The Issue of Democratic Deficit and the Idea of a Common European Ethos

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    • Presentation speakers
      • Ahmet Nuri Yurdusev, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey


    It is a common place view that the European Union is democratically deficient and this is sometimes explained by the fact that there is no common European ethos like the one we find in nation-states, namely the nation. This paper takes the issue with this prevalent view and questions its validity. To begin with, it briefly recapitulates the concept and practice of democracy and makes the point that democracy has to do with procedure rather than substance. The paper then dwells on the idea of a common ethos and elucidates it as part of human collective identifications and relates it to substance rather than procedure. It concludes with the argument that the so-called democratic deficit of the EU cannot be explained with reference to the absence of a common European ethos.