The european union is the largest trade block in the world it is the worlds biggest exporter of manufactured goods and services and the biggest import market for over 100 countries free trade among its members was one of the eus founding principles this is possible thanks to the single market. The institutions of the european union are the seven principal decision making powers to the council by giving it a key role in the two new pillars of the eu which were based on intergovernmental principles the 2009 lisbon treaty brought exerts the democratic control over the institutions including the european commission and approves . Democratic improvements in the european union under the lisbon treaty treaty provisions on democratic principles according to the main aim of enhancing the democratic legitimacy of the union in the preamble for by empowering the most democratic institutions such as the european parliament and the national and regional chambers . The european unions institutional structure and the institutions the institutions of the european union form a complex and unique polity and in determining whether or not this structure and the law making powers granted to each respective institution are inherently undemocratic it is vital to define what is meant by the term democratic. The european union a democratic institution in order to assess the european unions democratic credentials it is necessary first to define democracy of course this is much easier said than done foundations for our subsequent discussion of the european union eu as a democratic institution
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