Networked Democratic Diplomacy A democratic Europe needs a new kind of public diplomacy.

For several years, media outlets and independent democratic organizations have come under systematic pressure in many European countries. Minority rights are under attack. Even the independence of the judiciary is now open to question. The belief in self-correction in democratic societies continues to wane. The troublesome situation in Hungary and Poland is not just a national matter of European Union law being misapplied in specific member states. Various regulations and sanctions do offer some hope in the situation, including Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) with the EU framework for strengthening the rule of law as well as the rule of law mechanism. But will stricter monitoring and more consistent enforcement be enough? Perhaps what is missing is a consistent commitment to democratic checks and balances? In this context, Germany’s foreign and European policies need to do more to support cross-border democracy. My article in Internationale Politik Quarterly.

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Framing the midfield between citizens and EU policy actors.

Together with Elena Sandmann I recently evaluated the midfield between citizens and political stakeholder. The article sheds light on the relation between political influence of interest groups in the EU legislative process and pluralist democracy in the European system of multi-level governance. In this context, the article critically examines whether the representation of societal interests can be analytically distinguished from (corporate and private) lobbyism. It is the article’s main thesis that interest representation can only contribute to more democracy and legitimacy in the EU system of multi-level governance if all corporate, governmental, and legislative actors involved in the decision-making process commit themselves to greater transparency. Read more