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The democratic ambiguity of EU law-making and its enemies

Chalmers, Damian (2015) The democratic ambiguity of EU law-making and its enemies. In: Arnull, A. and Chalmers, Damian, (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of European Union Law. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, pp. 303-326.

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Identification Number: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199672646.013.14


Analysis of EU law making is made difficult by the presence of multiple legislative procedures. Matters are further complicated by neither national nor postnational models of democracy providing convincing answers as to when EU law making is democratic. This grants EU law making a democratic ambiguity. It is committed to democracy and has democratic features, but not sufficiently to convince the Union’s citizens of its democratic authority. The scepticism generated by this is itself valuable. Democratic ambiguity generates further positive features within all EU legislative procedures: the possibility of triple review by different institutional actors—the European Parliament, national governments, and national parliaments. This is unparalleled but compromised by other features of EU law making: first, the lack of compass to indicate when it is democratic for the Union to legislate, and second, democratic fluidity, the presence of informal processes that serve to bypass and undermine this triple review.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 Oxford University Press
Divisions: Law
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
K Law > K Law (General)
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2016 13:30
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2021 23:07

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