f_0019752_16824

f_0019752_16824 - Democracy in the European Union and the...

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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol. 8, No. 4, Winter 2009 1 Democracy in the European Union and the Treaty of Lisbon Nevra Esentürk * Abstract Democracy, one of the basic values of Western politics, has undergone a comprehensive development process still in progress during the course of European integration. Although at the initial phase of the integration, even no hint of democracy was on the fore, it has become one of the most discussed subjects in the Union. With the recent development of the Lisbon Treaty, the question of democratic legitimacy, transparency and efficiency of the EU was put at the center. Thus, it has been given much more attention and its credentials have been improved day by day in the EU. However, democracy, which is a very comprehensive subject incorporating several issues related to the EU, such as the principles of the EU, the institutional structure, legislative procedures, fundamental rights and the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, despite all this improvement trend in force, is still not sufficient. In this context, in which there still exists democratic deficit in the EU, after a brief historical background of the issue, the Lisbon Treaty is analyzed in terms of the novelties, advances it brought to democracy in the EU basically in two parts, namely the democratic principles, and the institutional and functional aspects of European democracy in this study. In the light of this analysis, it is aimed to figure out the advantages and limits of the improvement trend in European democracy, which would open the way for further developments in this issue. Key words: democracy in the EU, democratic deficit, the Lisbon Treaty Introduction Democracy, one of the basic values of Western politics, has undergone a comprehensive development process still in progress during the course of European integration. European integration, which started from the point of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), emerged as a club of six member states with a primary focus on economic integration at the
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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol. 8, No. 4, Winter 2009 2 beginning, when even no hint of democracy was on the fore, and reached the point of the recent development of the Lisbon Treaty in which the question of democratic legitimacy, transparency and efficiency of the EU was put at the center after the refusal of the Draft Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe by the two founding member states of the European Union (EU), France and the Netherlands. The Lisbon Treaty, which has had the basic aim to complete the process started by the Treaty of Amsterdam and by the Treaty of Nice with a view to enhancing the efficiency and democratic legitimacy of the Union and to improving the coherence of its action 1 , was signed by the EU member states on 13 December 2007, and entered into force in 1 December 2009, amending the Treaty on European Union 2 and the Treaty establishing the European
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f_0019752_16824 - Democracy in the European Union and the...

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