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Demokratiedefizit in Europa? Über Dichtung und Wahrheit in der europäischen Verfassungsdebatte


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  • Schmidtchen, Dieter
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    The purpose of government in a democracy is to provide those goods and services to the community that the market fails to provide efficiently. To achieve this goal those in government must not only know what goods and services the community desires, but must also be prevented to choose outcomes that benefit themselves at the expense of those on whose behalf they are supposedly acting. This is particularly important in federal systems like the European Union in which decision-making authority is divided among layers of government. From this perspective the paper rejects the widely held view that the democratic principle requires abolishment of the Commission?s monopoly power of legislative initiative, the installation of a right for the European Parliament to propose legislation, the European Commission to be selected by the European Parliament and the Union?s power to tax. Interpreting the European Union as a functional unit, aptly called Zweckverband in Germanspeaking countries, the paper derives criteria for an efficient division of labor between the Union and the lower levels of government. Finally, it is shown that the goal of Europe being ?united ever more closely?, as stated in the Preamble of the Constitutional Treaty, is in contradiction to the principles of democracy as defined. -- Demokratie ist ein Verfahren der Erkundung und Befriedigung des Bedarfs der Menschen, das dann und nur dann erforderlich ist, wenn marktliche Verfahren der Bedarfserkundung und Bedarfsbefriedigung versagen. Das Demokratieprinzip verlangt, alles staatliche Handeln am Willen des Volkes ? die Ökonomen würden von Präferenzen sprechen ? auszurichten. In dem Paper wird die weitverbreitete Ansicht widerlegt, daß zur Verwirklichung des Demokratieprinzips das Monopol der Europäischen Kommission zur Gesetzesinitiative beseitigt werden müsse, das Europäische Parlament ein Gesetzesinitiativrecht bekommen müsse, die Europäische Kommission vom Parlament gewählt werden müsse und die Europäische Union ein Recht zur Steuererhebung erhalten müsse. Die Europäische Union wird als Zweckverband interpretiert und es werden unter Rückgriff auf die ökonomische Theorie des Föderalismus Kriterien für eine optimale Verteilung der Entscheidungskompetenzen im europäischen Staatenverbund hergeleitet. Abschließend wird gezeigt, wie den Gefahren einer ? auch in der Präambel des Verfassungsvertrages beschworenen ? ?immer engeren Zusammenarbeit? in Europa (Finalität zum Grenzenlosen), die im Widerspruch zum Demokratieprinzip steht, begegnet werden kann.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Saarland University, CSLE - Center for the Study of Law and Economics in its series CSLE Discussion Paper Series with number 2004-08.

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    Date of creation: 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:csledp:200408

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    Keywords: constitution as contract; intergovernmental conference; European Union as a confederation; subsidiarity; monopoly of legislative initiative;

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    1. Charles B. Blankart & Dennis C. Mueller, 2002. "Alternativen der parlamentarischen Demokratie," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 3(1), pages 1-21, 02.
    2. Fritz Breuss & Markus Eller, 2004. "The Optimal Decentralisation of Government Activity: Normative Recommendations for the European Constitution," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 27-76, 03.
    3. Steunenberg, Bernard & Koboldt, Christian & Schmidtchen, Dieter, 1996. "Policymaking, comitology, and the balance of power in the European Union," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 329-344, September.
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