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Exploring the EU’s Legitimacy Crisis

The Dark Heart of Europe

Christian Schweiger

Exploring the EU’s Legitimacy Crisis provides a profound analysis of the causes and the consequences of the EU's growing legitimacy problem. The prior permissive consensus in the EU has been markedly declining under persistent crisis conditions. Since the onset of the eurozone crisis the EU's governance has been narrowly driven by the semi-hegemonial leadership of Germany – manifesting itself in functionalist and technocratic policy reforms concentrated on strengthening economic governance coordination. Other crucial policy areas have been neglected as member states show decreasing solidarity and a growing emphasis on national interests in response to mounting external challenges. This book examines these developments in detail by scrutinising the EU's ability to maintain legitimacy through political leadership, democratic accountability and governance efficiency.
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Bas Denters

Denters discusses in Chapter 11 the potentials and pitfalls of community self-organization. He introduces the distinction between invited and created spaces. This distinction resembles the difference between government-induced and civic-induced interactive governance. In his chapter, Denters elaborates the ACTIE framework which can be used to analyse important features and factors of civic initiatives such as aims and ambitions, talents and time and institutionalization of civic-induced interactive governance. Denters argues that these factors determine to a large extent the effectiveness and legitimacy of community self-organization.