How do our judges conceive of
democracy? The democratic nature of the community decision-making process under
scrutiny of the European Court of Justice.
This paper examines the ECJ case law
on the democratic nature of the community decision-making process and is an
attempt to draw a file rouge from this line of judgements, even if the fact
that the Court fluctuates "between highs and lows", following the path not only
of specific individual cases, but also of the institutional historic moment,
makes this task a difficult one.
paper shows us that the democratic principle used by the ECJ judges seems, at
least initially, to need to rediscover itself in the constitutional traditions
common to the member States. A sign of that osmosis occurring between the
Community level and the national one: the Court finds supports in the classical
theory of representative democracy as the living experience of the legal orders
of the Member States. This study also argues however that, at the moment, the
Court doesn't linger too much - except in rhetoric - on the problematic of
popular representation but, rather, focuses its attention on the principle of
institutional balance limiting, in the end, the democratic process to within
the boundaries of the institutional relationships.
starting point for the democratization of the Community decision-making process
seen in the jurisprudence of the ECJ has been until now, the strengthening of
the role of the European Parliament. It is clear however that the ECJ does not
view this as sufficiently encompassing and continues to seek alternatives to
fill the perceived democratic deficit. It is these alternatives which the
author will explore and consider more fully.
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