European Parliament

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    A question of trust: Intra-party delegation in the European Parliament

A question of trust: Intra-party delegation in the European Parliament

Much of the European Parliament’s work rests on negotiations within parliamentary committees, as well as other informal negotiations that take place behind closed doors. But what determines the selection of the MEPs who participate in these negotiations? Drawing on a new study, Fang-Yi Chiou, Bjørn Høyland and Silje Synnøve Lyder Hermansen illustrate that loyalty to the leadership of the […]

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    Is the legislative expansion of the European Union grinding to a halt?

Is the legislative expansion of the European Union grinding to a halt?

The amount of legislation a political system produces is an important indicator of its performance. Yet as Dimiter Toshkov explains, when it comes to the adoption of new legislation, the last European Parliament and Commission were among the least productive in recent history. He argues that a less political and more pragmatic Commission may be more successful in finding […]

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    How the European Parliament gained oversight powers over EU crisis legislation

How the European Parliament gained oversight powers over EU crisis legislation

The European Parliament is often portrayed as being one of the main losers from the EU’s response to the European debt crisis. Observers have argued that the Parliament struggled to exert influence over the EU’s crisis resolution as the preparation of key legislation largely took place without its involvement. Yet, Maja Kluger Dionigi and Christel Koop show that the […]

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    How movement between party groups has affected the balance of power in the European Parliament

How movement between party groups has affected the balance of power in the European Parliament

While the results of the European Parliament elections were announced in May, the balance of power in the Parliament has also been affected by the decisions of parties to join new party groups in the weeks following the elections. Nicolai von Ondarza and Jan Will demonstrate the impact this movement between party groups has had, noting that the situation […]

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    Discretion and agency loss: What factors shape the selection of European Parliament rapporteurs?

Discretion and agency loss: What factors shape the selection of European Parliament rapporteurs?

Party group coordinators in the European Parliament are responsible for selecting ‘rapporteurs’, who have an important role in parliamentary committees. But how do coordinators make these decisions? Presenting findings from a new study, Lukas Obholzer, Steffen Hurka and Michael Kaeding illustrate that coordinators are more likely to select like-minded individuals as rapporteurs rather than MEPs who reflect the views […]

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    Is the European Parliament missing an opportunity to reform after Brexit?

Is the European Parliament missing an opportunity to reform after Brexit?

While Brexit negotiations are beginning to progress, the European Parliament is preparing to vote on the possible reallocation of seats following the UK’s departure. With many of the current proposals reflecting Member States’ concerns about losing seats, Robert Kalcik, Nicolas Moes and Guntram B Woolf advocate for options that could better achieve equality of representation even within the constraints […]

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    The European Parliament is more representative of European citizens than we give it credit for

The European Parliament is more representative of European citizens than we give it credit for

Does the European Parliament adequately represent the views of European citizens? Drawing on a recent study, Miriam Sorace illustrates that while the Parliament is often criticised for being too distant from its voters, it is far more representative of the views of voters than commonly thought. Nevertheless, a lack of information about European election campaigns, as well as a […]

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    The election of Antonio Tajani as EP President: A backroom deal that creates clarity

The election of Antonio Tajani as EP President: A backroom deal that creates clarity

On 17 January, Antonio Tajani took over as the new President of the European Parliament. Christophe Crombez argues that while Tajani’s election has been portrayed by some observers as another EU backroom deal, the developments that led to his appointment lay the groundwork for more clearly defined policy choices to be presented to voters at the 2019 European Parliament […]

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    A dearth of legislative vetoes: Why the Council and Parliament have been reluctant to veto Commission legislation

A dearth of legislative vetoes: Why the Council and Parliament have been reluctant to veto Commission legislation

Several reforms have taken place at the EU level to try and address the criticism that EU decision-making suffers from a democratic deficit. Drawing on recent research, Michael Kaeding and Kevin M. Stack assess one such reform: the provision of powers for the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament to veto so called ‘secondary legislation’ put […]

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    How Brexit will affect the balance of power in the European Parliament

How Brexit will affect the balance of power in the European Parliament

Given the UK has one of the largest contingents of MEPs, how will Brexit change the way political parties are aligned in the European Parliament? Angelos Chryssogelos writes that the effects of removing British MEPs from the Parliament will be wide-ranging, with sovereigntist forces potentially strengthened inside the centre-right EPP, the centre-left S&D becoming more oriented toward an anti-austerity […]

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    Jostling for position: What determines where candidates are placed on electoral lists during European elections?

