Is the EU Democratic?

1488 Words6 Pages
The European Union (EU) is fundamentally democratic and is evident through its institutions, however, the current democratic electoral structure is of great concern. The EU is a new type of political system, often referred to as a sui generis, implying its uniqueness as there exists and a non comparable political body. The EU can neither regarded as a ‘state’ nor as an ‘international institution’ as it combines supranational as well as intergovernmental characteristics (Hix, 1999, p7). In this regard it has developed its own understandings of what democracy is. It is evident that the development of and spread of democracy is a central concept and foundation to all politics within the EU, and remains focuses on makings its governing…show more content…
Furthermore these democratic foundations were further “reinforced” with the conditionality’s of membership adopted at the Copenhagen Summit in June 1993, whereby democratic governance and human rights were included in its criteria for membership. Furthermore, the Maastricht Treaty in 1993 formally established a Common Foreign and Security Policy which included objectives of which included the development and consolidation of democracy. The EU as Lucarelli argues hence became a strong instrument for the promotion and development of democracy in Europe and but especially in post-communist ones. This Furthermore, the Amsterdam Treaty in 1997 reaffirmed its strong democratic position through Article 6: “The Union is founded on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law, principles which are common to the Member States”. Considering these points, it is clear that democracy has had a long legacy within the EU. From a macro scope it is evident the EU is strong promoter democracy and has deeply embedded democratic features, however, as Peterson and Shackleton point out that “understanding politics always begins with understanding institutions not at least the EU”. Taking this advice the essay will seek to examine the two main legislative bodies within the EU,
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