The article argues that an increased role for the European Parliament and the national parliaments of the member states in the EU’s decision-making process can make an important contribution to addressing the Union’s “democratic deficit”. It identifies the key aspects of the deficit as the uncoupling between decision-making and electoral accountability, the absence of genuine political contestation (“opposition deficit”) and the weak monitoring and democratic control of EU institutional actors. It defines the current state of European integration as predominantly intergovernmental and lacking a unified pan-European political sphere, but progressing towards a stronger supranational dimension. It advocates a model centered around three measures: (1) giving the EP the right to legislative initiative; (2) granting a nonbinding right to legislative initiative (“Green Card”) to national parliaments; (3) increasing interparliamentary cooperation through an interparliamentary cooperation nexus based on a “COSAC Plus” model.
■ European Union ■ Democratic deficit ■ European Parliament ■ National parliaments
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