Contemporary trends within the European constitutional developments and their reflection in the constitution of the EU : an analysis of functioning of national parliaments at the European level and the problem of democratic deficit

Thumbnail Image
Abrahamyan, Marsel
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
If one agrees that there should be a democracy in the Union, another question immediately arising what is the democratic element of the institutional settlement of the EU? Should the democratic paradigm of the Union be achieved by enhancing the role of the EP or the National Parliaments of the Member States, or as it is drafted in the Constitutional Treaty (principle of representative democracy), both? It is widely conceived that the democracy is far from being the reserved organising principle of the modern nation-state. Furthermore, since the 1970s, it has been acknowledged that it is an organising principle for other societal structures too. Hence, as it is argued in the thesis, what kind of democracy for the sui generis EU could be best suited? Would it be plausible to apply the very same democratic standards of the nation-state or it would be misguided? In addition, there are some likely models, such as consensus or consociational, regulatory, deliberative, parliamentary (post-parliamentary), which one might fit to the institutional structure of the EU. On the other hand, the problem of democracy is inextricably intertwined with the issue of ‘Demos’. Would it be possible to build democracy without ethno-culturally strictly defined notion of the latter? It is pointed out that a ‘European Demos’ is not a prerequisite but an outcome of European integration. The second point, which is inextricably linked with democracy, is the deficit of the latter. What kind of deficit is available on the European level? Could it be alleviated injecting more doses of representative democracy onto that level, deploying two parliamentary tanks namely, National Parliaments and the European Parliament, thus avoiding to use the standard model of representative (parliamentary) democracy. The new Constitutional Treaty would endow with this opportunity to embed the principle of dual legitimacy, making NPs from national to strong multilevel players.
Second semester University: Université Libre de Bruxelles.
democracy, European Union, legislative bodies, parliament