attention is to be paid to its views, a rethink on the issue of first-
reading agreements is also essential” (European Parliament, 2012b).
In sum, contrary to the expectation that ordinary legislative
procedures would enhance the transparency and quality of EU
law-making, the routine conclusion at first reading has led to a
change in the legislative pattern that suits the Council well. What
appears to be a move to legitimize the Union has led to the
disempowerment of the EP and served to deflect attention away
from the expansion of the Council’s executive power (Curtin,
2007: 160). This is the theme of the following section.
IV. The Council and the European Council
The foregoing demonstrates that, by empowering the EP
institution whose own democratic legitimacy continues to be in
question, the Treaty of Lisbon does not succeed in rebalancing the
executive-legislative power relations. Can the Council succeed in
striking a new balance? In this section, I argue that the Treaty of
Lisbon succeeds in neither subjecting the Council to greater
scrutiny, nor enhancing the capacity of national executives to act as
gatekeepers of national interests. I first consider the impact of
expanded co-decision on the accountability of the Council, then
analyze the implications of the newly created posts, i.e., the
President of the European Council, for the accountability and
gatekeeping function of national executives.
A. Council Accountability
(A) Logical Evaluation
The Treaty of Lisbon stipulates that the Council must meet in
public when considering and voting on a draft legislative Act (Art.
15.2, TFEU). It was hoped that enhanced transparency would
allow for closer scrutiny of national executives’ actions in Council
by national parliaments and the public. This provision is innovative