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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 (“

New commission,

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

afforded codecision

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).