Communicating Europe: From Procedural Transparency to Grand Forum
Transparency seen originally as an administrative practice rather than as a political practice at the core of democratic practice, slams into the debate on the nature and contours of post-parliamentary debate about a supranational system where formal and substantive democracy is contested, as much if not more so than inside the member states. Advocacy of transparency implies that communication about ‘Europe’, what the EU is ‘doing’ is essential to sustaining democratic governance. Transparency is used in the EU for different ends all associated with an overarching goal of communicating to citizens as part of a process to enhance democratic governance in an enlarging EU. The tactical use of ‘transparency’ relates most closely to the idea of making the EU accessible, visible and close to its citizens – initially to counter traditional scapegoating by member governments of the Commission. This converges with procedural aspects of public access to documents. The strategic use of transparency conflates it with constitutionalisation in the EU, and with normative values and ideals central to democratic governance.
KeywordsMember State Public Access Democratic Governance Democratic Legitimacy Direct Election
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