Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 03/2015

Emotional Intelligence for EU Democracy

Stefan Lehne, Heather Grabbe

January 2015

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


The European Union's dwindling democratic legitimacy is an acute political challenge. Trust in EU institutions is declining even in countries where the union once had high levels of support. Populist parties are rising and turning against the EU. To restore its legitimacy, the EU needs to respond to public apathy and anger with emotional intelligence and to offer solutions that feel relevant to people outside the Brussels bubble.