Beyond the European Parliament: Rethinking the EU's democratic legitimacy

Anand Menon, John Peet
21 December 2010

The European Parliament plays a crucial role in the EU's legislative process, but is little loved in many parts of the EU. Even if all MEPs became wise, hard-working and responsible, the Parliament would still find it hard to claim a proper democratic mandate. This problem has become more important since the Lisbon treaty granted MEPs wide-ranging new powers, including over security and foreign policy. In this CER essay, Anand Menon and John Peet examine the reasons for the Parliament's failure to represent adequately its electorate. They also suggest some alternative steps towards improving the democratic legitimacy of EU policy-making.

Anand Menon is professor of West European politics at the University of Birmingham and John Peet is Europe Editor at The Economist.

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