In a recent article published in The Times, the French President, Jacques Chirac affirmed that, "the evolution of the world towards a multipolar situation is inevitable. In consequence, from today, the European Union should play a great role in the global governance?. He outlined his willingness to lead the European Union (EU) as a counter-power to the United States. This willingness of President Chirac to give a real status to the EU in the global governance raises the problem of governance within the Union itself. Indeed, how can we envisage a legitimate European intervention in the global system, if the rules of the democratic governance are not respected within the EU? We have to wonder to what extent the European Union enhances or undermine the democratic governance.
[...] Furthermore the president of the Commission will be elected by the European Parliament on the base of the elections' result. So the democratic mandate and legitimacy of the Commission is strengthened being explicitly accountable to the European Parliament that can dismiss the Commission. Concerning the national parliaments, their role is also strengthened: the principle of subsidiary is reinforced, the information to national parliaments increased and the Council of Ministers becomes more open. Furthermore, because the democratic legitimacy comes also from the effectiveness, the Convention wanted to build a more efficient Union. [...]
[...] Chryssochoou, The European and the Democratic Deficit in M. Cini, European Union Politics MPCM Van Schendelen, The Council decides: Does the Council decide?” JMCM, vol n ', December 1996. Art : any citizens of the Union shall have a right of access to European Parliament, Council or Commission documents. Euro barometer Special Bureaux” “information on European Union and the enlargement”, www.Europa.com According to an article from Franklin, M., Marsh, M.&Van Der Eijk, C. Referendum Outcomes and Trust in Government: Public Support for Europe in the Wake of Maastricht”, WEP, Vol 18 101-117. [...]
[...] That can create real incoherence and inequalities between the territories and the levels of governance in the union, that is why the kind of criticism seem to be justified. As we have seen in this first part, traditionally since 1957 and the Treaty of Rome, the institutions and the governance of the European Union have always been criticised for the so-called undemocratic nature. The “unaccountable” balance of the powers in the institutional triangle, the respect” of the criterions of “good governance” (openness, participation, accountability) and the “inefficiency” of the European Union are constantly used by the eurosceptics as argument against the European integration. Sometimes these criticisms are justified. [...]
[...] This was undoubtedly a significant advance for the EP because this permitted it to propose amendment, or issue a veto. The Maastricht Treaty (1993) is maybe one of the most important steps in the European Parliament history. Indeed it introduced the procedure of co-decision for some important legislation. Co-decision laws designate as joint Acts of the Parliament and Council (rather than Acts of the Council alone) and the procedure added an irrevocable parliamentary veto to previous arrangements. For most observers, this was a considerable step forward. [...]
[...] Today the Parliament has a central place in the legislative process. Besides, it is maybe very shocking for some eurosceptics , who argue that the EP is weak, but in many aspects the European Parliament is more influential over policy than many national parliaments in Western European countries. Indeed in most national chambers, parliamentarians are bound by strong ties of party loyalty to support or oppose a government. It is not the case in the EP because there is no clear government to either oppose or support, while party loyalties are also more diffused. [...]
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