Background Image
Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  359 / 450 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 359 / 450 Next Page
Page Background

Democratic Implications of the Treaty of Lisbon


I. Preface


Treaty of Lisbon was initially proposed, in part, in

response to calls to address the EU democratic deficit. As such, it is

not surprising that Title II TEU is devoted to “Provisions on

Democratic Principles.” How has the Treaty of Lisbon fared in

redressing the democratic deficit? In assessing the answer to this

question, I analyze reforms concerning the European Parliament,

the Council, the European Council, and national parliaments. To

measure improvements introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon, two

types of indicators are taken into account. Institutionally and

theoretically, the logical rationale for reforms is considered.

Empirically, a comparison of the situation regarding the

democratic deficit before and after the Treaty of Lisbon came into

effect will be presented. With respect to the European Parliament,

the article focuses on the alleged disconnectedness of MEPs from

the electorate, and the implications of ordinary legislative

procedures on legislative patterns and the legislative behavior of

the EP. With regards to the Council and the European Council,

attention is directed toward the gatekeeping function of national

executives in light of the prevalence of trilogues and the newly

created position of the President of the European Council. As to

national parliaments, the significance of the early warning

mechanism with regards to the principle of subsidiarity as provided

in the Treaty of Lisbon is examined. The findings of the paper

show that there is very weak evidence supporting the claim that the

Treaty of Lisbon has improved the EU’s democratic deficit to any

substantive degree.

II. Some Essence of the Pre-Lisbon

Democratic Deficit Debate

Most analysts of the EU’s democratic deficit approach the

issue by focusing on individual institutions and examining their