The EU Constitution and the Union’s Democratic Deficit
Stephen C. Sieberson
Creighton University - School of Law
EXPANDED EU: FROM AUTONOMY TO ALLIANCE, Kseniya Khovanova, Nejat Dogan & Maxym Kovalev, eds., Rodopi Press, 2008
This article weighs the European Union’s proposed Constitution against historical complaints that the EU suffers from a democratic deficit. Various manifestations of the deficit are identified from official documents, scholarly works and other sources. The concerns include complaints that the EU’s structure is too complex, that its institutions lack accountability, and that its workings are not transparent. In addition to these broad themes, the analysis examines concerns relating to specific EU institutions. For example, it has been suggested that the European Parliament should have more legislative and oversight authority, that the Council should make greater use of qualified majority voting, and that the Commission should be more accountable. For each identified concern, the relevant provisions of the Constitution are identified to determine whether the issue would have been resolved. The conclusion is that the Constitution offered welcome improvements to the EU system, but its changes relating to the democratic deficit were incremental. Significant aspects of the deficit would have remained in place if the Constitution had been ratified.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 12
Keywords: Democratic Deficit, EU Constitution, Accountability of EU Institutions
Date posted: July 1, 2010