Democratizing the European Union?

Democratizing Europe Event - Aston Centre for Europe

Friday 19 March 2010

Adrian Cadbury Lecture Theatre, Aston Business School

An Aston Centre for Europe event

European elections and the entry into force of a new institutional regime under the Lisbon Treaty over the course of 2009 are likely to have significant ramifications for European politics over the next few years.

One aim of the Lisbon Treaty was to democratize the European Union, in part through an increased role for the European Parliament, but also by allowing national parliaments in the Member States the right to give opinions on draft European legislation. Yet in the thirty years since direct elections began, most Europeans have paid little attention to the work of the European Parliament. Combining the perspectives of politicians and academic experts, our evening seminar discusses whether there is a democratic deficit in Europe and whether we should care about it – or not. We also intend to discuss the challenges that the EU faces in the coming decade across a wider range of policy areas, such as the internal market, migration, foreign policy, enlargement and so on.


  • 16:00 - Welcome to the Aston Centre for Europe
Prof John Gaffney, Co-Director of the Aston Centre for Europe
  • 16:05 -  Democratizing the European Union? The Role of the European Parliament
Prof Simon Hix, London School of Economics. Chair: Dr Nathaniel Copsey (Aston Centre for Europe)
  • 17:15 - The European Parliament and Policy Challenges for the Next Decade: A Roundtable Discussion
Chair: David Harley (Former Deputy Secretary General, European Parliament)

Speakers: Gisela Stuart MEP, Malcolm Harbour MEP, Phil Bennion (Liberal Democrat MEP candidate) and Prof Simon Hix (London School of Economics).

  • 18:45 - Reception

Further information and bookings

For further information and to book a place, please email