The Perspective of a Small Member State to the Democratic Deficiency of the ESM

in Review of Central and East European Law
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The adoption and ratification process of the Treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism (ESM Treaty) has produced deep debates about this process and the European Union; about the (lack of a) link between the two; about democratic processes which allegedly have been short-circuited in the rush to a political/financial mechanism; about the rule of law and the rule of finance and expediency.

Three decades ago, Estonia was part of a different constellation. Now, a part of the EU for the better part of the last decade, the debate about small versus large, about rules for all and procedures for some raise issues which touch not only Estonia; they are ones which can cross the borders into other economic associations and unions, such as the CIS or the Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC or EurAsEC).

The authors of this article seek to address some issues regarding the democratic legitimacy of the ESM Treaty. Several of the legislative choices made in the ESM Treaty have passed without sufficient public debate or transparency. A thesis is presented here that some solutions adopted by the ESM Treaty have a dubious value in the context of EU law as well as in the progress of democratization of the EU. The article pinpoints a shift in the voting powers to the detriment of smaller Member States. Above all, the legal foundations of judicial review by the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) are questioned. The article reaches a generalized conclusion that deviation from the current decision processes and standards of democracy can be justifiable only if such a change is supported by the general public.

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