A Democratic Audit of the European Union (One Europe or by Christopher Lord

By Christopher Lord

A Democratic Audit of the eu Union offers a scientific overview of democracy within the ecu opposed to basically outlined standards. Christopher Lord deals a double problem to generalizations a couple of democratic deficit within the ecu. at the one hand, it exhibits that criteria of democratic functionality within the european might differ throughout Union associations and decision-making strategies. nonetheless, it indicates that they could differ throughout key dimensions of democratic governance, together with citizenship, rights, participation, illustration, responsiveness, transparency and responsibility.

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Example text

568) the EU has a ‘top-to-bottom hierarchy of norms’ but a ‘bottom-to-top hierarchy of authority and real power’. All of this creates a dilemma. A pattern in which mechanisms of public control are dispersed horizontally across particular institutions of the Union and vertically across levels of Union governance will make it hard to apply democracy to the EU through one straightforward process of competition for political power. This has a number of consequences. First the EU is never likely to be a system in which the public has a single clear opportunity to enforce responsibility by, for example, removing a ‘government’ (Weiler, 1997b, p.

Indeed the consequential and intrinsic arguments overlap, since a likely consequence of democratic decision rules is a body of decisions that approximate the autonomous preferences of the ruled in important ways. Public control at least discourages those who hold office from acting only on their personal preferences without any attempt to anticipate the needs and values of citizens. Political equality at least means that each person’s preference has the same weight in the whole. The decision-rule ‘one person, one vote’ re-weights public decisions away from private distributions of power and resources.

Even the foregoing does not capture all that needs to be included in a Democratic Audit of the EU. Recent years have seen a growth in various forms of flexible integration in which some institutions and policies only apply to particular Member States. The most obvious example is Monetary Union. But others are the Schengen Accord, provision for Constructive Abstention in CFSP (Member States that abstain from a policy do not have to participate in it) and a general flexibility clause in the Treaty.

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