Are Referendums a simple cure for the EU’s democratic deficit?


"It is often argued that national referendums on EU matters can be a cure for the democratic deficit of the EU and its policies. But what can we learn from a country like Switzerland about how and when direct democracy works? Eva Thomann (University of Exeter), Isabelle Stadelmann-Steffen (Universität Bern), and Eva G. Heidbreder (Universität Magdeburg) conclude that referendums in the EU usually lack the necessary institutional and administrative links between direct and representative decision-making to have legitimacy-enhancing effects."1

Referendums are not a simple cure for the EU’s democratic deficit.


Would you agree?


You can read all about the discussion in Eva Heidbreder's paper:

Heidbreder, E. G., Stadelmann-Steffen, I., Thomann, E. and Sager, F. (2019) 'EU Referendums in Context: What can we learn from the Swiss Case?'. Public Administration Vol. 97: 2, pp. 370-83.

Or check out this interesting blog post by LSE on the topic.


 Quote taken from

Letzte Änderung: 15.12.2020 - Ansprechpartner: Webmaster