DEMOCRATIC DEFICIT IN THE EU?
Despite some democratic presence within the EU, embodied by the European Parliament (EP), democracy remains limited and is a recurring critique of the EU with the name “democratic deficit”. The 1976 election act created democratic elections for the European Parliament and the treaties provide that: "the members of the European Parliament shall be elected for a term of five years by direct universal suffrage in a free and secret ballot". However, the directly elected institution holds less decision-making power than the indirectly elected Council of the European Union, resulting in the advancement of the interests of the member states rather than their citizens. Furthermore, although there exist some checks and balances between the EP and the European Commission, allowing the EP to censure the latter following a vote of censure under Article 234 TFEU, the commission remains with the legislative initiative and individual commissioners cannot be made to resign. Overall, the argument or critique of the democratic deficit of the EU is supported by the less significant power the EP holds in comparison to indirectly elected institutions.
Written by Adam Paska.
Picture by: https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/how-does-european-union-work.