Democratic Improvements in the European Union under the Lisbon Treaty: Institutional Changes Regarding Democratic Government in the EU
European Union Democracy Observatory, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute, February 2011
12 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2012
Date Written: 2011
According to the main aim of enhancing the democratic legitimacy of the Union in the Preamble, for the first time in the Treaties, the Lisbon Treaty includes explicit provisions on democratic principles in its Title II. Article 10 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) incorporates the most important democratic statements, which are complemented by a whole set of new provisions that increase the power of the most democratic institutions. These new reforms mainly strengthen the role of the European Parliament and the national parliaments, and provide for citizen’s initiatives, with the purpose of increasing the democratic legitimacy of the EU.
The Treaties contain provisions aimed at reinforcing democracy in its representative and participatory dimensions: 1) Representative democracy, by empowering the most democratic institutions such as the European Parliament and the national and regional chambers’ participation and control with regard to EU acts; and 2) Participatory/Direct democracy, by establishing new participatory mechanisms, such the European citizens’ initiative, and new channels of communication and information with European civil society.
Keywords: European Union, Democracy, Institutional change
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