This book examines the democratic legitimacy of the European Union (EU) and evaluates the democratic credentials of the EU’s main decision-making procedure. It finds that though there is potential for democratic decision-making in the EU, the actual process is dominated by technocrats and secret meetings.
The book assesses and discusses the conditions for democratic input in decision-making with five empirical chapters each addressing the ordinary legislative procedure from different dimensions: democratic deliberative forums, inclusion, openness, power neutralising mechanisms and decision-making capacity. The analytical framework provides for an in-depth assessment of the ordinary legislative procedure’s potential democratic qualities and examines whether it fulfils democratic criteria, how the procedure works in practice and whether it has the necessary democratic clout. The author provides both a theoretical discussion and an empirical assessment of what role the principle of democracy could play in the EU.
Filling a gap in EU legislative studies and contributing to the debate on the European democratic deficit, Democratic Decision-making in the EU will be of interest to students and scholars of European Union politics, legislative studies and deliberative democracy.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: democracy as idea and practice Part1: Theory, approximation and background 2. What is democratic legitimacy? 3. Approximating ideal principles to non-ideal conditions: The evaluative framework 4. Background: from co-decision to the ordinary legislative procedure Part II: Evaluation of the ordinary legislative procedure 5. A democratic deliberative forum for the people? 6. Inclusion of affected and competent parties 7. Openness and transparency 8. Neutralisation of asymmetrical power relations 9. Decision-making capacity 10. OLP – Democratic decision-making or technocracy in disguise?
Anne Eliabeth Stie is a postdoctoral fellow at University of Agder, Norway. She has previously worked at and is still affiliated with ARENA, Centre for European Studies, University of Oslo, Norway.