How democratic is the european union may 20 2016 839am edt alan butt philip university of bath author alan butt philip formerly reader and honorary reader in european integration . In 2012 the eu was awarded the nobel peace prize for advancing the causes of peace reconciliation democracy and human rights in europe from economic to political union the european union is a unique economic and political union between 28 eu countries that together cover much of the continent. The european union is based on a strong commitment to promoting and protecting human rights democracy and the rule of law worldwide human rights are at the heart of eu relations with other countries and regions eu policy includes promoting the rights of women children minorities and displaced persons. It is widely agreed that democracy is not one of the european unions strong points indeed the phrase democratic deficit has passed into common usage to describe the problems that need to be addressed yet the discussion often appears to assume that the remedy lies in institutional reforms and that there is agreement about the causes . The european union has an inextricable link to democracy the system that is to ensure the accomplishment of the unions aims it is significant to mention the existence of democratic deficit a situation that damages the union and its institutions
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