After 70 years of unprecedented socioeconomic integration, the EU continues to evolve through processes that largely marginalize citizens’ input. It remains virtually impossible for an EU citizen – not to mention its residents – to express his/her desire for a change in the Union’s direction and hold its institutions accountable. If the post-Lisbon EU has constitutionally embraced a model of democracy under which citizen participation forms an additional source of legitimacy for the Union in its day-to-day decision-making, this has not translated into a major transformation in how citizens participate in the Union’s democratic life, on EU Election Day and beyond. This is concretely due to the absence of both a pan-EU electoral party system and pan-EU public sphere. This research project examines existing reform proposals and suggests new ones aimed at democratizing the EU project at a critical time for the continent.
Alberto Alemanno is the Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Law at HEC Paris and visiting professor at the College of Europe in Bruges. One of the leading voices on Europe’s democratization, his research has been centered on how the law may be used to counter social, health, economic, and political disparities of access within society. He is also permanent visiting professor at the University of Tokyo School of Public Policy. Due to his commitment to bridging the gap between academic research and policy action, he has established The Good Lobby, a nonprofit whose mission is to equalize access to power, by enhancing the advocacy capacity of civil society.
Alemanno is a regular contributor to Le Monde, The Guardian, Politico Europe, Bloomberg, and Euronews. His book Lobbying for Change: Find Your Voice to Create a Better Society (2017) provides a conceptual and do-it-yourself guide enabling ordinary citizens to speak up and inform policy decisions at the local, national, and international level.