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The ECJ's Contribution to Europe's Democracy Deficit

Author(s): Fellmeth, Aaron

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Abstract: Over the last half-decade the European Union's democracy deficit has become a topic of serious concern among scholars, politicians, the press, and the public. Commentaries inevitably focus on the Commission, the Council, or Parliament. This paper addresses the heretofore ignored question of how the European Court of Justice affects democracy in Europe. It argues that the Court's impact has been great on the extension of its own jurisdiction, on the jurisdiction of the European government, on the balance of power between member state governments and the European government, and on the distribution of power between appointed prime ministers and elected parliamentarians in the member states. The Court has repeatedly used procedurally undemocratic and extralegal methods, thereby significantly threatening the representativeness and responsiveness of public policy in Europe. The article advocates judicial restraint and a more open, accountable, and representative European Union.
Publication Date: 1996
Electronic Publication Date: 1996
Pages: 1-29
Type of Material: Journal Article
Series/Report no.: Volume 7;
Journal/Proceeding Title: Journal of Public and International Affairs
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

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