A Democratic Audit of the European Union by Christopher Lord (auth.)

By Christopher Lord (auth.)

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The EP is able to reject but not amend. This applies, for example, to international Treaties signed by the EU. Second pillar procedures Common strategies are agreed by heads of government in the European Council on proposals framed by their foreign ministers. Those strategies can then be carried out by the following: Joint actions. Particular foreign policy tasks, usually with closely specified objectives, and limited means. Common positions, commit Member States to following a Union line in other international bodies and processes.

Bargaining/deliberative dimensions of democracy. More abstract than the previous two distinctions, Strategic models of democracy assume that citizens have clear and fixed views of their interests. The main goal of democratic institutions is then to find the most efficient means of aggregating individuals’ preferences into collective actions. In contrast, deliberative notions hold that aggregation is only one aspect of a democratic process. If political equality is to mean anything at all, members of a democracy must be able to deliberate what they propose to do in common in a way that abstracts from power relationships between themselves (Habermas, 1996).

Another is offered by the analytical framework of the Audit itself. In the chapters that follow, use of the European Democratic Audit criteria to interrogate the documentary and interview evidence helps highlight hidden assumptions, internal inconsistencies and evasions. A third safeguard is offered by the shape of the EU’s political system. Its dispersion of power between heterogeneous and mutually watchful actors, allows each piece of documentary and interview evidence to be classified either as a ‘selfassessment’ of standards in an actor’s own institution or as a ‘peer review’ of standards in an interlocutor body.

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