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Friday, February 17, 2012

Democracy and State Governments at the E.U. Level

In mid-February 2012, Mario Monti of the E.U. state of Italy addressed the European Parliament. In his speech, he advocated increasing the legislative body's power. The Parliament's 754 representatives represent E.U. citizens just as the members of House of Representatives represent U.S. citizens. The representatives in both of the legislative chambers are democratically elected to represent the people in local or regional districts rather than states more generally. The chambers are “national” in that they bypass the state governments. The latter are represented in the European Council of Ministers and in the U.S. Senate, both of which are legislative in nature and thus can be stylized as the “upper chamber” in federal lawmaking.

The complete essay is at Essays on Two Federal Empires.