This blog post is the fourth in a series of posts that come from students of our 2nd year undergraduate “Politics of the EU” course. As part of the course, students were asked to write about an issue pertaining to EU politics. The best blog posts have been selected to provide an opportunity to exceptional young scholars at UCD to contribute to the debate on the future of the EU, and to promote the insightful scholarship being undertaken at UCD to a wider public audience.
The European Union (EU) has long been criticised in many of its aspects for lacking democratic legitimacy. Despite the presence of an elected European Parliament (EP), there are concerns that other institutions within the EU do not have the oversight or accountability that should be required of a supranational government. This is especially critical in the matter of security and defence, a policy area that is often cloaked in secrecy. The European Parliament and national parliaments, which do have democratic legitimacy, have only a limited range of power over the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and it’s actions. Whether this was an intentional action for leaders to evade domestic control or an unforeseen outcome of integration, it is clear that the CSDP is lacking in oversight and accountability. This democratic deficit within the CSDP creates several problems for both the EU and its member states, as it damages their legitimacy, continues a pattern of a lack of accountability in defence policy, and even further removes the European people from control over their peace and security.