What Kind of Legitimacy for the EU?

  • Justus Schönlau
Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics book series (PSEUP)


This book looks at the drafting of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights as a political act to improve the legitimacy of the European Union. In order to assess whether this initiative had positive effects on the EU’s legitimacy, and more specifically, what such effects could be, it is necessary to understand why the European Union is commonly seen as suffering from a legitimacy deficit. This chapter discusses the EU’s particular problems in being accepted as a legitimate polity by its people over the years, and it looks at the political reaction to these problems by different actors in the integration process. It is argued that, because of certain structural properties of the EU as a polity in the process of formation (i.e. the indeterminacy of its boundaries, its functional scope, its membership, and its internal mechanisms), legitimacy has been an issue in the integration process for at least three decades.


Member State Maastricht Treaty European Citizenship Legitimate Polity Citizenship Practice 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Justus Schönlau 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Justus Schönlau
    • 1
  1. 1.European ParliamentBrusselsBelgium

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