- 日本EU学会年報 (ISSN:18843123)
- vol.2019, no.39, pp.1-19, 2019-06-20 (Released:2021-06-20)
Abstract During the last decade, Europe has experienced consecutive crises, beginning with the Great Recession, followed by the Euro crisis, the refugee crisis, and the rise of populism, the latter of which has successfully combined Euroscepticism and xenophobia. Before answering whether the pessimistic scenario that liberal democratic Europe will backslide or the optimistic scenario whereby more integration can be achieved through crisis is accurate, we should examine how the phases of politicization and the democratic deficit in Europe have been transformed. Peter Mair indicates that the emergence of a non-political polity in Europe (a sedated giant) has hollowed out opposition, both at the national and the European level. This article focuses on the de-politicization of Europeanization as the background of the present crisis in accordance with the work of Mair. However, the dynamic changes in politicization and de-politicization are also central to the discussion. As studies of politicization (Gary Marks and Liesbet Hooghe; Swen Hutter, Edgar Grande, and Hanspeter Kriesi) have observed, conflicts over European integration exist and are growing. Quantitative studies have also shown to what extent economic crises can lead to the politicization of integration and Euroscepticism. Based on such studies, this article distinguishes three stages of politicization/democratic deficit within the development of European integration. The first stage, politicization/democratic deficit 1.0, was shaped by technocratic governance, which, as per the intentions of national political elites, insulated European integration from public politics. The second, politicization/democratic deficit 2.0, made room for public debate on European integration and introduced national referenda, while the political mainstream contained or marginalized any opposition. The third stage, politicization/democratic deficit 3.0, is characterized by higher electoral volatility that undermines the dominance of mainstream parties. There are furious debates regarding Europe in present member states. These centrifugal effects have led to a renewed democratic deficit in the sense that the present state of politicization is losing sight of any stable solution, as is also suggested by the data analyses given in the last section of the article. The conclusions of this article support neither the scenario of backsliding nor that of integration by crisis but identify a new phase in politicization/democratic deficit that is spinning out standoffs in a multilevel politics across Europe.