Constitutional complexities of European democracy in light of the 2014 European Parliament elections
Title: Constitutional complexities of European democracy in light of the 2014 European Parliament elections
Author: KOCHAROV, Anna
Citation: Zeitschrift für Europarechtliche Studien (ZEuS), 2014, No. 4, pp. 443-460
The paper analyzes the constitutional complexities of the most recent attempt to build democracy directly on Union level: the shift from a politically neutral European Commission to a Commission whose President is nominated by the political party that wins most seats in the elections to the European Parliament. In the course of the 2014 EP elections, the main European political parties nominated their candidates for president of the European Commission (the so-called Spitzenkandidaten) with the promise and the expectation that this linking of Presidency of the Commission with the outcome of EP elections would increase democratic legitimacy of Europe. This nomination procedure was followed through despite an express negative vote by two Member States. This article examines the constitutional aspects of the new arrangement and discusses how they link to legitimacy of the EU and its policies. It is argued that the current Union Treaties situate legitimacy at the national rather than EU level, making the Spitzenkandidaten arrangement not only useless for enhancing legitimacy but directly harmful in this regard.
Type of Access: openAccess
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