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NUMERO 23 - 09/12/2015

 A New Uniform Electoral Procedure to Re-Legitimate the Process of Political Integration in Europe

The starting point of my presentation is a question strictly related to the title I have chosen for my speech: “In what sense the process of political integration in Europe should be re-legitimated?”; i.e. “Isn’t is legitimate anymore?” or, perhaps, “Isn’t it legitimate enough?”. From a Constitutional-Law perspective, which is my own, it is clear that the issue I am referring to with this question is the well-known, persistent, inadequate democratic legitimacy of the Union decision-making process. Indeed, it seems has not yet been resolved, in spite of the strenghtening of the role of the Parliament after the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon and the new rules on the functioning of the Union. Actually, it is certain that major progress has been made on this issue compared to the previous Treaties. Fundamentally it is a result of the expansion of the legislative powers of the Parliament, which – I remind myself - is the only European institution with direct democratic legitimacy and which has now gained an equal status as co-legislator with the Council in most areas of the Union’s policy. So democracy seems to be respected, at least from a “formal” point of view, as it has long been argued by who finds the “essence” of democracy in the circumstance that in the very heart of the political decision-making process the constitutional setting provides bodies whose members are directly elected by the citizens through their votes and thus are representative of the people. But, this same notion of political representation and the concept of representativeness, when transposed to the European level, show some symptoms of tension, due to certain issues which have yet to be resolved... (segue)

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