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Europe: Project and Process

Citizens, Democracy, Participation


Susana del Río Villar

With this book the author wants to convey the relevance of two vectors that are part of the European integration and the EU’s personality: the value to be both project and process. The key themes of the book are European supranational democracy; the participation of the civil society in the EU; the interaction between European citizens and the European institutions; education as a key element of active citizenship; solidarity, participation, and communication «in European»; and the necessary formulation of what Dr. Susana del Rio calls: a new European politics, where a shared responsibility is fundamental to the achievement of a quality European democracy. The author emphasizes that, to restore public credibility in politics, representative democracy has to lead the way, as representative democracy is complemented by participatory democracy.
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Jaume Duch Guillot, Director for Media and Spokesman. European Parliament


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Director for Media and Spokesman European Parliament

Doctor Susana del Río’s book is unique. I am obviously not referring to the number of copies published, but the fact that the chosen topic has hardly been an object of study until now, even less so with the depth and academic rigour that characterise this book from the first page to the last.

There are many works dedicated to the constitutional reform of the European Union, especially ones focusing on the draft European Constitution and in the resulting Treaty of the European Union which we now know as the Treaty of Lisbon. Some of these – few – delve not only into the result, but also the process that made it possible. Their authors are often some of the very protagonists of these processes, members of the Convention that drew up the draft Constitution or academics and journalists that followed the work being done very closely.

On the other hand, nothing, or very little has been written on citizen participation and yet, this is a crucial aspect in order to understand the almost ten years that have passed between the convening of the Convention for the drafting of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon. Doctor del Río’s book reviews the role played by organised civil society during these years from the first debates on fundamental...

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