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date: 30 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers the nature and quality of representation in the European Union by examining the dual paths of representation available to European citizens: the direct path of electing representatives to the European Parliament and the indirect path of electing national parliamentarians, and in turn governments, who represent national interests in the Council. Both paths matter if we want to understand representation in the European Union. The chapter examines the extent to which each of these channels facilitates substantive policy representation in the EU. It explores the quality of the selection and sanctioning processes in European Parliament and national elections, and examines citizens’ attitudes towards democracy at both levels of government. It concludes that, while representation in the EU is imperfect, it reflects the hybrid nature of the EU’s political system and is still undergoing significant change as the EU evolves and its policymaking is becoming more politicized domestically.

Keywords: council, democracy, elections, European Parliament, European Union, representation

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