The European Union

3329 Words Jan 12th, 2015 14 Pages
It is difficult to ascertain whether or not the European Union is democratically legitimate on the basis that the concept of democracy appears to be evolving over time. The fact that the European Union is a unique entity, a ‘supernatural union of sovereign states’ also makes it difficult to establish whether it is in fact truly democratic as there is no other entity to compare it to. The common conception is that there are two primary types of democracy. Direct democracy, where by the citizens of the state have the law making power and representative democracy, in which the power of the people is delegated to elected representatives. Article 2 of the TEU provides that the European Union is “founded on the values of respect for human …show more content…
However, as the EU has developed and grown over time, the institutions of the union have been reformed in order to be more democratic, for instance, the European Parliament was originally a consultative assembly and has now been transferred into a genuine elected parliament with co-legislative powers . Hobolt notes however that despite an increase in the powers of the parliament as a result of treaty amendments, there remain questions over its democractic legitimacy with many pointing to its weakness in comparison to the other law making institutions, the council and the commission . The TEU introduced the co-decision procedure which provided the European Parliament with power to amend and veto new laws . This procedure is now called the ordinary legislative procedure under the TOL . Follesdal and Hix in 2006 argued that the the democractic deficit is caused by a transfer of powers without any corresponding democratic control . Hobolt notes how this results in the parties having a lack of control over the governing bodies of the union and the European Parliament being unable to properly represent the will of the citizens of Europe . It is argued by Hobolt that the European parliament does not offer the same democratic control as national parliaments for two reasons, it is considered to be weak compared to the council and the commission and also because the European
Open Document