Representing Europeans: A Pragmatic Approach

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Representing Europeans takes a fresh and quizzical look at the problems facing the European Union. Bringing decades of experience to bear on the deep, structural problems currently facing the EU, Richard Rose spells out why it can no longer carry on with integration by stealth. Extraordinary challenges — such as saving the Eurozone and maintaining the free movement of peoples — now impose high-profile economic and political costs. These create huge political strains which EU institutions struggle to cope with. Rose shows the ways in which Europe's institutions do and do not represent its citizens, sometimes equally and sometimes unequally. This threatens worse crises of EU authority because people retain the power as national citizens to protest against their government making commitments in Brussels that they do not accept. The book's pragmatic approach rejects the assumption that more European integration is the solution for all of Europes problems. Likewise, it rejects UK withdrawal from the European Union because Britain cannot stop the world and get off. Instead, it suggests a pragmatic approach that asks about proposals emanating from Brussels: What problem does it address? How will this policy work? What are its visible costs and benefits? Instead of 'one size fits all' policies being imposed on 27 diverse countries, Rose recommends that enhanced European cooperation should be based on coalitions of the willing. Moreover, the active use of pan-European referendums on major reforms can test popular commitment to EU treaties that permanently advance European integration. Both European federalists and diehard Eurosceptics will alternately agree and disagree with the argument of this book. But they cannot ignore the challenge it raises to pay more attention to the concerns of the half a billion Europeans whom they claim to represent.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages176
ISBN (Print)978-0-19-965476-5
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2013


  • European Union
  • European politics
  • policy


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