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The Constitution of European Democracy$
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Dieter Grimm

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198805120

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198805120.001.0001

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On the Status of the EU’s Democratic Legitimacy after Lisbon

On the Status of the EU’s Democratic Legitimacy after Lisbon

(p.57) 4 On the Status of the EU’s Democratic Legitimacy after Lisbon
The Constitution of European Democracy

Dieter Grimm

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the status of the EU’s democratic legitimacy after Lisbon: the treaty, which forms the legal foundation of the EU, and the 2009 judgment of the German Federal Constitutional Court, which declared that the German law ratifying the treaty was compatible with the Basic Law, Germany’s constitution. One of the Lisbon Treaty’s declared goals is to strengthen European democracy. This chapter first considers the levels of creating and organizing European public authority and the exercise of European public authority before discussing the European Parliament’s limited role in terms of approving decisions. It then asks whether the notion that EU is democratically deficient is accurate, suggesting that the necessary degree of democratization in the EU depends on the scope of its powers and on the extent of its autonomy from the Member States. Finally, it explores the question of de-legitimation through Europe’s democratic deficit.

Keywords:   democracy, European Union, democratic legitimacy, German Federal Constitutional Court, Basic Law, public authority, European Parliament, democratization, autonomy, de-legitimation

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