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By Johannes W. Pichler
Pre-reflection on the ECI Conference in Vienna, Oct 5th 2012.
For the purpose of enhancing the deficient Union’s legitimacy, the “Convention
on the Future of the EU” dreamt of full direct democracy in the EU as a means
of remedy. More modest assembly members promoted at least a “Principle of
Participatory Democracy”, which was finally enshrined in the “Constitution Treaty”
(Art I 47), but then dissipated along with the disappearance of the high-flying idea of
a Constitution.
Then came the disillusioning Lisbon era. Remarkably enough, the participation
articles in the Lisbon Union Treaty’s Art 11 are exactly the same provisions in
substance with perfectly identical wording as those ornate formal “Principles”. Thus,
from a legal-sociological perspective, one could suppose that the concept of a
principle of participatory democracy is still in the current version of the Union Treaty
as well, though not expressively called by this name.
So, purely optimistic dreamers and proponents and communicators who trumpet
the EU participation message […]

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