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The Democratic Legitimacy of European Governance - Dissertation Example

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This paper “The Democratic Legitimacy of European Governance” attempts to answer the question, “If the EU is a political system, How does that affect its Democratic Deficit?” with the intention of analyzing the factors causing the democratic deficit as well as the role of the member states…
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The Democratic Legitimacy of European Governance
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Download file to see previous pages The definition of a democratic deficit is: “A democratic deficit occurs when ostensibly democratic organizations or institutions in fact fall short of fulfilling what are believed to be the principles of democracy." (Europa.EU, 2010) Some instances of institutions having democratic deficit include The United Nations and the European Union (EU). The UN is a good example of an institution that is considered as having a democratic deficit as it lacks a body of directly elected members. However, this is not completely true as far as the EU is concerned as the European Parliament is indeed elected directly. The reasons as to why the democratic deficit arises in relation to the EU can be found in the general apathy of the voters towards the EU, the role of the leaders of the member states, the complex nature of the decision making process in the EU and the clash between the judiciary of the member states and the European Commission of Justice. (Moravcsik, 2004, 340)The definition of a democratic deficit is: “A democratic deficit occurs when ostensibly democratic organizations or institutions, in fact, fall short of fulfilling what are believed to be the principles of democracy." (Europa.EU, 2010) Some instances of institutions having democratic deficit include The United Nations and the European Union (EU). The UN is a good example of an institution that is considered as having a democratic deficit as it lacks a body of directly elected members. However, this is not completely true as far as the EU is concerned as the European Parliament is indeed elected directly. The reasons as to why the democratic deficit arises in relation to the EU can be found in the general apathy of the voters towards the EU, the role of the leaders of the member states, the complex nature of the decision making process in the EU and the clash between the judiciary of the member states and the European Commission of Justice. (Moravcsik, 2004, 340)THE EU AND DEMOCRATIC DEFICIT The preceding sections set the context for the discussion as well as an understanding of what a democratic deficit means. This section takes the discussion forward by linking the notion of democratic deficit with the concept of the EU. Note that this section does not debate the relative merits and demerits of the linkage and presents the scope of the argument without taking sides. To quote from the article by Wimmel, “The democratic deficit is a concept invoked principally in the argument that the European Union and its various bodies suffer from a lack of democracy and seem inaccessible to the ordinary citizen because their method of operating is so complex. The view is that the Community institutional set-up is dominated by an institution combining legislative and government powers (the Council of the European Union) and an institution that lacks democratic legitimacy (the European Commission)." (Wimmel, 2009, 190) ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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