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An analysis of the European public space

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Within the framework of this discussion, we share certain ideas about the relationship between the public space and political space in Europe. We also discuss the problems regarding the representation of the European public space and its use as an instrument of legitimating the institutional and political mechanism of the European Union. The stakes of the interrogation is all the more important with respect to the widening of Europe.

Ten new Member States were added on May 1, 2004: Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Tchequie. This can be regarded as a situation of ?democratic deficit'. The first part of the document consists of a theoretical approach; explanation of the need; and the challenges of the European public space. The second part is made up of empirical reproaches; exploration of the difficulties and the deficiencies of the European public space.

? The U. E. does not aim to create a European state. It has neither the ability (institutionally) nor will (politically). The ?civil society", i.e. a pan-European community, both social & moral, is based on a "relational solidarity" in the Durkheimian sense of the term, that is to say a symbolic interaction after the exchange.
? The European public space is a factor of cohesion because it creates dialogue - whether consensual or adversarial in nature - on two levels:
- Between ordinary citizens (whether or not as part of a transnational group of collective action);
- Between ordinary citizens & strategic players (socio-cultural or economic elites, leaders of party or trade union, media personalities or political, etc.)

The emergence of a "European civil society" requires that its members act as citizens - in search of the common good - & not as individuals - in search of private interests. "There is no civil association without a core of objectives shared by all, especially that of living together as a goal in itself." It assumes that one takes a global view of society, i.e. that it is considered not as a mere accumulation of the behavior of its component parts but as a complex aggregation of those it (Figure: macro-societal).

Holism is based on the paradigm under which the sum of the individual logic does not match the collective logic: voters are not free electrons.
? The European public space is a vector of consistency because it is based on the rule of the majority decision to achieve reasonable compromise. This system is a set-off of heterogeneity - including cultural & language - the European territory. Its aim is a harmonious coexistence of EU citizens.

Tags: European public space, European Union, democratic deficit, symbolic interaction, European civil society, Holism, harmonious coexistence

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