RECON Press Room

Since 2007, a large group of scholars from across all of Europe and beyond; ranging from political scientists, sociologists, economists, legal scholars, philosophers, to social anthropologists, have critically examined the important question of how to reconstitute democracy in Europe.

 The project was fashioned in the wake of the Laeken (2001-5) Constitutional Treaty process and the ensuing debates on the EU’s legitimacy, which were given added impetus from the negative ratification referenda in France and the Netherlands. The basic questions RECON asked were: what democracy for Europe? Can there be democracy without the state, and can there be a constitution without a people, or nation? Is there a need for a new democratic theory, or is there only need for democratic reforms in order to make the EU democratic?

To that end RECON established three ideal typical models of European democracy, pointing to intergovernmental, supranational and transnational governing structures. In what direction do developments within the multilevel EU point? The complexity of the European project gives rise to different and divergent developmental paths within the various institutional orders and policy areas. What do developments within the EU’s institutional and constitutional realms tell us about the prospects for democracy; what form of civil society is emerging and how does it contribute to a common identity and a European public sphere; what do developments within policy areas such as foreign and security policy and gender policy tell us about the nature of the EU; and how does the EU compare with other cosmopolitan developments? What does the uniqueness of the European political project consist in?



RECON findings

Snapshots of selected findings presented in brief

Public events

RECON will present highlights from five years of research at a public seminar in Oslo on 24 November 2011. ‘Europe’s democratic challenge’ – more information and registration. 

RECON organised a similar public conference in Brussels on 19 May 2011. ‘Where is European democracy heading?’ – more information, podcast and list of participants.

See also Erik O. Eriksen’s introductory speech to the May conference

Other RECON public events 


RECON Newsletter

The RECON Newsletter offers regular updates on research findings, publications, events and other news from RECON

The newsletter is distributed electronically to our mailing list, please register at [email protected]. Also available in print version, copies can be ordered to the same e-mail address.

See also project news.


Media coverage

RECON has appeared in the media and specialised press a number of times. The various articles, interviews and op-eds are available here.

Commentaries and policy papers

RECON’s affiliated scholars regularly contribute with shorter policy papers and commentaries on the current political situation in Europe

What is RECON?

RECON leaflet (download pdf)

See the project summary here, or download annual executive summaries of RECON (pdf): 2007 / 2008 / 2009 / 2010


RECON logo

Download high-resolution versions of the RECON logos (plain or full version with project name):

LogoRECON.jpg (65 kB)

LogoRECON.gif (3 kB) 

LogoRECONfull.jpg (59 kB)

LogoRECONfull.gif (5 kB)