EU: A Political System but not a State
Strasbourg European Parliament
Democratic political systems consist of four main elements:
- There is a stable and clearly defined set of institutions for collective decision-making and a set of rules governing relations between and within theses institutions.
- Citizens and social groups seek to realize their political desires through the political system, either directly or through intermediary organizations such as interest groups and political parties.
- Collective decisions in the political system have a significant impact on the distribution of economic resources and the allocation of social and political values across the whole system.
- There is continuous interaction (feedback) between these political outputs, new demands on the system, new decisions and so on.
To understand how the European Union (EU) works we need to think about it in a more structured, systematic and scientific way.
As in all systems, in the EU system policy outcomes are the result of strategic interaction between the actors.
At the micro level, research on the EU has produced some important findings on the relationship between actors and their institutional environment. In particular the development and operation of the EU seems to confirm the core assumptions of the “institutional rational choice” and “historical institucionalist” approaches in political sciences.
At the macro level, the EU shows that a highly developed political system can emerge without the full-blown apparatus of the State or strong popular support and mass political participation. The key reasons are the single market, the single currency, regulatory rather than distributive policies, and limited encroachment into traditional areas of state power (internal and external security).
The related policies tend to be positive-sum rather than zero-sum: there are few clear losers in the EU political system.
If the outcomes were highly redistributive, the EU would require a greater use of force to impose its policies and a greater degree of democratic participation to legitimize redistributive outcomes.
(Simon Hix - The political system of the European Union - Macmillan, London 2005)
claro, e as dores do viver não são mais que a voz do Universo, que nos fala, gentil.