The Limping Legitimacy of EU Lawmaking:
 A Barrier to Integration

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Table of Contents: I. Introduction. – II. An historical legacy. – III. Lawmaking in the European Union: A delegated function? – III.1. Sub-delegation. – III.2. The tools of output legitimacy: “Better Regulation”. – III.3. Expertise and output legitimacy. – III.4. Lawmaking by committee. – III.5. The Lisbon reforms. – IV. Pushing for democratic input. – IV.1 Lawmaking and representation. – IV.2. Transparency as a tin-opener. – IV.3. Citizen input and participation. – V. Towards legitimation?

Abstract: This paper uses the concepts of output and input legitimacy to examine the formal lawmaking processes of the European Union. It argues that the traditional distinction between laws, which are legitimated through the democratic concept of representativeness, and subordinate legislation, which is normally justified in terms of output values of efficiency and effectiveness, need to be modified in the European Union. The paper argues that the need for democratic input values requires all formal lawmaking processes to make space for popular access to the policy- and rulemaking processes.

Keywords: lawmaking – legitimacy – democracy – output values – input values – citizen access.

European Papers, Vol. 1, 2016, No 1, pp. 29-54
2499-8249 - doi: 10.15166/2499-8249/4

* Emerit Professor of Law, London School of Economics,



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