On the surface, the EP offers a less obvious fit with this demoi-cratic arrangement. The wording of Article 10 suggests the existence of a European demos in stating that European citizens are represented directly in the EP. However, Union citizenship derives from being a national of a member state and is ‘additional to national citizenship and shall not replace it’ (Art 9 TEU) , a characteristic I shall defend in the next chapter. As I remarked in chapter 3, the derivative and additional character of this status is reflected in the way seats are allocated within the EP by member state rather than simply by population, employing the principle of ‘degressive proportionality’, with a minimum threshold of 6 seats for the smallest MS and a maximum of 96 for the largest (Art 14.2 TEU). The official rationality behind this arrangement has been to ensure that the range of political opinion found in even the less populous member states gets represented. Indeed, European parties do not mobilise a pan-European electorate, but are rather groupings of national parties within the Parliament. As the German Federal Constitutional Court noted in its Lisbon judgment (2BvE 2/08: para. 286), the EP’s allocation formula is testimony to the absence of a European demos and the need adequately to represent each of the European demoi. Therefore, the EP can also be conceived as an institutional embodiment of European demoi-cracy. Again, giving domestic political parties more of an interest in EU affairs by enforcing their role through NPs will hopefully have the effect of ensuring that MEPs maintain a closer relation to MPs. Involving NPs and national parties in the representative structures of the EU can improve the democratic legitimacy of decisions that are not Pareto optimal, but have the wider European interest in view; while enhancing the scrutiny of national governments and subjecting them to greater accountability when they engage in the definition of what the European interest entails. They create the basis for a European civicity, whereby national demoi may construct shared interests in ways characterised by equal respect and concern.
Conclusion This chapter has argued that the EU is caught between a weak form of ‘thick’ representative democracy at the supranational level, based on an ontology of solidarity, and a strong form of ‘thin’ representative democracy among the member states, based on an ontology of singularity. Strengthening the former is implausible, but leaves the EU unable to articulate a European interest that goes beyond the mutual interests of the member states. I have proposed overcoming this impasse by making member state representatives more authorised and accountable on EU affairs via an improved dialogue with their NPs. In this way, the EU political system might develop the resources of an ontology of civicity within and between its component demoi. It remains to explore the implications of this arrangement for Union citizenship and the differentiation of EU policy-making and law in chapters 5 and 6 respectively.
Ch. 5 Union Citizenship