2010 – vol. 4, no. 2
The Permanent Presidency of the European Council – Benefits and Risks
Abstract: The aim of this article is to study the effects of the introduction of a permanent Presidency of the European Council through the Lisbon Treaty. This measure affects the EC itself, the way it relates to other institutions and to the citizens, as well as the EU as a whole. The main areas which we can expect this change to have a positive impact on are efficiency, democratic control and visibility. Efficiency is a result of the fact that the resources at the President’s disposal can be better used in a longer mandate. Furthermore, deliberation as an appointment method enhances democratic control due to the European Council President’s increased accountability. The visibility of the EC may gain from this permanent office, but there is also the risk that confusion may arise because of the many similarly representative offices in the EU institutional framework. To this I add that the permanent Presidency of the EC helps strengthen the supranational – as opposed to the intergovernmental – nature of the institution.
Keywords: European Council Presidency; Lisbon Treaty; democratic control; efficiency; visibility
The European Commission – Supranational or Intergovernmental Character?
Abstract: The Commission represents one of the three basic institutions of the European Union. Regarding it, many problems were debated over time. One of the most important problems is about its institutional character: is it an intergovernmentalist institution or rather a supranationalist one?
In the first part of this paper I will analyze some of the arguments in favour of characterizing the Commission as an intergovernmentalist institution; in the second part, I will present some of the pro arguments for the supranational character of the Commission; finally, I will emphasize these, as I will declare myself in their favour.
Keywords: European Commission, European Union, debate, intergovernmentalism, supranationalism
The European Parliament: the European Union’s Solution to the Democratic Deficit?
Abstract: The European Parliament is the only actor in the European Union democratically elected. From this point of view, this institution seems to have an important role to play in solving the Union’s democratic deficit. In this paper, I intend to analyze the evolution of the European Parliament and of its powers, and how it could provide a solution for the EU’s democratic deficit.
Keywords: European Union, European Parliament, democratic deficit
MEPs Vote: Between Independence and “Insincere” Voting
Abstract: One of the most important transformations within the European Union are those regarding the European Parliament. Thus, the gradual increase of power in the decision making process captured the attention of researchers, who raised the problem of the MEPs behaviour during the vote.
It is why, in this paper, I intend to sustain with arguments and examples the hypothesis of a one insincere voting. Based on the evident relations between the MEPs and the national parties, with the Presidents of the European groups or with the labour Commissions, I will came with counters for those who believe in the independence in voting, also raising the idea of the inevitability of the insincere voting.
Keywords: MEPs, national parties, European party groups, parliamentary committees, insincere voting