chapter  7
13 Pages

The invisible transformation of codecision: Problems of democratic legitimacy


The codecision procedure was introduced in the Maastricht Treaty in order to increase the European Parliament’s say in the legislative process, and thus to strengthen the democratic legitimacy of the European Union. In many respects, it has succeeded beyond initial expectations. Council officials were initially worried that Parliament was incapable of playing a responsible role in helping to draft legislation – Members of the European Parliament were perceived as being undisciplined lightweights. These worries were unjustified; while Parliament has consistently sought to increase its own powers through careful legislative tactics, legislative relations between the Council and Parliament are now relatively stable and productive.