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"Democratic legitimacy in the EU: the Role of National Parliaments"

Vos, Hendrik and Decock, Jeroen (2003) "Democratic legitimacy in the EU: the Role of National Parliaments". In: UNSPECIFIED, Nashville, Tennessee. (Unpublished)

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    Enhancing democratic legitimacy in the multilevel European polity is an important challenge. The results of eurobarometer, the outcome of referenda on EU-related topics, demonstrations at European summits etc.: they all show a weakening of the legitimacy of the European political system. In our traditional view on democracy ‘parliaments’ contribute towards the legitimacy of political projects. In this regard, the European Parliament has a crucial part to play. The Laeken Declaration states that national parliaments have an important role as well. But one needs to be careful. When talking about ‘democratic legitimacy’ one has to distinguish between input-oriented legitimacy (government by the people) and output-oriented effectiveness (government for the people). There are elements of conflict: involving national parliaments more closely in the decision-making procedures (one way to enhance democracy at the input-side) will probably complicate the decision-making process. This could have a negative impact on the institutional capacity for effective problem-solving at the EU-level and prevent European institutions from conveying output-oriented legitimacy. This paper examines the different proposals submitted to the Convention on Europe’s future on strengthening the influence of national parliaments. Specific attention is paid to the tension between input- and output-legitimacy. Our conclusion is that although most proposals would have adverse effects on effective policy-making, there are still possibilities for national parliaments to get more grip on European policies (thus enhancing democracy at the input-side), without complicating the decision-making process (thus not restricting effectiveness).

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Uncontrolled Keywords: input-legitimacy, output-legitimacy.
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > governance: EU & national level
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > democracy/democratic deficit
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > europeanisation/europeanization & European identity
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > European Parliament
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > legitimacy
    EU policies and themes > Treaty reform > European Convention
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2003 (8th), March 27-29, 2003
    Depositing User: Hendrik Vos
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2003
    Page Range: p. 23
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:15

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