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ignore nor bypass, no matter how technical they consider the issue

at hand is. In line with this view, the Federal Constitutional Court

of Germany stated that,

democracy, first and foremost lives on, and in, a viable

public opinion that concentrates on central acts of

determination of political direction and the periodic

allocation of highest-ranking political offices in the

competition of government and opposition. Only this

public opinion shows the alternatives for elections and

other votes and continually calls them to mind also in

decisions relating to individual issues in order that they

remain continuously present and effective in the political

opinion-formation of the people via the parties. (German

Federal Constitutional Court, 2009, paragraph 250, as

cited in Nicol, 2012: 511)

To summarize, remedying the EU’s deficit of democratic

legitimacy has proven challenging. Attempt to balance executive

dominance through the strengthening of the EP risks exacerbating,

rather than solving, the EP’s legitimacy problem. Also, empowering

the EP may inadvertently shift the balance of inter-institutional

power relations in the Council’s advantage. In the following

sections, I assess how the Treaty of Lisbon has impacted these

long-standing concerns.


A. Democratic Legitimacy of the EP

(A) Logical Evaluation

In order to address criticisms that European integration has

resulted in increased executive power and decreased in

parliamentary control, and that the European Parliament is, in

general, weak and toothless, the Treaty of Lisbon greatly enhanced

the power of the European Parliament by expanding the scope of