Strengthening European Union Democratic Accountability Through National and Treaty-Based Pre-Legislative Controls

Ulgen, Ozlem (2015) Strengthening European Union Democratic Accountability Through National and Treaty-Based Pre-Legislative Controls. German Law Journal, 16 (4). pp. 741-780. ISSN 2071-8322

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Abstract

This article considers whether greater accountability for EU supranational decision-making can be achieved through a combination of member states’ legislative processes and EU treaty-based mechanisms. The EU is formed by member states’ national consent through treaty ratification and a system of domestic pre-legislative controls on consent— parliamentary approval, public consultation and referendum—which operates to limit the nature and extent of EU law. Using the UK as an example to compare with other member states, the article contends that such domestic controls are prerequisites to national incorporation of EU law and strengthen democratic accountability. Consent alone, however, does not provide an adequate basis for accountability of supranational decisions; EU constitutional principles of citizenship, democracy, and political rights illustrate how the EU fulfills a role as protector of rights. The article further argues that the EU’s protector role represents partial legitimacy and accountability for supranational decisions. Greater legitimacy and accountability derives from national parliaments’ pre-legislative controls under EU law—scrutinizing legislation, monitoring subsidiarity, and exercising veto powers. The article concludes that if these controls are exercised properly, they represent powerful accountability mechanisms.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: M100 Law by area
M200 Law by Topic
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Law
UoA Collections > REF2021 UoA18: Law
Depositing User: Ozlem Ulgen
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2018 11:51
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 11:51
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5577

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