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The EU Democratic Deficit in the Eurozone Governance before and after the Eurozone Crisis: Lessons Learned or Opportunities Missed?

Alexandros Kyriakidis

The Eurozone crisis has constituted a major turning point for the Eurozone, as well as the entire EU. The way the crisis was managed has arguably been one of the major causes for the situation the EU finds today itself in: rise in populism, fragmented integration (or disintegration), etc. One of the most important problems has been the impact of the management of the crisis on the EU Democratic Deficit; that is on the ability (or perceived ability) of EU citizens to influence the decision-making at the supranational level. The aim of this paper is to conduct a pre-post comparison of the Eurozone governance framework vis-à-vis the EU Democratic Deficit. How did democratic processes across Eurozone governance work before the crisis and how do they operate after it. It is found that, although some advances have been undertaken in terms of democratic input, the escalation in the ability of supranational actors to influence key national policies after the crisis has not been matched by an equal increase in the ability of EU citizens to affect the decision-making process. In other words, the new Eurozone governance framework distanced EU citizens from the supranational level even more, missing the opportunity to take a brave step forward on combating the EU Democratic Deficit.

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