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International Relations and the European Union

International Relations and the European Union (3rd edn)

Christopher Hill, Michael Smith, and Sophie Vanhoonacker
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date: 03 July 2022

p. 1869. Legitimate and Democratic? The European Union’s International Rolelocked

p. 1869. Legitimate and Democratic? The European Union’s International Rolelocked

  • Christopher Lord

Abstract

This chapter examines the legitimacy and democratic control of the European Union's international policies. It first explains why, with whom, and by what standards the EU's international role need to be legitimate before discussing the issue of democratic control involving the European Parliament (EP) and national parliaments. More specifically, it considers the member states' mantra that the legitimacy of EU decisions is ‘founded on the principle of representative democracy’, delivered through the representation of citizens in the EP and national democracies in the European Council, the Councils, and their own national parliaments. It also emphasizes the great variety in the EU's international policy procedures and concludes by assessing how legitimacy might enable or constrain the development of the EU as an international actor.

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