Excellent if disagreeable,
This review is from: Whats Wrong with the European Union and How to Fix it (Paperback)
Professor Hix is one of my teachers at university. This book is excellent at the task of deconstructing the facets of the EU which need to be remedied. The essential thrust of his argument is that the EU's democratic deficit needs to be eliminated through democratising key institutions and enforcing political contestation of policy on a greater level that currently exists. He is fair to acknowledge that the checks and ballances which are currently at work within the EU ensure that the overall direction of the EU is neutral. Without these changes, though, the EU will remain undemocratic, in a state of an 'enlightened despotism'.
I would have to disagree, however, at the discussion of the extent to which democracy should permeate the EU. Professor Hix states that 'limited democratic politics' is what is best for the EU currently. I believe that all politics should be democratic and when a supra-national entity removes sovereignty from a state, or enforces its own regulations and ideology, the changes cannot be greeted with legitimacy.
I think Professor Hix begins on the wrong track when attempting to show that the EU is more necessary than ever. He is right that co-operation between countries within Europe is necessary for us to prosper and hold our own against China, India, the US etc. But engaging in a political and economic union of this scale offers very few additional benefits that simple co-operation and trade agreements can offer. This can allow national leaders to bargain with each other on a mandate from their home electorate.
This would be a better way of doing things with Europe