by Ryan McMaken
One of the biggest weaknesses in the EU’s argument against secession from the EU is the fact that the EU is so very undemocratic. Whatever one thinks of democracy, the fact remains that Europeans tend to favor it, so the EU’s significant deficit on democratic representation in EU institutions has been a big problem in selling the EU to the masses. The EU recognized this in the Brexit debate, which is why EU supporters have focused almost entirely on economic claims.
There is some democracy in the EU, as in the European Parliament, although EU legislation originates with the un-elected bureaucracy where most of the expertise and power resides. The European Parliament is not as powerless as some critics of the EU have suggested, although it clearly works at a disadvantage when compared with the the European Commission, which is unelected.
(This article from the BBC explains how laws are handed down by the EU, many of which create unalterable mandates for national legislatures.)