Decision-making in the EU: transparency and democratic legitimacy - Essay Example

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This paper analyses the EU’s decision-making process and the areas of concern giving way to the claim that it lacks transparency and democratic legitimacy. The decision-making process in the EU has been a part of academic debate particularly in respect of its transparency and democratic legitimacy. …
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Decision-making in the EU: transparency and democratic legitimacy
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Download file to see previous pages From the research it can be comprehended that the institutional framework of the EU forms the backdrop of its decision-making process. In this regard there are three primary institutional powers within the EU: The Council of Europe, the European Parliament and the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The Council of Europe and the European Parliament are both the legislative branches of the EU and the Commission represents the executive branch while the ECJ represents the judicial branch of the EU. This paper focuses on the decision-making process of the Council of Europe and the European Parliament and does not focus on the ECJ. The ECJ is regarded as an independent branch of the EU decision-making process and is therefore irrelevant to the decision-making process in terms of discussions of democratic governance. The Council of Europe’s decision-making body consists of the Committee of Ministers. The Committee of Ministers are made-up of the foreign ministers from member states who are regarded as having equal authority under a procedural rule characterized as “one country, one vote”. The Committee of Ministers meet once annually and since 1952 in an attempt to cope with increasing demands of governance, have shared decision-making authority with Deputies who are typically “high-level diplomats”. Deputies meet at least once a week and chair working parties while the Committee is chaired “by member states in six-monthly rotation”....
pt to cope with increasing demands of governance, have shared decision-making authority with Deputies who are typically “high-level diplomats”.6 Deputies meet at least once a week and chair working parties while the Committee is chaired “by member states in six-monthly rotation”.7 The Committee of Ministers or their respective Deputies determine the activities of the Council and attempt to arrive at joint decisions relative to difficulties experienced in Europe. A number of issues are debated and resolved including politics, human rights, European integration, democracy but not defence. In general the Council of Ministers together with the European Parliament makes decisions that are geared toward ensuring that Member States do not renege on their Treaty obligations.8 The Council of Ministers has the authority to implement agreements and conventions which are left for member states to subscribe to. These conventions and agreements are usually aimed at advancing the goals of the Council. More than 200 treaties and conventions have been concluded by the Council of Ministers one of which is the European Convention on Human Rights, 1950. Typically, a two-thirds majority is required to implement a decision by the Council.9 Transparency and Democratic Legitimacy in the Council of Europe’s Decision-Making Process Democratic legitimacy can be assessed by virtue of the application of the theory of liberal democracy. Liberal democratic theory includes several standards, the most significant is the nature of representation and accountability of those who make decisions. In this regard, transparency and democratic legitimacy are evaluated in terms of input and output.10 The trade-off relative to input and output is compromised in the Council of Europe’s decision-making ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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