Democratic Deficit in the European Union

1819 Words Nov 17th, 2010 8 Pages
“Most voters seem to take the opportunity to give the incumbent national government a ‘good kicking’ during European elections, as seen in the UK, Spain and France, rather than vote on a broad manifesto of ideas. This is fuelled further by MEPs campaigning on local issues rather than European ones.” This is an example of part of the democratic deficit in the European Parliament. To further show how there is a democratic deficit in the European Parliament I will explain how it is largely inaccessible to its European citizens and how the European Parliament lacks the power that it requires to resolve the problems in the Union. I will then describe some unsuccessful attempts at solutions and conclude with some possible future remedies. …show more content…
The balance between these two branches differed from country to country. With the gradual development of the EEC, more and more areas of public policy were transferred from national governments to the community with the result that the overall powers of the executives within member countries of the EU have increased while parliamentary powers have decreased.

The main argument is that the parliament is too weak, while the council is too powerful. The executive branches, the Council and the Commission, “are not drawn from Parliament and are thus not accountable to it in the way it would be, for example, in the UK through a vote of no confidence. The two branches are completely separate, which can mean that there is not an effective check as there was meant to be. The Parliament is too weak to hold either of the executive branches to account, meaning that they can pass legislation without the consent of the Parliament, except when co-decision applies on matters pertaining to qualified majority voting in the Council.”

Compared to many national and sub-national legislatures, the European Parliament has a relatively low profile. In the past, some scholars of the European Union judged it to be less important than other governing institutions of the Union. However, since the mid 1980’s the European Parliament has undergone many substantial changes, probably more than any other major European Union body. The Parliament’s
Open Document