4th December 2020

19.30 – 21.00

Part of the joint Reflections on the Future of Europe series with New Europeans

At this online discussion, Jaap Hoeksma asked “Can the EU be a democratic union of states and people at the same time?”

Read his essay here:

Replacing the Westphalian system – Essay on the Identification of the EU as a democratic Union of democratic States


Download the Essay in pdf format here.


Why do Brussels and the European capitals find it so hard to take citizens seriously? Is it because they believe democracy can only thrive within the boundaries of a state?

Without turning it into a single state, the 2007 Lisbon Treaty construes the EU itself as a democracy. But you cannot have democracy without citizens.

As citizens of the EU, it is incumbent on us to challenge the idea that the EU is simply a matter of inter-sate relations, a matter of diplomacy.

Put another way, is it possible to turn the EU into a democracy without dissolving the nation states that comprise it? Jaap Hoeksma argues that it is.

How to take part

Jaap Hoeksma’s presentation will be followed by a Roundtable with the other speakers in the series.  This will be followed by a Q&A with our social media audience. You can take part by watching the livestream on Facebook and by adding your comments and questions to the comments box.

To receive the FB Livestream link please register on the link above.

Please use the hashtags #FutureofEurope and #EuropeFutureFringe on social media.

About the Reflections on the Future of Europe series

Reflections on the Future of Europe is designed to give leading international experts in the fields of European democracy, citizenship and identity the opportunity to come together.

The idea of the series is to present and discuss new work in these areas which touches on the future of Europe debate and the well-being of citizens.

A key component of the series will be the interaciton with the public though social media immediately after each discussion and between one event and the next.

About Europe Future Fringe

Europe Future Fringe is an open access festival of democracy where everyone who wants to be part of the conversation about the future of Europe can find a space to tell their story.

The idea is for Europe Future Fringe to spark a conversation about the future of Europe, to energise the debate about what happens next.  Too often the discussion about Europe is located in formal institutional settings, out of reach of the citizens.

We want Europe Future Fringe to open up the debate about Europe in all the spaces in between.

Find out more here

About Jaap Hoeksma

Jaap Hoeksma started his career in rock and roll and moved on to become legal advisor to the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.  His dismissal -for protecting refugees too well- coincided with the foundation of the European Union!  He turned the EU into a board game in order to answer the question “Actually, what is this thing called the EU?”.  Ten books later, his theory of democratic integration identifies the EU as “a democratic union of democratic States”.