Vida Popovska –Kociska

1)      Author:   Mrs. Vida Popovska –Kociska

2)      Affilation: Teaching assistant, Ph.D

3)      e-mail address:


5)      Body of Abstract

In times of European crisis, the “democratic deficit” debate within the EU continues to attract the attention by many scholars. Although we are not absolutely clear on the concept of “democratic deficit”, still there are certain indicators which prove its existence. Some EU institutions do not meet the standards of democracy. The Amsterdam and the Nice Treaties both have failed to enhance the democratic properties of the EU in a fundamental way, and the EU remains closer to system of democracies. Nevertheless the Treaty of Lisbon (entered into force in 2009) introduces several changes in terms of structural reforms that will decrease the “democratic deficit”, which ultimately affects the quality of life in the EU. It does not secure the democratic legitimacy of the EU institutions, yet undoubtly shows a trend of improvement in that direction. The process of democratizing the political sphere within the EU remains as freighting enough as it is difficult to achieve.

This paper focuses on three issues that need to be considered as sources of “democratic deficiency”. The role of the European Parliament had traditionally been weak regarding the decision-making powers, although it is the only directly elected institution in the EU. Strengthening its position within the EU institutions including powers over the other EU institutions will provide democratic legitimacy. Second, the promotion of the “European Citizen Initiative” (ECI) that was launched on April 1, 2012 as a new democratic instrument will enable one million citizens to propose new legislation for the EU. This will introduce active civil society participation in the legislative process. And, third, the issues of accountability and responsibility of EU institutions should be enhanced in terms of building a strong judicial review system over the acts adopted by the relevant bodies. Meanwhile, the unemployment in the EU reaches 10,2%, or almost 25 million citizens which calls for these considerations to be revisited and implemented in order to overcome the European crisis.

Keywords: “democratic deficit” debate, Treaty of Lisbon, European Citizen Initiative, European Parliament, political crisis, responsibility, accountability, European crisis.

Proposed panel No. 1: “The Crisis of Europe –Political and Economic Challenges”

Short biography

Mrs. Vida Popovska Kochishka, Ph.D., was born on May 17th, 1978 in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia. She finishes her undergraduate studies at the Faculty of Law in Skopje, Ss. Cyrill and Methodius” University in 2002 and continues her education at the institution, successfully accomplishing the postgraduate studies in International and European Law in 2007. In december 2012 she also finished her Ph.D. studies on the thesis “Responsibility of International Organizations over ultra vires acts”.

She has been teaching Public International Law and International Humanitarian Law over the past 10 years as a assistant at FON University in Skopje. She has participated in many international schools and seminars and published several articles.