Publications and findings

WP 3 – Representation and Institutional Make-up


How novel, how stable, how coherent and how democratic are the European Union’s representative institutions? Many arguments can be made for desiring a compound form of representation at the Union level, such as the sheer social complexity of the Union, the pluralism of political values affected by its decisions, and the importance of avoiding excessive concentrations of power in single institutions. Yet, desirable does not mean possible. Moreover, it cannot be assumed that combining different modes of representation will automatically add up to good representation. To the contrary, the lumping together of different approaches to representation may amount to little more than a fallacy of composition.


Publications and activities WP 3

A complete list of publications and presentations is available for each year of the project:

2007 / 2008 / 2009 / 2010 / 2011

You can also try an open search in RECON’s database, or search by partner institution and name.



EU Democratic Audit Website

A framework for evaluating the democratic qualities of EU institutions through a democratic audit has been developed by Christopher Lord based on a set of ten indicators. These are presented at the Democratic Audit Website, which aims to provoke discussion about indicators and data sources which might be used to assess how democratic the EU is. 


Selected findings from RECON’s research on representation and institutional make-up

  • The quality of the debates in the European Parliament compare favourably with those in national parliaments
  • Informal party networks are important for interactions between parliaments at the European and national levels
  • The behaviour of Members of the European Parliament affect their chances of re-election
  • The diffusion of specialised European Union agencies testifies to changes in the Union’s executive order and its relationship to political representation
  • The representation of individuals and of whole democratic peoples (member states) in the European Parliament are best reconciled by decision rules that require double majorities


Read more on these findings in the WP 3 leaflet A European representative democracy? (pdf), which presents snapshots of selected findings to practitioners and policy makers, media and informed readers, civil society actors and interest groups, as well as other ‘stakeholders’.


RECON pamphlet

Reconstituting Democracy in Europe – Snapshots of findings (pdf)

Selected findings in brief from all RECON’s research fields