Trust and Legitimate Governance: The Case of Hong Kong

This paper seeks to clarify how the descriptive legitimacy of the government could be undermined by distrust at different levels, using the case of Hong Kong as an example. I present two theoretical accounts of trust. The first type, trust as encapsulated interest, is reduced to the rational belief that the government has interests in acting trustworthily, performing the trusted tasks. Such trust is agent-neutral, operates at the institutional level. The second type of trust is attitudinal, based on the belief that the government would respond to citizens' reliance in goodwill. This type of trust is agent-relative. Its upkeep is highly sensitive to the attitudes evinced in instances of how political power is exercised. The anti-extradition bill movement in HK is a case in point that shows how the political structure of the HK government and individual cases of its power exercise jointly eroded these two types of trust and, as a consequence, created a unprecedented legitimacy crisis.

Losing Faith in Elections: Where Does It Come From and What To Do To Restore Voters’ Trust

Despite the voter turnout in the 2019 European elections was the highest since 1994 and a large increase was recorded among younger people, abstention is still a widespread phenomenon in many European countries and voters’ distrust is one of its major causes. The lack of voters’ confidence depends on several reasons, but recently it has been challenging by the vulnerability of voting systems to foreign governments interfering with elections by tampering with results or influencing what voters think about political candidates. So concerns are rising in particular about security and integrity of elections. The paper will focus on old and new factors of voters distrust, trying to suggest which steps can be taken to restore faith in the election process.

“Taking Control Seriously”: Citizens vis-à-vis EU Governance

Recent political events, Brexit being the most emblematic, have shown a widespread frustration of citizens at the perceived loss of control vis-à-vis EU governance. The main purpose of the paper is to address the issue of control separating facts from demagogic fiction, and to investigate the contribution of administrative law tools. It seeks to address four questions: 1) What does it mean for European citizens to have control or to feel in control? How does this reverberate on legitimacy of the EU? 2) To what extent and how has the issue of control been affected by a real loss of control or by a politically induced perception of such loss? 3) Looking at the administrative dimension of European governance, to what extent, and how do the current administrative tools set at the European level increase, or otherwise undermine, the sentiment of control of EU citizens? 4) What measures, alone or reciprocally combined, can actually contribute to the increase of the sentiment of control?

Normative Guidance Inter-Court Trust in the European Union Judicial System

This paper discusses institutional and substantive dimensions of inter-court trust in the European Union (EU) judicial system. It employs the notion of normative guidance to scrutinize the degree of trust between the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and the national courts. It will first introduce the role of normative guidance and how it applies to the obligations of national courts within the scope of EU law. I will then discuss how normative guidance affects division of competences and inter-court trust in the interaction between national and supranational courts in the EU legal order. To this end, I will draw on the case law relating to the manner in which the CJEU and the national courts contribute each in distinct ways to the meaning and development of EU law. Finally, I will discuss how a different conception of normative guidance may contribute to a higher degree of inter-court trust and a pluralistic rather than hierarchical architecture of the EU judicial system.