Jean Monnet Center at NYU School of Law


A Functional Institutional System

To develop a long-term functional institutional system at the European level, it is by no means necessary to deviate from the previously trodden path of institutional development. To be able to act as a united Europe, we need not compromise democratic principles and return to a process of nationalisation. Institutional reform should not surrender what has already been attained, but further develop it. That is not only true for the allocation of legislative competencies and the definition of decision-making procedures, but also for the development of the European executive branch.

The basic components of a European legislative system that secure both democratic legitimacy and the decision-making capacity of the EU political system are already inherent in the institutional structure. With comparatively moderate reforms, a functional two chamber system could be developed on this basis; it would consist of the directly elected European Parliament and the European Council, composed of national government officials, as it now is. In contrast to Fischer's proposals, this would neither require annulling existing achievements (such as the directly elected parliament) nor introducing new institutions (such as a senate).



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