Democratic Deficit in the Eu Essay

2934 Words Jun 13th, 2012 12 Pages
Does the EU suffer from a democratic deficit? If so, can it be solved by conferring greater powers on the European parliament?
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The ‘standard version’ of the democratic deficit formulated by Weiler, consisting of the increased role of the executive Commission in matters of legislation, the weakness of the European Parliament (hereafter the EP), the lack of ‘European’ elections, EU distance to public scrutiny and voters, and finally ‘policy drifting’ by the executive non-compliant to voter interests, has and continues to be a major target of criticism within the field of European Union (the EU) law. The matter is of utmost importance in
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In 2008-2009, 203 proposals over 18 months resulted in only 6 going to the Conciliation Committee. This gives dominant oversight to the Commission in the law-making process, a key factor in democratic deficit critique in EU law-making and somewhat undermining the notion that the EP is the vehicle for EU accountability.

Further, the Commission’s institutional structure is a factor putting great weight on perceptions of the democratic deficit since it lacks democratic credentials yet largely dominates EU law-making in spite of the presence of the EP as its democratic face. Commissioners are not elected, directly nor indirectly, as is with most sovereign executives. Follesdal and Hix however argue that the exercise of these executive powers requires contestation of political leadership and policy. They also suggest that direct elections by citizens or national parliaments should be allowed for the contestation of the Commission President who holds the most powerful EU executive position, so as to increase democratic input. Contrary to this position is that of Moravcsik, who discounts the idea of elections as a possible remedy and rejects the notion of…

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