The European Void: the democratic deficit as a cultural deficiency. In: E. Busek (Ed.): Grenzen und Grenzüberschreitungen. Europäisch Forum Alpbach 2004. Wien: Verlag Österreich, 2005. pp. 379-387.


In the past half century, a peculiar political construct has emerged from the combination of European states: the European Union is more than a confederation but less than a federation; more than just a free-trade zone but not quite an economic whole (Therborn 2002); almost a world power but one without an army or an effective foreign policy of its own; with a common currency, the euro, but with coins that reserve a different verso for each member state.

And yet, taken together, in less than a lifetime, these are major achievements. The ambitions are even more grandiose: ever eastward. The Union, after expanding to Central and Eastern Europe, and the Baltic, one day may well come to include all of the Balkans, Turkey and, in the end, who knows, Ukraine, Georgia and even Russia.

This geographic expansion is to be managed by further political integration. The Constitutional Treaty would have elevated the Union above a mere regulatory apparatus and closer towards a federal entity, to adopt the terms proposed in the introduction to this book. Read more..