European integration, European Union, representation, legitimacy
The central idea of the thesis 'Shaping the New Europe: Interest Representation in the European Union' is that the category of representation is suited to analysing the legitimacy of the EU against the current background of the ongoing enlargement and globalisation. Accordingly, the theoretical part first deals with the parameters of the Union's legitimacy and shows how the Union's legitimacy is related to representation. It then proceeds on to explaining the different aspects and meanings of the concept of representation throughout European history and finally demonstrates how we might conceptualise representation by non-state actors (i.e. partial interest groups, or civil society). Drawing on this theoretical background the applied part of the study analyses both institutional interest representation in the European Union and the participation of interest groups in European decision-making. Overall the study is located in the field of political science but also draws largely on political theory and legal thinking.
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