Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

Mill, referendums, and EU democracy

More from me at dLiberation – On referendums, looking at the motives and practicalities of a referendum on the reform treaty, and Mill and EU democracy, using a long-dead liberal to explore the problem of rational ignorance in the construction of a pan-European demos. (Hark at me, with my proto-academic pretensions…)


  1. J Clive Matthews, if the European Union had a democratic constitution, it would have known leaders, accountable government and real European parties. Plus more media interest.

    The Union’s citizens might not, on average, be as involved as in, say, the fate of their football club, but would recognise that they had themselves to blame for their vote (or abstention) in the European Parliament elections.

    Only the citizens of Europe can be the fount of legitimate power in the EU.

    One day we will find European level democracy as self-evident as local, regional and national democracy in today’s Europe.

    Translation is the language of Europe, Umberto Eco has coined. The media can cover the same events in many languages, and most politically active people are able to communicate in some common language.

    The European Union is bigger than the US but smaller than India, and much more interconnected than the latter.

    National democracy was the struggle for large parts of 19th century Europe; democracy at the European level the task for the 21st century.

    Ralf Grahn

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