Jerzy Kranz

Gibt es ein Demokratiedefizit in der Europäischen Union?

Rubrik: Abhandlungen
Archiv des Völkerrechts (AVR)

Jahrgang 51 () / Heft 4, S. 403-425 (23)

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oubles. The deficit has rarely been associated with how the treaty based competences are conferred, but more frequently with the way they are exercised, i.e., the structure of the EU institutions and the mechanisms by which these operate. The critique also has pointed to insufficient legitimisation of the Union's institutions by its citizens. True, the European demos is at its early stage of development, but this does not necessarily hamper democracy in the EU. The EU has made its unique contribution to democracy by creating an unusual set of balanced, diversified law-making institutions. The extension of the EU's competences does not by itself increase Union's democratic deficit, nor makes the Union more federal-like. In fact, what problem we encounter here is not so much the EU's democracy deficit but rather an inevitable difference between the democracy models existing in a nation state and in international relations. The EU weaknesses stem primarily from the deficit of member states' policies. Nowadays, the political deficit seems to be more troublesome. Greece's financial meltdown did not result from democracy deficit in the EU. Public approval is contingent not just on the direct election of the Commission president or weakening of the European Council. Enlarging the competences of the European Parliament will not equalize its position with the position of national parliamentary bodies. Democracy in the EU may be constantly growing, but still the models of democracy in a state and in the Union will differ; however, they may well complement each other. The belief in a miraculous creative power of institutional change, including the belief in an idealized Union's democracy, may prove illusory. There is room for democracy within the international framework. What is crucial, however, is to give democracy the meaning designed specifically for the needs of the international reality, as opposed to the meaning based on wishful thinking.

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