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The European Economic and Social Committee: towards deliberative democracy via a functional assembly

  • Smismans, Stijn
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    The scarce literature on the European Economic and Social Committee has mostly paid attention to its institutional position and any influence it may have. Contrary to such an �output approach� this article focuses on the �input� of the ESC, i.e. its representative role. It argues that the ESC was set up by the Rome Treaty to ensure the agreement of the main socio-economic actors in what was predominantly an elite-driven and technocratic European project. Though the increasing involvement of the European Communities in more policy domains has led to increased powers for the European Parliament as a source of legitimisation for the European polity, this has not pre-empted the representative role of the ESC. The ESC provides a forum for functional representation in addition to legitimacy based on territorial representation. Conceptualised as a form of �deliberative democracy via a functional assembly�, the role of the ESC is defined not only vis-à-vis the Parliament but also vis-à-vis other forms of functional participation.

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    Article provided by European Community Studies Association Austria (ECSA-A) in its journal European Integration online Papers (EIoP).

    Volume (Year): 4 (2000)
    Issue (Month): (09)
    Pages:

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    Handle: RePEc:erp:eiopxx:p0055
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    1. Renaud Dehousse, 1998. "European Institutional Architecture after Amsterdam: Parliamentary System or Regulatory Structure?," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 11, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
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