Article by Jürgen Habermas in The Guardian (November 10, 2011):
Europe's post-democratic era
The monopolisation of the EU by political elites risks reducing a sense of civic solidarity that's crucial to the European project
"Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy appear to have settled some sort of compromise between German economic liberalism and French statism with a completely different intent. If I am not mistaken, they want to extend the executive federalism of the Lisbon treaty into an outright intergovernmental rule by the European Council.
Such a regime would make it possible to transfer the imperatives of the markets to the national budgets without proper democratic legitimation. This would involve using threats of sanctions and pressure on disempowered national parliaments to enforce nontransparent and informal agreements. In this way, the heads of government would transform the European project into its opposite. The first transnational democracy would become an especially effective, because disguised, arrangement for exercising a kind of post-democratic rule."