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The democratic legitimacy of the Unions legislative process may have been enhanced by the growing influence of the European Parliament, but it remains deeply flawed by the role of the Commission and the functioning of the Council.

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Introduction

Katya Varbanova 200730017 Words count: 2061 Enhancing the democratic legitimacy of the European Union is one of the explicit aims of the Lisbon Treaty, set out in its Preamble. The Treaty includes a new section of the Treaty of the European Union (TEU), Title II Provisions on Democratic Principles, where Article 10(2) states that ''citizens are directly represented at Union level in the European Parliament''.1 It all started in 1979 where all citizens were given the power to elect their members directly.2 Before that time, the Parliament members were nominated by their respective governments only. The democratic legitimacy, therefore, has definitely been enhanced by the growing influence of the European Parliament, especially after the introduction of the co-decision procedure (currently named ordinary legislative procedure) by the Maastricht Treaty on European Union (1992). However, it could be argued that it still remains deeply flawed by the role of the Commission and the functioning of the Council as we shall explore below. In order to understand how has the democratic legitimacy of the Union's legislative process been influenced by the Treaties, we must first define what democratic legitimacy is and what do the three institutions (namely the European Parliament, The Council and the Commission) ...read more.

Middle

The commission has no obligation to adopt them. The proposal is then sent back to the Council along with any parliamentary amendments it had not accepted and the reasons for this refusal. The Council can accept the amended proposal by a qualified majority or it can amend it by adopting its own amendments or those proposed by the Parliament. This has to be done unanimously in the Council. The main difference of the special legislative procedure is that it contains no procedure for compulsory conciliation (as opposed to the ordinary legislative procedure) and the Council could not be prevented from adopting a text that ignored the European Parliament's wishes. However, the European Parliament still has to be consulted. The Isoglucose case19 explained the reason for that. The Court argued that it is essential for the Parliament to play an actual part in the legislative process because it reflects the Community's democratic principle that people should take part in the exercise of power through the intermediary of a representative assembly. It could be argued that the Union's democratic legitimacy has been enhanced by the Parliament. In 1979, it was perhaps reasonable to suggest that the Parliament was little more than a ''a talking shop'', since under the Treaty of Rome, its powers were primarily ''advisory'' and ''supervisory''. ...read more.

Conclusion

Paper presented at the conference ''Democracy as Idea and Practice'' 5 Article 17(1) TEU 6 Article 16 TEU 7 Article 13 TEU 8 Article 289(3) TFEU 9 Article 290(1) TFEU 10 Article 294 TFEU 11 Article 314 TFEU 12 Article 241 TFEU , Article225 TFEU 13 Dashwood, A. 'European Union Law'' (2011), 6th edition: Hard Publishing 14 Article 294(10) TFEU 15 Article 10 TEU 16 Case 138/79 Roquette Fr�res v Council [1980] ECR 3333 17 Case 139/79, Maizena v. Council, [1980] ECR 3393 18 Article 262 TFEU 19 Case C-417/93 European Parliament v Council [1995] ECR I-1185 20 Vernon Bognador, 'Legitimacy, Accountability and Democracy in the European Union' (2007) A Federal Trust Report 21 European Union Committee, House of Lords ''10th Report of Session. The Treaty of Lisbon: an impact assessment'' (2007-2008) Volume 1: Report para-4.90 22 Ibid at para 4.91 23 Ibid at para 4.91 24 ibid 25 Vernon Bognador, 'Legitimacy, Accountability and Democracy in the European Union' (2007) A Federal Trust Report 26 ibid 27 ibid ?? ?? ?? ?? "The democratic legitimacy of the Union's legislative process may have been enhanced by the growing influence of the European Parliament, but it remains deeply flawed by the role of the Commission and the functioning of the Council." Katya Varbanova - Law and Business (Hons ) - Second Year Student ID : 200730017 ...read more.

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