25 March, 2015
Debate: Democracy deficit or government gap?
The Union of European Federalists organised a Federalist roundtable discussion "Democracy deficit or government gap?, held in Brussels on 24 March 2015, to discuss the current problems facing the European Union and the Eurozone and if these issues could be fixed.

There are alarming signs that the European Union and the Eurozone in particular are facing a crisis of democratic legitimacy. Eurosceptic and nationalist parties and movements are on the rise across Europe. The much needed strengthening of the Eurozone's governance is creating increasing tensions with national democratic processes and national sovereignty. Increased powers for the European Union and the Eurozone have not been accompanied by an increase in democratic legitimacy. National democracies are also under stress and this further weakens the foundation of the European project.

Together with Andrew Duff, Honorary President of the Union of European Federalists, former MEP, author of "Pandora, Penelope, Polity: How to change the European Union", Richard Youngs, Senior associate at Carnegie Europe, author of "Europe's democracy trilemma" and Julien Zalc, Consultant for TNS Opinion and contributor to the Robert Schuman Foundation, author of the study "Overcoming the democratic breakdown in the European Union", federalists explored some of the questions listed below:

- What do the European citizens really think of the European Union and the Eurozone?
- Are we really on the verge of democratic breakdown?
- Can Europe really just wait and hope for better times or is there a need for better answers?
- Can the democracy deficit and the government gap be addressed with quick fixes or do they require a deep overhaul of the EU's and the Eurozone's architectures?
- Are the democracy deficit and the government gap two faces of the same coin or are they two separate challenges?
- Can national democracy and sovereignty survive the emergence of a European democracy and government?
- What do "European democracy" and "European government" really mean?

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