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The legitimacy of the European Union has recently begun to wobble. Possibilities for active citizen participation on the one hand, and the responsibility/irresponsibility of European rulers on the other would no longer appear to suffice to counter its growing economic power. Plus, if we consider the progressive erosion of the power of national parliaments over their respective governments, the problem of the "democracy deficit" is growing increasingly serious. In its statute and treaties, the Union professes democratic values, but is not, per se, democratic. In this, the first part of her study, Harlow questions the real level of citizen participation in the European political and decision-making process, analysing the effective working of the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers, "committee mania", the Committee of the Regions and national parliaments. Her conclusion is that the weakness of European representative institutions now constitutes a real threat to the future of the European "adventure". The period of tacit agreement is now over; whether their approval is necessary or not, the "people of Europe" have already passed a negative verdict.