Reconnecting with citizens? : A study of the new communication strategy of the European Commission from a deliberative view

by Borén, Lina

Abstract (Summary)
There is a gap between the citizens and the political institutions of the European Union. Many theorists think that this is due to the fact that the EU suffers from a “democratic deficit” and that the EU is perceived as a project made by and for the political elite. Several years of low participation in the European Parliamentary elections and the French and Dutch rejection of the European Constitutional Treaty in Spring 2005 shows that the EU has weak legitimacy in the eyes of the people.In 2004, Margot Wallström was charged to renew the European Commission’s communication strategy and to reconnect with the citizens by stimulating dialogue and debate. This thesis is a critical study of the deliberative qualities of the new communication strategy based on Habermas’s discursive theory, which discusses the strategy’s possible effects on EU legitimacy. It finds that the communication strategy, despite several deliberative apects, have little chances to have an impact on EUs legitimacy, since it fails to engage “common people” in the debate and since it is not part of a major institutional reform but just an “icing on the cake”.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Högskolan i Jönköping

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:deliberative democracy eu communication strategies legitimacy


Date of Publication:04/16/2007

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