A contradictory creation indeed, the European Union has most of the institutions of a modern democracy, yet it does not function as one. Moreover, its growing scope of activity and supranational decision making processes are undermining the legitimacy of democracy in its member states. Much has been written about this double ''democratic deficit,'' but surprisingly little thought has been given to what to do about it—short of drafting and ratifying a new federal constitution.
In this provocative book, Philippe C. Schmitter explores both the possibility and the desirability of democratizing the EU. He argues that as a ''non-state'' and a ''non nation'' it will have to invent new forms of citizenship, representation, and decisionmaking if it is ever to democratize itself. The author also contends that the timing and political context work against a full-scale constitutionalization of the process. He proposes a number of modest (and some less modest) reforms that could improve the situation in the near future and eventually lead to a genuine Euro-democracy.