JMCE Round Table Discussion "Between Lobbying and Civic Participation: New Opportunities for European Democracy after the Treaty of Lisbon"

June 23 2011, Representation of the European Commission in Germany, Berlin

In collaboration with the Netzwerk Europäische Bewegung Deutschland e.V. (European Movement Germany)


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Continuing the tradition of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence to regularly organize public discussions of recent questions on the European Union, this round table was a special opportunity to discuss the centre's major concern: the changing relationship between the EU and its citizens. JMCE Academic Coordinator Prof. Dr. Tanja A. Börzel presented introductory observations and moderated the discussion with the following participants:



The discussion was mainly concerned with the chances for the EU-democracy and for civic participation in Europe based on the legal and institutional changes the Lisbon Treaty brought with it. The panellists discussed the different components of the EU-democracy model (representative, associative, deliberative) and anlysed the problems and challenges within the relationship between the EU and its citizens.


The discussion was preceeded by an opening statement by Prof. Dr. Calliess, in which he outlined the current situation from a legal point of view. 


After the opening statement by Prof. Dr. Calliess and a discussion between all panellists on stage, the audience had the word for questions and comments. The following issues were of most interest to th people:


  • concrete changes in the Lisbon Treaty relating to EU-democracy,
  • the regulations and functioning as well as the chances and dangers of the newly created European Citizens' Initiative,
  • regulations and restrictions for lobbying groups as well as the potential problems of transperency and power imbalances related to these groups, and
  • chances of success for a wider and more intense civic participation in the future.


The event was opened with a reception at which the audience had the possibility to engage with the discussants directly and in an informal atmosphere.


Links on the topic:

News coverage by the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" (pdf)


For some impressions of the evening, please, click here.