24 March 2015 | Brussels

What is the real problem facing the European Union and the Eurozone and how can it be fixed?

On the 24 March 2015 the Union of European Federalists hosted a debate at the European Union Information Office in Belgium. Andrew DUFF, UEF Honorary President, former MEP and author of Pandora, Penelope, Polity: How to change the European Union was joined by 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. The debate was moderated by UEF Secretary General Paolo VACCA.

The panelists focused on how the EU and Eurozone in particular are facing a crisis of democratic legitimacy with Eurosceptic and nationalist parties and movements are on the rise across Europe. They considered how the much needed strengthening of the Eurozone's governance was creating increasing tension with national democratic processes and national sovereignty and how increased powers for the European Union and the Eurozone have not been accompanied by an increase in democratic legitimacy.

The following questions were discussed:

  • What do 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?

You can download the debate's report here.

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