Osservatorio sui processi di sviluppo delle democrazie europee


The “Observatory on the Processes of Development of European Democracies (OSDE)”, established in 2023, aims to respond to the desire of legal scholars who wish to confront themselves in an interdisciplinary perspective with scholars and practitioners of various backgrounds, so as to orient themselves within the complex and fluctuating processes of transformation that European democratic regimes have been undergoing for several decades now.
Europe, which arose from the Second World War divided into two blocks, seemed destined to become, after the events of 1989, a single entity: basically homogeneous and sustained by the broad path of supranational integration. An integration that began in the 1950s and found in the Maastricht Treaty of 1992 a moment of exaltation, such that it led to initiate a path aimed at the progressive creation of a monetary union; a monetary union intended, however, not as an outcome, but as the engine of a subsequent political union. This very optimistic outlook certainly led to advantages, but also to problems that many European citizens feel the burden of today, in contexts in which cyclical economic crises, accompanied by global emergencies of various kinds, threaten to call into question the very survival of pluralist models of democracy; the latter are increasingly transformed by growing pushes toward a neoliberal society crossed by populism and crypto-authoritarianism already evident in what are now termed “illiberal democracies.” However, it is precisely the original (and enduring) mercantile approach of the European integration process and the hybrid nature (communitarian on the one hand, intergovernmental on the other) of the institutions operating in it that require further reflections on the relationship between the traditional configuration of states in their national dimension, and the attempt to achieve the “unity in diversity” that should constitute one of the essential objectives of a European Union that is truly legitimized in a democratic sense. All this in a geopolitical context historically characterized by persistent hegemonic impulses and strong external influences that still make a truly independent management of choices arduous for a continent that, beyond all rhetoric, is still culturally, linguistically and politically fragmented, as well as often traversed by ill-concealed and problematic internal contrasts.
An approach that moves from the State dimension and national perspectives in order to understand Europe is therefore not anachronistic: far from endorsing implausible and regressive sovereignties, or questionable isolationist nostalgia, the Observatory, by collecting materials, organizing study meetings and producing publications, rather aims to constitute a place of information, analysis, reflection and comparison among scholars of different backgrounds and training on the problems of contemporary democracies. It intends to do this by paying special attention to the critical issues present in the countries closest and in those geopolitically connected to us, in order to make the current phenomena more comprehensible and to assess the sustainability, in terms of timing and modalities, of the social, economic and political processes of European integration.

Sito web: Link identifier #identifier__83686-1Osservatorio sui processi di sviluppo delle democrazie europee


Michele Sancioni 21 December 2023