the EP from voters, since
[m]ore co-decision will make it still more difficult for the
electorate to differentiate between the parties and thus to
have a reason to vote for one party rather than another on
the basis of their behavior in the legislative process.
Perhaps this difficulty helps to explain the paradox of an
evident growth in Parliament power combined with a
constant decline in participation at European elections.
(Shackleton, 2000: 341)
An unintended consequence of excluding a majority of MEPs
from participating in the law-making process is that the new
process runs counter to the original purpose of Treaty reform,
which was to
the participation of MEPs and
transparency. While shrinking the circle of people privy to
legislative proposals can be characterized as “efficiency,” it is
hardly democratic. At a time when the role of special interests in
EU law-making is already a cause for concern (“
2014; Sabido, 2013), rushed decisions by ever smaller groups of
people serve to deepen Europeans’ distrust of the Union.
(B) Empirical Evaluation
A closer look at co-decision procedures reveals that time
pressures, combined with pressure from the Council, has resulted
in changed behavioral and legislative patterns in the Parliament
patterns that are unconducive to legitimating the EP in the eyes of
the electorate. The Treaty of Lisbon almost doubled the scope
from 44 policy areas to 85 (European
Parliament, 2012a: 5). Mathematically, expanding the areas of
co-decision is bound to create pressure for legislators to rush
through legislation, and thus finalize legislation in earlier stages,
i.e., during the first or second readings of the legislative procedure.
As such, there is little time for the Council and the European
Parliament to resolve potential differences at the conciliation stage
(Shackleton & Raunio, 2003: 172-176).