Democratic Deficit in the EU.

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Democratic Deficit in the EU  

The European Union continues to play a vital role in domestic areas of policy, but many people, however, still perceive the union as being ‘distant’ and believe the EU has little involvement and influence. The European Parliament is the only body which they have any control over and is by far the weakest. In my opinion the European Parliament can never make the Union democractic, because the average voter will always relate to his or her national political institutions more favourably as important decisions are seen to be taken behind ‘closed doors’.

The EU seems distant to most people, all the citizens can do is to vote for their MEP every few years who then sits in a parliament of around 600 people. The MEP in question does not have much say in what is going on. The main problem is that the EU Commission takes many important decisions even though none of its members are elected (they are chosen by individuals states). Many suggest the Commission is faceless and unaccountable. Many argue that here lies the democratic deficit and that it is the elected European Parliament that should have the bulk of the powers.

The term ‘Democratic Deficit’ implies a gap in the EU between domestic practice in theory and in reality.(Lodge 1993). 

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 David Marquand coined his famous phrase “democratic deficit” to describe the functioning of the European Community.

Politicians began to take the issue of the democratic deficit seriously from 1992, when, Danish voters failed to ratify 'The Treaty on European Union'. Leaders could no longer afford to continue to appear unaccountable. As more aspects of national sovereignty are transferred to the European level, the ability of citizens to influence and supervise this new power base has deteriorated considerably. The main emphasis lies with the three main "institutions" of the European Union - the Commission, the European Council and Council ...

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