1. Explain the problem of ‘democratic deficit’ and suggest possible solutions to the issue.
The democratic deficit, in general terms, is a problem related with the incapacity of the EU institutions to represent and support most of the European population, as it is supposed to do. This problem is also related with the “level of own control” that the member states have if different aspects that are considered to be decided in EU institution levels. From my point of view, a good idea to decrease the existent level of democratic deficit would be to increase the strength of the national parliaments in the legislative process of the EU as well as giving them back the ability of control some fields that maybe should not be controlled by the EU.
2. Discuss the importance of democracy within the European integration process.
In order to focus in the importance of the democracy in the European integration process, I can say that the democracy is the base of the EU. From the beginning, if there had not been democracy probably the EU would not exist as we now it today. The EU basis talk about no dictatorial regimens, peaceful resolution of conflicts, active political participation of the European citizens… If we take a look of these points, we find that they are the same as the basic principles of democracy. Regarding the European integration process, I think it is enough to mention that one of the access criteria points in order to enter into the EU for other countries is having a democracy. Knowing this, we can guess about the importance of this concept in the whole European integration process.
3. Is the formation of tangible European consciousness necessary for the promotion of European democracy?
In my opinion it is true that a European consciousness is needed in order to promote a European democracy. The reason why I think like this is so simple: “if something is wanted is because someone wants it”. What I mean with that phrase is that even before start planting a European democracy, it has to exist the intention of that. In this case, it is needed that the citizens of the European Union have the though that they belong or that they form part of something, and that is why they want that European democracy to be developed.
4. Do you believe that the Treaties of Amsterdam and Nice made valid contributions to the democratization of the EU?
Nowadays there is only one opinion about the contributions of the Amsterdam and Nice Treaties to the European democracy: they have been missed opportunities. This is thought due to the following reasons: * Amsterdam Treaty: It is said that the Amsterdam Treaty supposed a step back in the democratic vision for the EU´s future. This pact could be described easily as “maintaining national control trend”. The biggest mistake of this process was prioritizing specific politic terms instead of other questions related with the EU democracy as a whole. * Treaty of Nice: Although the Charter of Fundamental Rights was signed in Nice, it was not included in this pact. This is one of the reasons because people think that the Nice process, as the Amsterdam one, was a missed opportunity for EU democracy. Apart from this, there are two main points in which this Treaty represents a lack of vision for the EU democracy: non existence of any agreement about European integration and ignore of the importance of the ability of the nations to control the changes of the treaties.
5. Do you think that the failed Constitutional Treaty would have strengthened European democracy, and if so, how?
In my opinion, the implantation of the Constitutional Treaty could have been a step forward in terms of the European democracy. My point of view is based in some studies which point out that the points included in the CT could have change the form of decision making in the EU to a new way much more functional, equilibrated and useful.