EU construction — страница 2

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the inadequacy of a legitimacy confined to elite consensus. The debates over Maastricht demonstrated the vulnerability of the EU to popular countermobilisation, and the necessity to secure not to only public support for the expansion of its powers, but also a more direct legitimacy for the institutions that were to exercise them. Whatever disadvantages greater transparency and accountability may bring for the distinctive modes of EU decision making, it is now commonly accepted that the further extension of jurisdiction needs to be balanced by a larger electoral and parliamentary role. Those who are opposed to be balanced by a larger electoral and parliamentary role. Those who are opposed to the former will also oppose the latter. The issues of the EU´s legitimacy and the

extension of its powers are thus intimately connected.   A final reason for treating the legitimacy of EU institutions seriously is the impact it has on the legitimacy of the member states themselves. The later can no longer be regarded as independent of the former. Just as it was the acknowledged deficiency of individual nation-states in market regulation and economic performance that led to the surrender of powers of the European level, so the latter´s performance affects the standing of national governments for good or ill. So too, the inadequacy of parliamentary…       Ch.3   Democracy, legitimacy and majority rule in the European Union.   …democracy is said to be missing in the EU… Institutions, as all other rules

that regulate behaviour, should be legitimate in several senses. We are only morally obligated to obey normatively legitimate institutions. That is, they must be justifiable to the `demos`, to all affected parties. Normative legitimacy requires a presentation and justification of such principles of legitimacy for the EU, as well as transparency of its institutions. Only then can the public assess whether principles of legitimacy are satisfied. At present, we have neither such a theory of justice, nor the requisite transparency. These flaws are in part due to the lack of constitutional dimensions to the institutions of the EU. There is no explicit presentation and systematic defence of the de facto constitutive rules, rules of mechanisms, and purposes of the EU.   The

Amsterdam Treaty takes steps in this direction by requiring timely information to national parliaments, and allowing them six weeks for debates before legislative proposals are placed on the Council agenda. More drastic suggestions, not adopted, included a European constitution explicitly established and recognised as such, and procedures for holding Council members accountable for their votes.   Democracy as a majority rule.   Democracy is also used to describe the decision procedures of institutions whereby the preference of the majority of the electorate determine the result. The democratic deficit of the EU sometimes refers to this notion of democracy. There is as gap between the powers transferred to the Community level and the control of the elected Parliament

over them, a gap filled by national civil servants operating as European experts or as members of regulation and management committees, and to some extent by organised lobbies, mainly representing business.   Parliament, moving towards a system of bicameral parliamentary democracy, possibly leading to co-decision with the council as the standard procedure Furthermore, the Treaty increases the use of qualified majority voting among the government representatives in the Council of Ministers. These changes highlight some of the central topics of a normative political theory for the EU: the legitimate significance of states; the proper scope and application of the principle of subsidiarity; and the content of  `vital national interests` or important ad stated reasons of

national policy` which protect a domain of domestic sovereignty from outside intervention, originating with the 1966 Luxembourg compromise and re-emerging in the Amsterdam Treaty.   These two senses of democracy are related in several interesting ways. The lack of specific majoritarian decision procedures can be lamented only from the perspective of a sound political theory of legitimacy. Only then we can understand why such majority rule is appropriate for certain kinds of decision in the first place. Second, contractualist theories of normative legitimacy appeal to consent by all affected parties, and are thus reminiscent of democratic elections. Considerations of possible consent bring out whether the interests of each are secured well enough by the institutions. Thus,