ISSUE: 2/2007

  • Volume 42
  • Number 2
  • 2007


Studia Europejskie –
Studies in European Affairs

ISSN: 1428-149X
e-ISSN: 2719-3780

Ccbync License


Articles published in the journal are under a Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial – No Derivatives 4.0 International License

Przebudowa instytucjonalna Unii Europejskiej wobec potrzeb legitymacji

Institutional reconstruction of the European Union and the legitimacy issue


The European Union’s political system is unique, differing from classic international as well and domestic organizations systems. Its peculiarity has to be taken into account when discussing its model of legitimization. Such a proposal was introduced by Beetham and Lord, who defined a model of legitimization of the EU political system as Multi-Level Political System. This essentially consists in basing the issue of legitimacy upon national factors (direct legitimization model) and, at the same time, upon international organization (indirect legitimization model, via Member States). On the other hand, legitimization may and should be ensured on each level of the system operation, i.e. on sub-national (regional) one as well as on national and supranational ones.
Each dimension of the European Union’s legitimization – namely, legality, democratization, identity and efficacy – is essential. All of them should serve achieving subsequent levels of legitimacy. In order to achieve the legality level, legalistic dimension of legitimacy must be ensured and so on. The dimension of legality seems to include both formal and material elements (lawful conclusion of the founding treaties) and their conformity with fundamental statutes of Member States. Establishing the scope of democratic dimension requires assumption of a specific catalogue of criteria that have to be met by a multi-level political system so that it would achieve a normative justification. This concerns, above all, rules of democratic accountability, democratic equality and democratic representation. The presence of these rules in this catalogue is additionally strengthened by a uniform concept of European citizenship. An identity dimension of legitimacy may concern both an ethnic and cultural identity, connected with a common system of values and “cosmopolitan” identity, involving common foundation of constitutional system and common space of political debate. The analysis of assumptions of the Constitutional Treaty proves that the latter possibility has been chosen. The effectiveness dimension will be fulfilled when the EU institutions will achieve optimum effectiveness in implementing the EU objectives and solving problems that may occur. Ensuring an optimum effectiveness of the institutions should be an additional criterion and democratic essence of the system shouldn’t be interfered with.

Language: Polish

Pages: 33-55

How to Cite:


Pawłowski, J. (2007) "Przebudowa instytucjonalna Unii Europejskiej wobec potrzeb legitymacji". Studia Europejskie – Studies in European Affairs, 2/2007, pp. 33-55.