Yves Meny


Democracy and democratization at the European level have long been a non-problem. The issues related to democracy after the Second World War were purely national (would Italy and Germany finally be able to build up and consolidate their new democratic systems?) or international (would the Western-type democracies be able to resist and counterweight the Soviet-style Eastern European regimes?). When the first foundations of what would become the European Union ("EU") were laid down, very few had a democratic vision in mind. The then-dominant concerns were both economic (how to facilitate the reconstruction of Europe while avoiding again the economic and military domination of Germany over the continent) and security-related (how to strengthen the Atlantic alliance and reintegrate Germany in the defense of the West). Only a few idealist visionaries were dreaming of a democratized and united Europe, but few others were paying attention to what was perceived as intellectual fantasies.