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"European Democracy at a crossroads?"


EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn participated in a panel discussion on EU institutional issues and new forms of democratic participation on 21 November organised by the regional representations of Vienna and Nordrhein-Westfalen in Brussels. The discussion took up the argument in the new book of Austrian author Robert Menasse that the European Union has to develop new forms of "post national democracy". Commissioner Hahn underlined the central role of regions in the European democratic process: "In an increasingly complex reality the regions remain the central points of reference and identification. The Treaty of Lisbon strengthens the principle of subsidiarity and thus offers new ways of participation".