Democratic accountability – a comparison

Just how undemocratic is the EU compared to the UK?  Well here’s a quick and dirty comparison – don’t hesitate to correct me if I’ve got something wrong, I’m not a political scientist nor a constitutional lawyer.



Edit – as @FrazerGoodwin points out, the table doesn’t tackle the whole issue of Royal Consent, and the role of the British monarchy in UK law-making.  In case you think that’s purely ceremonial, with no real impact on modern-day legislation, think again.

Edit (September 2017) – I wrote this piece a long time ago, long before any of us really imagined that the UK might vote to leave the EU. A lot has happened since I wrote it, and quite evidently my arguments have fallen on deaf ears, because democratic legitimacy is still cited as a key factor by many who voted to leave. One major change since 2013 was the introduction of the Spitzenkandidat procedure for the 2014 European Parliament elections. This now means that the leader of the EU’s executive (the President of the Commission) enjoys the same degree of legitimacy as the leader of the UK’s executive (the Prime Minister) – in fact – and I would argue more, in law, as the UK’s chief executive is the leader of the largest party only by convention and not by constitutional law.

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