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In the Treaty of Paris, it was envisaged that the ECSC should be elected on the basis of a uniform electoral procedure. Similarly, Article 138 of the Rome Treaty included the following provision: ‘The Assembly shall draw up proposals for elections by direct universal suffrage in accordance with a uniform procedure in all Member States’. The Assembly approved such proposals as early as 1960, but found itself frustrated by yet another requirement of Article 138 which gave the deciding voice to the Council of Ministers with the words: ‘The Council shall, acting unanimously, lay down the appropriate provisions . . .’ The idea reappeared once more in Article 7 of the 1976 European Elections Act.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Post-Stalin
Moving beyond the UN: The Declaration in International and Domestic Publics
Given the pervasiveness of government control in the Soviet Union , one might think that human rights diplomacy would remain within the narrow confines of the Foreign Ministry, or, at most, within the government sphere. In fact, various journalists and a voluntary association began promoting Soviet understandings of human rights both abroad and domestically. For these groups, international diplomacy was not distinct from domestic politics. Instead, the promotion of human rights occurred in a sphere where the international and domestic intertwined.
European integration has proved to be a difficult issue for governments in many countries. Political leaders make deals, but in some member states the public seems markedly unenthusiastic. As Geddes1 explains, ‘the intensity of elite level debates about European integration within the political parties and in Parliament has not been matched by a similar fascination about European integration and its implications amongst the general public’. Many voters claim not to know about, not to understand and not to trust the EU and its workings. In Britain and some other countries, there is a high degree of skepticism about what is being done on their behalf.
Democracy and the European Union
The EU’s alleged democratic deficit is subject to much debate. Arguments against the democratic shortcomings of the Union are varied and come from many quarters, but there is general agreement among many observers that the EU’s ruling elites have become increasingly out of touch with its citizens. We will present a synthesis of the main arguments that have been advanced. Having analysed some of the apparent problems of legitimacy and democracy within the EU, we then explore possible ways of overcoming them. The word ‘democracy’ derives from two Greek terms: ‘demos’ meaning people and ‘kratia’ signifying rule of or by. Many people therefore see democracy as meaning ‘people power’, with government resting on the consent of the governed. A democratic political system is one in which public policies are made, on a majority basis, by representatives subject to effective popular control at periodic elections which are conducted on the principle of political equality and under conditions of political freedom.
The European Union has often been criticised for its lack of democratic institutions and for the way in which they operate. In a speech in 1994, Sir Leon Brittan, a former British commissioner, identified ‘a widespread sense of unease about Brussels and what it stands for’.