JOINT RESEARCH CENTRE

Involving the citizens. Radioactive waste management and the EU

Abstract: 
The European Union (EU) has been often criticized for its democratic deficit, which has been studied in the academic literature at multiple levels: in the polity (macro-level), the institutions (meso-level) and the policies (micro-level) of the EU. The paper presents counterarguments in favour of the democratic nature of the EU and focuses on the micro-level, particularly the process of implementation of EU policies. Policy implementation and the democratic involvement of citizens are discussed with regard to radioactive waste management and the Directive 2011/70/EURATOM. The Directive's clause on transparency and the recent development of a centre of knowledge for public participation in energy policy implementation by the European Commission (EC) are expression of the democratic nature of the EU and provide further counterarguments to the claim of democratic deficit.