The research published in Revista Brasileira de Relações Internacionais (RBPI, vol.55, 2/2012) aims to analyze the advance and retreats on the process of European constitutionalism, troubling the questions on the European citizenship and the democratic debt of the supranational institutions.
Many are already the European directives and rules on the constitutional character, withdrawn from the countless ratified statements and agreements. Whereas what can be observed on the present faze is the need of going deeper on the laces of the construction process of a true union among the European states. This deepening necessarily passes through the edition of fundamental structuring rules of the relation among integrating countries, supranational institution and citizens.
Recent debates about the problems and prospects of improving the democratic aspects of European decision-making processes are clearly influenced by the rise of deliberative concepts of democracy and civil society. Remarkably, these debates were hardly based on demands from grass-root organizations or citizens, but highly stimulated by initiatives from the European Commission to deal with a so-called ‘democratic deficit’. Besides, the arguments to strengthen the role of civil society significantly in order to develop a European civil society were explicitly presented. In this view, EU decision-making processes are to be made more open, transparent, and participatory by mobilizing and integrating a wide range of groups at all levels of the rapidly expanding EU multi-level system; that is, by mobilizing civil society.