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EU Constitutional Law - Essay Example

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EU Constitutional Law

The frustration with integration theories was due to, first, the scope of the study of integration, second, the participants who were effectively engendering integration and third, the process or mechanism of integration. This approach indicated the importance of certain factors, which had been omitted in the initial assessment. Despite, rejection by the intergovernmental conference, the proposed introduction showed that the Convention's aim was to vitalize the idea of democracy. The democratic constitution of the European Communities was considered unimportant and unnecessary by many scholars who felt that an internal market endorsed individual freedom1. In spite of this, the EU's transformation from purely economic to political cooperation has necessitated such thinking.
The Amsterdam Treaty2 has incorporated democracy as a fundamental value into the foundational treaties3. Article 2 of the Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe4 (CT) lists democracy as a central value of the Union and Articles 1- 47 buttresses this notion under the title "The Democratic Life of the Union" as representative5 and participatory6 democracy.
Although, the necessity of democratic governance is universally recognized its discourse, premises and content are frequently discussed7. The holistic approach is based on society and the assumption that there exists a common good which differs from the aggregate of all individual interests. The subject of legitimacy in the individualist position refers to the individual and hence, the aim of public policy is to promote individual interests. A state-centered collectivist approach deters further integration and limits decision-making to the national parliaments8. Hence, at the European level, the Council of Ministers have to play a vital role and from an individualistic perspective and the European Parliament, which represents the European citizenry is the main organ for obtaining democratic legitimacy9.
Foundation.

The holistic legitimacy concept justifies the state-centered democratic vision, which states that only national peoples are subjects of legitimacy. Since, minorities accept majority decisions only if the citizenry has a certain national homogeneity, legitimacy has to be derived from national parliaments. Hence, absence of a European demos is a hurdle to further integration. The legitimacy of the state-centered, collectivist approach is dubious as no relationship exists between society and the nation state10, which is independent of a national or homogenous group11 or a cultural, religious or social consensus.
Constitutional Treaty and Legitimacy.
Article 2 CT lists dignity and individual liberty in the Union's fundamental values with the individualistic concept of democracy being adopted theoretically and it accords center stage to the individual in the European legal order, which is further strengthened by the guarantee of equality prescribed in Articles 2 and 45 CT. These provisions grant European citizens equal rights, rendering mediation of citizen's rights by a state or nation unnecessary. Therefore, the guarantee of liberty and equality exemplify that the European Constitution is based on an individualistic concept of democracy12. Article 1 (1) CT, lists the will of the member states to build a common future beneath ...Show more

Summary

The EU's competence in respect of effective and democratic governance has been constantly under scrutiny. The main drawback to EU governance was its restricted decision making due to the Member States' veto powers, collective action problems for private interest groups and the regulatory competition triggered by the single market programme…
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EU Constitutional Law essay example
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