Rittberger, Berthold. (2003) "The development of the European Parliament's powers". In: UNSPECIFIED, Nashville, TN. (Unpublished)
Hitherto, we lack a systematic theoretically-guided explanation for one of the most striking institutional "anomalies" within a system of international institutionalized cooperation: Why does the European Union, as the only system of international governance, contain a powerful representative parliamentary institution, the European parliament, which possesses supervisory, budgetary and legislative powers? In this paper, I develop a theory of delegation to representative parliamentary institutions in international polities. It is argued that national governments' decisions to transfer sovereignty to a new (supranational) level of governance, triggers an imbalance between input and output legitimacy which political elites (in democratic polities) tie fully aware of. To "repair" this imbalance, proposals to create and empower a representative parliamentary institution play a prominent though not exclusive role. To assess the plausibility of the theory, three sets of cases to account for the delegation of supervisory, budgetary and legislative powers will be presented.
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