UCL European Institute


Bailing Out Politics: EU Democracy and Legitimacy in Crisis?

30 April 2012, 12:00 am

Event Information

Open to


30 April 2012

Date and Time:
Monday, 30 April 2012, 5.30pm

Residence of the Belgian Ambassador
36 Belgrave Square
London SW1X 8QB

Admission strictly by registration only. For RSVP details see below.

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Organised in the framework of the Ambassador's "Belgian Salon" Series

In cooperation with the Centre for European Reform and the Policy Network.

The current sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone has already had a devastating economic effect on the EU Member States. It has also begun to have ramifications for the very basis on which the Member States and the Union found their democratic and constitutional principles. The debate about the Union's deficiencies in democratic accountability and legitimacy is far from new. Yet in the current circumstances, it has arguably reached a new, qualitatively different, stage. On the one hand, current crisis management impinges on democratic standards across Europe and impacts popular attitudes vis-à-vis EU politics. On the other hand, the debate about the "democratic deficit" has gained a new urgency in face of a strong pressure towards further EU integration as the only solution out of the crisis. These two elements are interrelated and need to be addressed in terms of the way each influences the other. Paralleling the debate on democracy in and of the EU is a debate on national sovereignty. One claim has been that transfers of national sovereignty to the EU offer a way of overcoming the erosion of sovereignty by markets. Yet, if the use of this power is simply to enforce strict budgetary discipline by the ECB and the Commission, then little is gained by way of enhanced democratic accountability - indeed much may have been lost. A second issue for debate, therefore, is whether greater economic integration can be achieved without not only undermining democracy at the national level but also failing to replace it at the EU level.

Come and join us!


3.30-5pm: Closed workshop
with academics, policy analysts, MEPs and former European Parliament officials will precede the public panel discussion.
A briefing paper/report will be published after the event.

Supported by the Erasmus Academic Network LISBOAN, Teaching and researching the Lisbon Treaty.

Public Panel Discussion

5.30pm Arrival of guests
5.40 pm Welcome by Ambassador Verbeke
5.45pm Introduction of Guest Speakers:
Lord Liddle (Chairman, Policy Network)
  Charles Grant (Director Center for European Reform)
  Dr Philippe De Backer (Member of the European Parliament)
  Professor Richard Bellamy (Director, UCL European Institute)
  Professor Kalypso Nicolaïdis (University of Oxford)
6.15pm Debate
7pm Reception

The "Belgian Salons" are a series of events organized by the Belgian Embassy in London addressing issues of common interest in an innovative and critical perspective. 


Please RSVP to Ann Willems at the Embassy of Belgium to the UK.

Phone: 020 7470 3720; Email: ann.willems@diplobel.fed.be