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Democracy in Europe: Politicizing Champions for the European Public Sphere


The democratic deficit in the relationship between European institutions and citizens stems from the lack of a pan-European public sphere where supranational policy-making and national politics can be reconciled. One of the key reasons for the absence of a pan-European public sphere is the extremely limited politicization of European policy-making in the eyes of European citizens in a context whereby Europe is perceived as an entity of “policy without politics”. The aim of this paper is to highlight how a politicization of the European policy-making process through a dialectical engagement of progressive and liberal forces with conservative and nationalistic ones can contribute to the development of a pan-European public sphere.