Volume 48 (2011) / Issue 6
Participation in EU governance has been largely kept outside the realm of law. Article 11 TEU has the potential to change this status quo, despite the fact that, with the exception of the European citizens' initiative, it represents more the recognition of previous institutional practices than an innovation proper. This contribution presents a normative interpretation of Article 11 TEU and analyses the implications of the distinct transformation this Treaty article postulates: the transition from participation based on a logic of participatory governance to participation that concretizes democracy as a "value" or a founding principle of the Union, and that responds to the respective normative yardsticks, such as equality and transparency. This is the main challenge posed by Article 11 TEU. While acknowledging that law is not the only way of giving effect to the prescriptions of this Treaty article, this contribution discusses the role of law in operating the normative shift mentioned. It analyses why different EU institutions may be urged to reconsider the role of law with regard to participation, in view not only of Article 11 TEU - as law may be needed to guarantee the conditions that ensure participation as a source of democratic legitimacy in the EU - but also of other Treaty provisions.
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