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14 June 2023

EU decision-making, legitimacy and democratic déficit

Andrea Ribeiro Hoffmann

Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro

Andrea Ribeiro Hoffmann

On June 14th, the Rio School on Global Governance, Democracy, and Human Rights reached its final class, featuring Professor Andrea Hoffmann from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. The lecture titled "EU decision-making, legitimacy, and democratic deficit" was organised by the FGV Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence on EU-South America Global Governance and co-funded by the European Commission through the Erasmus+ Programme.

During the lecture, Professor Andrea Hoffmann provided an insightful analysis of the normative and empirical perspectives on democracy, legitimacy, and decision-making within the European Union. She shed light on the significant role played by various institutions such as national parliaments, the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers, and the European Council in shaping policy decisions. While concerns regarding power imbalances persist, recent treaties have been enacted to strengthen the democratic processes by empowering the European Parliament.

Furthermore, Professor Hoffmann explored the evolution of decision-making procedures within the EU, which have progressed from unanimity to majority voting, thereby initiating debates on the required type of majority. She also highlighted the challenges arising from the diverse range of political ideologies represented in the European Parliament, particularly in complex areas such as environmental policy, where reaching comprehensive decisions can be a challenging task.

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