national elections and European governance
The EU faces a serious crisis of democratic legitimacy. Citizens believe that the EU is run by distant and non-responsive political elites. The EU's perceived lack of responsiveness to ordinary citizens poses a threat to its very survival. This timely book presents a comprehensive account of how EU governments signal responsiveness to the interests of their citizens over European policies. Schneider develops and tests a theoretical framework of the intergovernmental dimension of responsive governance in the European Union, using evidence amassed over nearly ten years of multi-method research. The findings show that European cooperation in the Council of the European Union takes place in the shadow of national elections. Governments signal responsiveness to their publics by taking positions that are in the interests of politically relevant voters at the national level, defending these positions throughout negotiations in the Council, and seeking appropriate policy outcomes at the EU level.