Eurozone crisis is trumped by ‘democracy deficit,’ says AEI’s John Bolton

The eurozone crisis is nothing compared to its “democracy deficit,” writes American Enterprise Institute’s John Bolton.

The former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. under the Bush administration says that there’s a “more important” problem than the eurozone crisis: “EU elites are ignoring or overriding popular opposition to harsh austerity measures and imposing on fellow democracies the policies demanded by leaders of other, more powerful EU countries.”

And what happens if a country (or a group of countries) abandons democracy for some other “big issue?”

If democracy can be supplanted easily when “big issues” are at stake and actual voters are allowed to select governments only for unimportant questions, the vitality and longevity of democracy itself are at issue. Europe may survive its financial crisis without major disruptions to the euro or other EU institutions, but there is no doubt that the democratic deficit will have widened considerably in the process. That outcome cannot be conducive to either legitimacy or stability in Europe for decades to come.

Allen McDuffee writes about politics and policy and covered think tanks for The Washington Post from 2011 to 2013. He blogs and hosts a podcast at and is currently working on a book about the influence of think tanks in Washington.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters