In This Review

How to Democratize the EU -- and Why Bother?
How to Democratize the EU -- and Why Bother?
By Philippe C. Schmitter
Rowman & Littlefield, 2000, 172 pp

Like Rosamond, Schmitter prefers to look at the theory rather than the practice of European integration. This book offers a series of ingenious propositions aimed at making the European Union more democratic. Neither an incipient state nor a federation nor a classical intergovernmental organization, the EU represents something new that is evolving into "a plurality of polities and different levels of aggregation." Along with pitching sensible proposals concerning citizenship, Schmitter offers a system of representation that would make the European Parliament less of a conglomeration of national representatives and more of a forum for creating genuine European parties. He also addresses EU decision-making, arguing for dividing member states into three clusters and establishing a requirement of concurrent majorities. Europe-wide referendums, including those on the method of designing European institutions, are another suggestion. His argument about the EU's need for democratization is convincing, even if some of his proposals have little chance of being adopted soon.