The Proposed European Union Constitution – Will it Eliminate the EU’s Democratic Deficit?
Columbia Journal of International Law, Vol. 10, p. 173, 2004
92 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2010
Date Written: 2004
In 2003 the European Convention released a draft of the Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe, a document intended to replace the primary European Union treaties. This article examines the draft Constitution to determine whether, if it were ratified, it would affect the EU’s perceived “democratic deficit.” In broad terms the democratic deficit is the label for the Union's lack of transparent and democratic processes in its institutions and law-making procedures. The article first addresses the lack of popular appreciation for the EU, arising from its complexity, lack of transparency and other factors. Then the article describes concerns over the EU’s structure, including balance of power among EU institutions and the role of actors other than the principal institutions. The author’s conclusion is that while the Constitution does propose some improvements to the EU system, it does not offer enough changes to significantly reduce the EU's democratic deficit.
Keywords: EU, Constitution for Europe, democratic deficit
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