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After two succesful earlier editions, the Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance organizes an annual conference 2013. This year's conference will be devoted to the democratic foundations of the European Union, and especially Article 11 TEU. It will focus on the (possible) changes this new Article brought to the EU democratic processes, or ought to bring in view of the normative changes it entails to the EU model of democracy.

Event details of Postnational Democracy: Beyond Representation in the EU
Date 22 November 2013
Time 09:30 -17:30


The Lisbon Treaty initiated a new debate on the democratic nature of the Union. It did so by explicitly including a title on “provisions on democratic principles”, where it included both representative democracy and participatory democracy as complementary sources of democracy in the EU.

The changed legal situation crucially begs new questions. What normative consequences should follow from this double democratic foundation? Which are its institutional and legal implications? What are the opportunities that follow from Article 11 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) specifically? How does this way of conceiving ‘postnational’ democracy play out?

The goal of this conference is to take stock of the institutional and legal developments that followed the entering into force of Article 11 TEU. This Article established participatory democracy as an explicit source of democratic legitimacy complementary to representative democracy. We propose to discuss the conceptual links, the complementarities and tensions between representative democracy and participatory democracy, as they result from how they are explicitly enshrined in the Treaty. Furthermore, we will analyse the institutional implications of Article 11 TEU, by focusing on non-representative institutions. Article 11 TEU enshrined, among other provisions, a general obligation of the institutions to “give citizens and representative associations the opportunity to make known and publicly exchange their views in all areas of the Union”.  How have the duties stemming from Article 11 TEU been carried out so far by the European Council, the Court, the Court of Auditors and the European Central Bank? What have they meant for the mechanisms that the Commission had put in place to ensure the principle of participation that it included in its White Paper on Governance of 2001? Have the EU institutions drawn new inspiration from Article 11 TEU or simply used it to support (and possibly re-label) old practices? Finally, we will discuss the legal implications of Article 11 TEU, focusing on the ensuing normative consequences for non- representative decision-making procedures, i.e. those where the involvement of the Parliament is weaker. In what way does Article 11 TEU indicate the need to reform these decision-making procedures and at which level?

Speakers, discussants & chairs

  • Kenneth Armstrong, Cambridge University
  • Jürgen Bast, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen
  • Leonard Besselink, University of Amsterdam, ACELG
  • Paul Craig, University of Oxford
  • Deirdre Curtin, University of Amsterdam, ACELG
  • Erik Eriksen, University of Oslo, ARENA
  • Ian Harden, Secretary General European Ombudsman
  • Carol Harow, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Beate Kohler-Koch, University of Mannheim, BIGSS
  • Sandra Kröger, Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg / University of Exeter
  • René Smits, University of Amsterdam, ACELG
  • Bruno de Witte, University of Maastricht, EUI
  • Chiara Zilioli, European Central Bank, Deputy General Legal Counsel


Attendance of the conference is free of charge. Participants are requested to organise their own travel and accommodation.

Registration for the conference is no longer possible.

The previous ACELG Annual Conferences