EU3D researchers at 2021 APSA annual meeting

John Erik Fossum and Sergio Fabbrini will present on democratic legitimacy and accountability in the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic at the 2021 APSA annual meeting. 

Photo: APSA

2021 APSA Annual Meeting & Exhibition
Promoting Pluralism
28 September - 3 October 2021

Organiser: American Political Science Association (APSA)

The EU’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Issue of Democratic Legitimacy

Sat, October 2, 10:00 to 11:30am PDT (7:00 to 8:30pm CEST)

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Europe hard. It is the most serious crisis that the EU has faced since its very inception. Crises and emergencies are generally understood as ‘the hour of the executive’. In such circumstances, there is a special need for the executive to mobilize the requisite resources, and to act in a swift and decisive manner. Crisis-handling operates on a timeline of decision-making that is not easily reconcilable with the timeline that procedurally sound democratic decision-making requires. Nevertheless, there is a distinction between executive prominence and executive dominance; the former is largely compatible with democratic authorization and accountability, the latter is not. In this panel, we will focus on the EU’s handling of the corona pandemic with emphasis on the EU executive, EU action capability, and democratic accountability. Each of these issues takes on a distinctive shape in the EU, with bearings on democratic governance not only at the EU level but also at the national. The EU executive is institutionally divided. The EU requires capacity-buildup to act decisively in a crisis. And it needs member-state executives in the Council to approve and/or facilitate many of its actions. In this complex multiple executive system, the question of how to ensure democratic accountability is a deeply contested issue. The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled governments and parliaments to act unilaterally in some instances, without the usual democratic consultation procedures; to adopt new technology to make up for the lack of physical contact in legislatures; and to temporarily suspend citizens’ rights (e.g., to freedom of movement). This brings in new dynamics and raises new questions of relevance for executive-legislative relations and democratic accountability to the citizens more broadly.

Panel participants

Sergio Fabbrini (EU3D/LUISS University), 'The Pandemic’s Effects: Sectional Divides in the European Union'

John Erik Fossum (EU3D/ARENA Centre for European Studies), 'Democratic Accountability in a Post-COVID-19 World'

Vivien A. Schmidt (Boston University), 'The Legitimacy of EU Executives During Emergency Pandemic Politics'

Amy Verdun (University of Victoria), 'Covid-19’s Impact on Macro-Economic Policy Coordination in EU Member States'

Chair: James A. Caporaso, University of Washington

Europe’s Crisis of Legitimacy: Governing by Rules and Ruling by Numbers

Wed, September 29, 6:00 to 7:30am PDT (3:00 to 4:30pm CEST)

John Erik Fossum and Sergio Fabbrini will also comment on Vivien Schmid's book Europe’s Crisis of Legitimacy: Governing by Rules and Ruling by Numbers in a 'Virtual Author meet critics' panel. 

For more information and detailed programme, visit APSA's website

Published Sep. 27, 2021 1:49 PM - Last modified Sep. 27, 2021 1:50 PM