Jostling for position: What determines where candidates are placed on electoral lists during European elections?

Several EU countries use a closed list system to elect their members of the European Parliament. But what determines the position where a candidate is placed on these lists? Based on a recent study, Elena Frech writes that parties tend to prioritise MEPs who have previously been part of powerful committees in the European Parliament, but that candidates also […]

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    Can only Eurosceptics oppose austerity? How divisions over integration have replaced the left/right divide in the European Parliament

Can only Eurosceptics oppose austerity? How divisions over integration have replaced the left/right divide in the European Parliament

How do economic platforms interact with support for European integration? Harmen van der Veer and Simon Otjes write that the dynamics within the European Parliament have undergone a shift since the beginning of the Eurozone crisis. Whereas in previous periods the key divide in the Parliament centred on left/right issues, opposition to European integration has now become intertwined with […]

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    The illusion of sovereignty: The UK should embrace its experience of power-sharing at home to play a constructive role in the EU

The illusion of sovereignty: The UK should embrace its experience of power-sharing at home to play a constructive role in the EU

One of the key issues in relation to the UK’s referendum is the extent to which EU membership undermines UK sovereignty. Simon Toubeau and Jo Murkens argue that this focus on sovereignty can nevertheless lead to misleading conclusions. They state that while the notion of parliamentary sovereignty lies at the heart of the Westminster model of government, this sovereignty […]

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    The growth of informal EU decision-making has empowered centrist parties

The growth of informal EU decision-making has empowered centrist parties

Legislative decision-making in the European Union is increasingly shifting toward informal secluded arenas, to allow for the early adoption of laws. Edoardo Bressanelli, Christel Koop and Christine Reh assess the implications of this trend for the behaviour of political parties in the European Parliament. They find that informalisation has strengthened the cohesion of the three centrist groups (EPP, S&D […]

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    UK influence series: Do British MEPs win key positions of power in the European Parliament?

UK influence series: Do British MEPs win key positions of power in the European Parliament?

The extent to which British MEPs are appointed to key positions in the European Parliament can be expected to have an impact on their influence over the EU’s legislative process. In the latest article in our UK influence series, Simon Hix and Giacomo Benedetto assess how successful British MEPs have been in this respect since 2004. They note that […]

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    UK influence in Europe series: The policy successes (and failures) of British MEPs

UK influence in Europe series: The policy successes (and failures) of British MEPs

How do British MEPs fare in the European Parliament? In a previous article in our UK influence in Europe series, Simon Hix demonstrated that British MEPs are less likely to be on the ‘winning side’ in European Parliament votes than MEPs from any other state. In a follow up post, he breaks down the success by policy area, noting […]

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    The top five likely effects of a Brexit on the EU’s policies

The top five likely effects of a Brexit on the EU’s policies

What impact would a Brexit have on EU policymaking? Based on data from recent votes in the European Parliament, Doru Frantescu outlines five key effects on EU policies that could be expected if the UK opts to leave in its upcoming referendum: a larger regulatory burden on EU businesses; weaker copyright protection in the EU; a smaller EU budget, […]

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    The tyranny of the familiar: why we should be wary of proposals to ‘parliamentarise’ EU decision-making

The tyranny of the familiar: why we should be wary of proposals to ‘parliamentarise’ EU decision-making

Strengthening the role of the European Parliament has often been proposed as a method for addressing the EU’s alleged democratic deficit. Sergio Fabbrini writes that while there are legitimate criticisms to be made about the intergovernmental model of European integration, any attempt to create a system approximating national parliamentary democracy at the European level would be counter-productive. He argues […]

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    New member states are structurally underrepresented in important rapporteur positions in the European Parliament

New member states are structurally underrepresented in important rapporteur positions in the European Parliament

In the European Parliament, a ‘rapporteur’ is an MEP appointed to oversee the drafting and presentation of reports. This role is highly important in the Parliament, with rapporteurs being elected to the position by their fellow MEPs. But does the distribution of these appointments favour certain states over others? Steffen Hurka, Michael Kaeding and Lukas Obholzer present findings from […]

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    The ratification of TTIP in the European Parliament promises to be a highly contested issue

The ratification of TTIP in the European Parliament promises to be a highly contested issue

Once negotiations over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are completed, the agreement will need to be approved in the European Parliament before it can enter into force. But would TTIP be able to secure enough support in the current parliament? Pieterjan Vangerven and Christophe Crombez present an analysis of the recent decision to postpone the debate on […]

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