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B. Empowered EP and Law-Making

(A) Logical Evaluation

Under ordinary legislative procedures, the European

Parliament and the Council must agree on exactly the same text for

the adoption of a proposed EU law. A legislative proposal is

adopted at the first reading if the Council and the European

Parliament agree on the document at that stage. If the two

legislative bodies fail to reach an agreement at the first reading, the

Council must adopt a “common position” that provides reasons for

rejecting any European Parliament first reading amendments. In

case of a disagreement between the Council and the Parliament

after the second reading, a Conciliation Committee will be


One of the essential functions of a parliament in any

democracy is the public forum function. Deliberative democracy

posits that “the modern conception of representation is ultimately

parasitic on deliberation,” and that “democratic legitimacy derives

from the public justification of the results to those affected”

(Eriksen & Fossum, 2011: 167, 169). Even before the co-decision

procedure came to be used widely and early legislative conclusions

strongly preferred, the public forum function of the European

Parliament was already extremely weak. Among the factors that

made the EP an ineffective public forum were the language

problem and media disinterest (Weiler et al., 1995: 8). The

expansion of co-decision making, and new provisions for ordinary

legislative procedures, have further undermined this function by

encouraging the EP to legislate in ever less open and public




In the democratic deficit debate, the question of whether it is “fair”



to compare what democracy can function at the national level to

what can be achieved at the EU level frequently emerges. Whether such

comparisons are “fair”

to the EU is given no consideration in this article.

Taking the existence of the democratic deficit as a given, the article focuses