Piening, Christopher. (1997) "The European Parliament: Influencing the EU’s external relations". In: UNSPECIFIED, Seattle, WA. (Unpublished)
The purpose of this paper is to show that the European Parliament has been, and remains, an active player in the formulation of EU foreign and external policies, in spite of having few formal powers under the second pillar of the Maastricht treaty. In making this assertion, it is worth noting at the outset that foreign policy in general is not something in which EU parliaments usually play a major part, certainly in any hands-on sense. The European Parliament thus differs from most national European parliaments in its constant efforts to shape rather than merely react to or control initiatives of the executive in this field. In this respect, it is more akin to the U.S. Congress, which does play a more proactive role, and one that sometimes puts it at odds with the views of the President or his Administration: The Helms-Burton legislation on Cuba is a good recent example of policy that would not exist but for the Congress.
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