During Recent Years, The Notion of The Democratic deficit has become, together with subsidiarity, or transparency, one of the most popdar subjects for conferences on European Union. While almost everyone seems to agree that a democratic deficit exists, it is far from certain that there is a general understanding of what is meant by it.
The most radical meaning would be that the European Union (EU) as such is undemocratic and that its decision-making does not correspond to democratic norms. Quite often when national governments have to explain unpopular decisions of the EU, responsibility for these uncomfortable situations is attributed to a faceless monster, the ‘Brussels bureaucracy’. The assumption is that a very strong central authority exists which embodies the power of decision-making and that democratic accountability of this central authority either does not exist or at least is not sufficiently guaranteed. In other words, the EU institutional system does not comply with democratic norms. This is by far the most extreme definition of a democratic deficit.