Most of the contemporary debates about the European Union - about its role, its institutional arrangements, its development dynamic, its expansion and possible futures - revolve around the issue of political legitimacy. Legitimacy and the European Union addresses the fundamental issues at the heart of the debates on Europe. Using a multi-dimensional conception of political legitimacy, the text analyses the character and problems of the European Union's authority in respect of democracy, political identity and governmental performance. Its distinctive claim is that political legitimacy can now only be understood as a process of interaction between the state and EU levels, and that this interaction impacts differentially on different member states. *Provides a survey of the latest debates, offering an original perspective and synthesis. *Explores the relationship between democracy, political identity and government performance in the EU. *Analyses the relation between the state and the EU.