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The Eastern Enlargement and the EU Democratic Deficit: More Actors, Less Democracy?

Michal Parizek

The present paper brings together research on two major historical processes the EU has been undergoing in recent years, the Eastern enlargement and the efforts to enhance the democratic quality of the EU decision-making procedures, and studies possible interaction effects between them. It presents a formal model of the European legislative process that explains how even presumably sincere attempts by all member states (both old and new) to address the democratic deficit of the EU can lead, when combined with the changes in power constellations within the Council of the EU and the general pressures brought about by the Eastern enlargement, to unanticipated and collectively as well as individually suboptimal outcomes. The model is empirically assessed on the basis of quantitative empirical evidence concerning the pattern of member states' voting in the Council of the EU and other relevant aspects of the EU legislative process (as captured in the PreLex database).

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