Does the EU suffer from a democratic deficit - Essay Example

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The aims of this ECSC were entirely economic in nature it pursued common ownership and control of all resources for economic rebuilding of Europe. The first treaty was signed by six initial member states, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands and Italy; these were the founding member states. …
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Does the EU suffer from a democratic deficit
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Download file to see previous pages The ECSC was transformed into European Economic Community (EEC) in 1957 with the signing of Treaty of Rome that created a single market and aimed at removing all barriers to freedom of good, movement and trade. The EEC was hence a unique institution whose sole aim was to reduce barriers, decrease hindrances and increase integration within the member states.
The EEC started off as a unique legal and political supranational institution that operates over and above the national governments of member states: it is an over arching government in itself that makes laws, takes decisions and creates circumstances for greater integration. This could not have been achieved with 27 member states without the presence of institutions: the treaty of Paris created four major institutions in 1951: a High Authority, Council of Ministers, European Assembly and a European Court of Justice. The Treaty of Rome 1957 followed this method and added to the list of institution a EURATOM (European Atomic Energy Commission) and renamed it as European Economic Community. However, the EU has gone through massive changes since then as subsequent treaties kept adding to the overall structure of it. The institutions as they stand now are as follows: The European Council, European Parliament, The Commission, European Court of Justice, The Court of Auditors and the European Central Bank. It is with EU’s structure that democratic deficit has been alleged to have seeped in. The term has been used since many years and according to Milev it has been accorded different meaning in all senses. The real meaning given to this term relates to alleged distance between the European government and the people that are rules: it is alleged that it neither has a proper democratic mandate nor proper democratic legitimacy that gives its actions validity. Initially the term was used to make way for direct elections to the Parliament, later on the debate kept surfacing repeatedly on different issues of constitutional importance, particularly where further integration and greater cooperation was concerned. Evidence is found in literature relating to the referendums, the rejected constitution etc. This democratic deficit has basically been seen because the key decisions that are taken in EU are taken within executive-controlled institution, the European Council and European Commission: there is no parliamentary form decision making with proper legitimacy and accountability. The European Council yields no legislative powers but has immense political powers as it comprises of all heads of the states, the ministers for foreign affairs, the president of the commission and the high representative for foreign affairs and security policy. The council is headed by a President of the Council who is elected through Qualified Majority Voting procedure for a term of two and a half years. Second, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) is the legal arm of the EU as it deals with all cases arising from and about EU law. The main function of ECJ has been enshrined in Article 19(1) of the Treaty of European Union (TEU) as to ensure “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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