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Title: Legitymizacja systemu instytucjonalnego Unii Europejskiej
Authors: Kubin, Tomasz
Keywords: Unia Europejska; prawo międzynarodowe; legitymizacja władzy Kraje Unii Europejskiej
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Abstract: The book contains a thorough analysis of the European Union institutional system as a specific, sui generis international organisation, in the context of its legitimization (its validity and legitimacy). The book is mainly theoretical. Primarily, the author aims at presenting a reliable depiction of the EU institutional system legitimization through the prism of the theoretical output concerning legitimization of the political power, including and accentuating the indicated specificity of the EU as a distinct international organisation. Secondly, he took into consideration the changes introduced into the legal foundations of the EU functioning, pursuant to the Lisbon Treaty – the latest treaty reforming the structures of the Union. In the context of the main theme of the present study, these changes are important not only in terms of the EU institutions themselves, i.e. their competences and reciprocal relations, but also with regard to the fundamental change of the legal character of the EU, and the alterations introduced into the individual Union politics. Thirdly, the author attempts to present the problem of the EU institutional system legitimization in the special circumstances, i.e. in the situation of the most profound economic crisis that the EU members have faced since the beginning of the integration process. The EU is regarded as a specific structure, being neither a state nor a typical international organisation. Such an approach was the starting point for the main premise of the present book – the idea that the thesis about the deficiency of democracy in the EU, formulated in the literature on the subject and in the public debate, is a certain simplification, and the characteristic features of the EU and its institutions, which provoked the formulation of such a thesis, should be considered in a broader context, such as the problem of the EU institutional system legitimization and, alternatively, the deficiency of that legitimization. For the direct democratic legitimization is only one of many sources of legitimacy of the EU institutional system and of the Union as a specific international organisation in general – an extremely important source, perhaps the most important, yet not the only one. Thus, the legitimization of the EU and its institutions should be analysed in a broader perspective, which also includes other sources of legitimization – as it is done in case of every political power which, striving for its legitimization to be as strong as possible, attempts to derive it from the largest number of sources. According to the author of the book, to base the EU institutional system legitimization only on the grounds of the direct democratic legitimization characteristic of a democratic state, would be tantamount to a certain disruption of the right order. It would rather be a symptom of too advanced an integration on the “institutional” level in comparison to the extent of the “material” integration. Until the EU is a structure sui generis, in which case it is a combination of features characteristic of an intergovernmental, international organisation, a supranational organisation or a state, the nature of legitimization of this structure should also be specific. The most important role should be played by the democratic legitimization, which should be completed with other sources, owing to which the functioning of the EU institutional system, and the whole EU, could be recognised as legally valid. Apart from the main thesis also other theses and hypotheses are posed in the book. The first chapter is a certain theoretical introduction and a basis to the deliberations presented in the further parts of this study. In the first subsection, with reference to the literature on the subject, the problem of legitimization (legitimacy) of the political power, i.e. the concept, classifications and sources of legitimization (legitimacy) of the political power, have been synthetically depicted. In another part of chapter one, the author attempts to relate the problem of legitimization to the EU as a specific international organisation and to formulate his own definition of legitimization deficiency with regard to EU institutional system. Bearing in mind that the problem of legitimization deficiency in the EU (EC) has not been discussed on a larger scale until certain stage of development of integration process was reached, in 1.3. subsection, the author raises some questions concerning: the sufficiency of legitimization of the integration process during the first few decades after the Second World War, the grounds for that legitimization and the reasons why, at a certain stage of the EU (EC) development the legitimization of the Union’s institutional system started to be considered insufficient, which was manifested in the opinions acknowledging the democracy and legitimization deficiency. The first chapter ends with a passage devoted to the importance of the EU institutional system legitimization, whereas the significance of legitimization to the political power and political institutions in general, consitutes its reference point. The second chapter (subsections 2.3.–2.8.) presents a synthesis of the evolution of the EU (EC) institutional system in the context of its legitimization, from the moment of the EC founding treaties ratification, till the time the changes pursuant to the Lisbon Treaty were introduced. The author focused here mainly on the competences of the particular EC (EU) institutions and their reciprocal relations, which should make it possible to observe two main tendencies in the dynamics of changes taking place in this field, and present its specificity and distinctiveness in comparison to the systems of democratic states. At the beginning of this chapter, a thesis has been formulated (simultaneously, becoming an extension of the attempt to determine why, at a certain stage of the integration process, the issue of democracy/legitimization deficiency started to be discussed – a question that was raised in the first chapter), which states that the legitimization of the EU institutional system will be sufficient, if the law regulations and political practice of their functioning are convergent with the level of advancement of the integration process in various spheres of social life; in other words, the “institutional” integration should correspond with the “material” integration (that is the Union politics). To that end, the author made an attempt to present, in a synthetized form, the development of the “material” integration (subsection 2.1.), which he completed with an analogical endeavour to illustrate the evolution of the EU (EC) institutional system in the context of its legitimization (subsection 2.9). For in accordance with the increasingly common approach, the EU institutions are treated as a system, the concept and principles of which have been presented in 2.2. subsection. In the third chapter, the author presents the EU institutional system in its current form, that is with the changes introduced under the Lisbon Treaty. Here, the selected aspects regarding competences and functioning of the particular EU institutions have been depicted, as well as the relations between them in the context of legitimization. Additionally, three selected problems regarding the EU institutional system have been raised, which are especially important in the context of its legitimization (the relation between the EU institutional system and the institutions of the EU member states, the question of transparency in the functioning of the EU institutions, as well as the Union budgets in the consecutive years). In the last subsection (3.9.) the specific features of the EU institutional system, significant in the context of its legitimization, have been identified. The fourth chapter is devoted to the functioning of the EU institutional system in the perspective of four basic sources of its legitimization, i.e. indirect and technocratic, direct and democratic, utilitarian, and one consisting of “values”. The chapter ends with a conclusion outlining the specificity of the EU and its institutional system with regard to the sources of its legitimization, which is especially important in the context of the book’s main thesis. The fifth chapter concerns the problem of legitimization of the EU institutions in the context of the economic crisis, which the EU member states struggle with since around the year 2008. The sixth chapter, in turn, regards the so called subjective (empirical, social) dimension of the EU institutions’ legitimization, that is, the way this problem is perceived by the citizens of the EU member states. It has been based on the results of opinion polls conducted for the use of Eurobarometer, from among which these questions and answers were selected, which could be applied to illustrate the way the EU citizens perceive the Union institutions in the context of their legitimization. The closing remarks include the most important conclusions drawn from the conducted analyses and the potential reforms and modifications of the EU institutional system, which may allow for the reinforcement of its legitimization, primarily in its democratic aspect. The bibliography contains a list of sources which were cited and referred to in the book.
ISBN: 9788380122475
Appears in Collections:Książki/rozdziały (WNS)

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