October 02, 2023

A Sovereign European Union Must Answer to the People

Recent events have exposed two key weaknesses of the European Union. First, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine illustrated the bloc’s dependence on countries outside of it in strategic areas such as energy and defense, prompting calls for greater “European sovereignty.” Second, the “Qatargate” influence-buying scandal and subsequent failure to make sufficient reforms laid bare the deficit of accountability in EU institutions, where decision-makers have scant requirements to faithfully represent the interests of citizens.

Insufficient action to address its accountability deficit undermines the European Union’s Westphalian sovereignty and, consequently, its domestic sovereignty.

Although these defects may seem unrelated, they are in fact inextricably linked. Until the European Union’s representation problems are fixed, the bloc is unlikely to succeed in bolstering its sovereignty—as citizens will push back against Brussels’s perceived illegitimate power grabs. With European Parliament elections around the corner in 2024 and a more treacherous geopolitical environment highlighted by the war in Ukraine, waiting for this inevitable backlash is not an option.

Read the full article from Lawfare.

  • Podcast
    • June 7, 2024
    Richard Fontaine and Hal Brands Discuss the Axis of Upheaval

    The effects of Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine are reverberating far beyond Ukraine’s borders. Perhaps most fundamentally, Putin’s invasion has catalyzed deepening cooperation...

    By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend, Richard Fontaine & Hal Brands

  • Podcast
    • June 5, 2024
    EU Enlargement: Future Prospects and Current Challenges

    Brussels is pushing to begin formal membership talks with Ukraine and Moldova at the end of June as Hungary continues its oppostition; the newly passed "foreign agent law" in ...

    By Nicholas Lokker

  • Podcast
    • May 29, 2024
    Georgia's Democracy Crisis

    On 14 May Georgia’s parliament passed a controversial law that requires media and nonprofit groups to register as “pursuing the interests of a foreign power” if they receive m...

    By Andrea Kendall-Taylor & Jim Townsend

  • Podcast
    • May 24, 2024
    Brussels Sprouts Presents: A Discussion with the Swedish and Estonian Ministers of Defense

    As Russia’s war in Ukraine progresses into its third year, there are questions in some parts of the NATO alliance about how long the West can sustain its support for Kyiv and ...

    By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Kate Johnston, Pål Jonson & Hanno Pevkur

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia