politics and the French post-imperialist syndrome. The educational and social homogeneity of French civil servants provides a political resource that certain individuals can use in Brussels, influencing the direction and form of European integration. Studying legislative legitimacy in the European Parliament elections, the book highlights that intellectuals are important players in French politics: the politics of the street has always been a key part of French political life.
conditioned by the structures of national political fields and their specific
historical traditions. In this chapter, I will examine the relationship between
French political traditions and the construction of a Europeansecuritystructure.
This will be approached from the point of view of identity politics and the
French post-imperialist syndrome (Kortunov 2001), by investigating a complex
set of symptoms arising from the discrepancy between French ambition and
reality. National and European identities are intertwined with institutions that
frame political action and ideas
the time being Europeansecuritystructures would remain. According
to state department officials, the alliances would be ‘pillars of European
In 1989 communist rule in Hungary was on the verge of collapse. The
only way out of impending economic catastrophe and the ever-increasing
domestic pressure for democratisation and the restoration of national
sovereignty was for the ruling party gradually to dismantle its dictatorial
rule. Archival records reveal what western officials at various levels actually
McDermott and Stibbe, The 1989
recent candidate for evading NATO-centrism in European security.
Moreover, close cooperation with the EU represents an opportunity for
Moscow to achieve what it has been striving for since the end of the
Cold War – a clear and significant role in the Europeansecuritystructure.
Economics is a basic driving force behind closer
cooperation and there is mutual dependence in this area. The EU is far
. Thus, according to Labour’s Proinsias
De Rossa MEP, ‘It would be far preferable to have a Europeansecuritystructure
subject to the European Union rather than the domination of European security
affairs by NATO, which is not accountable to the people’ (Dáil 509: 566).
The paradoxes entailed in this debate are illustrated by reference to the aforementioned 1994 case before the International Court of Justice at the Hague to
declare that the use of nuclear weapons was illegal under international law. States
were invited to submit their views, and while NATO and all
those of the
German ethnic community (REP 1987: 3), and the 1990 programme added
the demand for more German control over its own territory and people.
After reunification little support for NATO seems to remain. The REP wants
NATO to be converted into an ‘all-Europeansecuritystructure, in which
Germany keeps its sovereignty’ (REP 1993: 9), even though the party is very
sceptical about the current attempts at creating such a structure within the
EU (REP 1999: 22).
Populist anti-party sentiment
A theme which clearly combines and guides all ideological themes is that
should put its trust in all-Europeansecuritystructures embodied in a reinforced and reformed Conference on
Security and Cooperation in Europe (Kuźniar 2008: 88–92).
Indulging the inter-war Intermarium idea, President Lech
Wałęsa briefly toyed with the idea of NATO-bis: a separate
collective security alliance of all former Warsaw Pact members minus Russia
(Onyszkiewicz, 1999 : 135). Another expression of a separate East
Robert Hue's list 'Bouge l’Europe!’ were caught between contradictory
ideological and pragmatic political requirements. Ideologically, the French
Communist Party was against market forces and the creation of a common
European defence. Pragmatically, as a partner in Jospin's government, it had to
back the French war effort in the Balkans. It could not openly question Jospin's
moves to forge a common Europeansecuritystructure, to cut public spending or
to privatise industry. Hue even declared in the business daily La Tribune that
‘the Communists are not the