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Ready for the Future? The Impact of Enlargement on the European Parliament

Jacobs, Francis and Best, Edward (2004) Ready for the Future? The Impact of Enlargement on the European Parliament. EIPAScope, 2004 (3). pp. 14-19.

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    The European Parliament which was elected in June 2004 consists of 732 members representing 163 political parties from 25 countries. This ever larger chamber is being called upon to play an ever stronger role in the EU political system. Will this unprecedented enlargement affect the Parliament’s ability to live up to these political expectations? So far, its political balance has not been radically altered and the overall increase in numbers seems to have been digested without too much difficulty, although questions remain as to the impact of all the new languages on the EP’s working methods, especially after further enlargements. On the other hand the turnout at the 2004 elections reflected the continuing weakness of popular interest in the Parliament, especially in the new Member States. In preparation for the 2009 elections, new efforts will have to be made to bridge this gap not just by the Parliament showing that it can make good use of its new powers but also, where possible, by strengthening multi-level political parties and inter-parliamentary relations, as well as by increasing public understanding of the role of the European Parliament.

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    Item Type: Article
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > European Parliament
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > European elections/voting behavior
    EU policies and themes > Treaty reform > enlargement
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Journals > European Institute of Public Administration (Maastricht) > EIPASCOPE
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2006
    Page Range: pp. 14-19
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:39

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