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What does the European Union’s so-called ‘democratic deficit’ stem from, and how could it be tackled?

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  1. Introduction.
  2. What does 'democratic deficit' mean and how has the problem risen?
    1. The meaning of 'democratic deficit'.
    2. The factors causing the democratic deficit in the European Union.
    3. Low voter turnout.
    4. The high level of euroscepticism.
    5. A lack of the feeling of European citizenship.
    6. Problems of organisation in EU institutions.
  3. What does 'democracy' mean and how is one to tackle the problem of a 'democratic deficit' in Europe?
    1. Definition of democracy.
    2. Tackling the 'democratic deficit' in Europe.
    3. More explanation of EU procedures.
    4. Establishment of a uniform electoral system.
    5. More free movement of people in Europe.
    6. Election of the Commission.
    7. More power for the European Parliament.
  4. Conclusion.
  5. Bibliography.

One of the most important discussions in the modern-day European Union concerns the democratic deficit. The Maastricht treaty, which was signed on February 1992 by different European states, claims that the goal the EU is to create ?an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe, in which decisions are taken as closely as possible to the citizen' (John, McCormick 2005, 131). However, opinions polls show that a large majority of citizens find Europe less satisfactory that their own states as far democratic functioning is concerned (Paul, Magnette 2005, 167).This paper considers the following questions: What does the European Union's so-called ?democratic deficit' stem from, and how could it be tackled? The relevant literature yields more than a dozen definitions of ?democratic deficit?, all resting on the same basic assumptions about the origins of the problem (Stelios, Stavridis et all. 1997, 72-3).

[...] European Citizenship, Multiculturalmism, and the State, pp.87-104. Baden: Die Deutsche Bibliothek. Lodge, Juliet ?Democracy in the EU: the Inter-relationship between Supranational, National and Subnational Levels of Governement'' in Telo, Mario, eds., Democratie et Construction européenne, pp. 240-250. Brussels : Editions de l'Université de Bruxelles. Lodge, Juliet ?Euro-Elections 2004- A defining Point in European Integration in Lodge, Juliet, eds. The 2004 Elections to the European Parliament, pp.3-7. Chippenham : Palgrave MacMillan. Louis, Jean-Victor constitution de l'Union européenne'' in Telo, Mario, eds., Democratie et Construction européenne, pp. [...]

[...] We can say that in general EU citizens are relatively uninterested in participating in the mechanisms for shaping the structure and policies of EU institutions (Loukas, Tsoukalis 2005, 208-9) The high level of euroscepticism: Euroscepticism is a term which covers opposition both to the process of European integration and to what are felt to be the ever-increasing the powers of the European Union (Iain, McLean and Alistair, McMillan 2006). It can be applied to political parties, individual citizens and national governments (Anthony, Forster 2002, 1-9). [...]

[...] The European population does not feel itself to be a political unity, because of these many linguistics and cultural differences which obstruct the sense of a homogenous identity within Europe (Dennis, Smith and Sue, Wright 1999, 133). Even within certain European countries there are distinct subgroups with a strong sense of separate identity and who aspire to independent nationhood (Dennis, Smith and Sue, Wright 1999, 133). II) What does ?democracy? mean and how is one to tackle the problem of a ?democratic deficit? in Europe? [...]

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