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On New Forms of Governance in the EU, Social Exclusion, and Katyń

I gave a lecture at the Tallinn University today on New Forms of Governance in the EU. I tried to discuss conferral of powers on the EU, the classes of powers that can be conferred, exercise of powers, sources of powers, limits to powers, the principle of subsidiarity, the principle of proportionality, state participation, comitology, enhanced co-operation, new forms of governance, the Commission’s White Paper on Governance, the open method of coordination, better regulation, harmonization and the „New-Style” directives, and – as we had discussed the EU law-making separately during the previous meeting – it was also possible to discuss individual participation and democracy, and under that the questions what democratic deficit means in the EU, what representative and participatory democracy mean, what is the citizen’s initiative, and can one say that the increased involvement of national parliaments in EU law-making rendered the legislative processes more democratic. The red thread through the lecture-seminar constituted of the notions of participation, pluralism, subsidiarity, individual and local involvement, closeness to citizens, inclusion, etc.

Although I tend to criticize an average citizen despite I read human rights and am strongly for individual rights and freedoms, I could not escape the thought during the lecture that from one hand exclusion of certain groups of people could also deliberately lead to such events as Katyń, but on other hand I thought with regard to the citizen’s initiative that although freedom of expression, included the right to receive information, is a basic human right, one million of emotional people in Europe who could demand something as military response if provoked enough, could not serve anyone’s interests.

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