Essay: Government and Politics of Europe

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Government and Politics of Europe

Democracy deficit in the European Union

In spite of the fact that more than two decades have passed from the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the European Union is still unable to maintain democracy at a constant level in all of its member countries. Although people might be inclined to express lack of interest in approaching the matter from a discriminatory point-of-view, this is what actually needs to be done in order to understand more regarding the things that prevent the Union from developing into a complete democracy. As more and more countries integrate the Union bodies that are already in the Union find it difficult to assist these respective actors in overcoming problems that prevent them from being democratic.

While economic integration is, indeed, difficult to perform, this process is not as difficult as the process of political integrations. Many politicians have different perspectives concerning the concept of democracy and some are likely to be against it. One might tend to believe that politics can be dealt with separately from economics, but the reality is that developing countries that have recently entered the European Union have a strong relationship between economy and politics, thus making it particularly difficult for someone to separate these two fields.

In spite of the fact that many factors show otherwise, numerous influential individuals in the European Committee claim that the Union does not suffer from a democratic deficit and that conditions are perfectly normal when considering contemporary circumstances in the community.

The concept of democratic deficit is, in itself, particularly confusing because individuals can interpret it in regard to their perspective concerning democracy and can believe that a group is more or less democratic solely focusing on their understanding of democracy. The EU is designed with the purpose of having executive bodies control most of policy-making decisions at a community level. While this might not seem like a problem, the fact that executive actors have the ability to act without asking for permission from national parliament is. "Even with the establishment of European Affairs Committees in all national parliaments, ministers when speaking and voting in the Council, national bureaucrats when making policies in Coreper or Council working groups, and officials in the Commission when drafting or implementing legislation, are much more isolated from national parliamentary scrutiny and control than are national cabinet ministers or bureaucrats in the domestic policy-making process" (Follesdal & Hix, 3).

This makes it possible for governments to express little to no interest in decisions made by their parliaments when they need to make a decision in Brussels. Thus, for a country to successfully be integrated in the European Union, it needs to transfer power from national parliaments to executives in the government (Follesdal & Hix, 3).

With governments being in charge of their parliaments it is difficult to determine whether or not democracy can effectively influence the lives of politicians and simple citizens living in the Union. In order for conditions to experience reform when regarding this issue, the Commission should be denied the right to intervene in the legislative process and the European Parliament and the Council should be provided with more authority in the matter. European citizens are confused as a result of the fact that power is shifted between influential actors in the community and find it difficult to understand what body they need to support and why. In order to improve conditions, the EU needs to focus on having its citizens understand more concerning its purposes and the fact that it functions as a body.

One of the principal attempts that have been performed in the recent years with the intention of creating a safer environment in the EU is the law that promoted reduction in the number of communes in each country. The significant number of communes in the EU made it difficult for leaders to address citizens objectively, considering that many identified with their commune and virtually lost many of their traditional values through having their communes expanded. Individuals felt that the relationship that they have with communes was particularly important for them and the fact that they identified with them made them feel that they were living in a democratic environment where there was nothing wrong with trying to be autonomous. In spite of the fact that the European Parliament believed that reducing the number of communes would… [END OF PREVIEW]

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