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"The European Parliament and Enlargement: 1973 to 2000"

Neunreither, Karlheinz. (1995) "The European Parliament and Enlargement: 1973 to 2000". In: UNSPECIFIED, Charleston, South Carolina. (Unpublished)

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    Abstract

    During the 40 years of its existence the European Parliament (EP) has changed more dramatically than the other EC institutions: from a mere deliberative assembly, the EP has become a co-leglislator, and elections of its Members provide the source of direct legitimacy of the European Union (EU). Subsequent enlargements had also a greater impact on the EP than on the Commission, or the Council. The paper gives an insider's view on some of the immediate effects: for the first time in 1973 a group of British Lords arrived to a very hot Brussels committee meeting and, to the surprise of the continental parliamentarians, took of their jackets and loosened their ties, which had never been seen before at any of the EP meetings. In the eighties Greece and then Spain and Portugal joined. More recent examples include German reunification, "a false enlargement", which resulted in the addition of 18 parliamentary "observers". The various increases in the composition of the EP combined with the increase of legislative procedures in the mid '80s were a major challenge to the leadership capacity both of political groups, of the Presidency, and of the Committee system. Up to now the EP has more or less met this challenge far as internal efficiency is concerned. A major deficit remains, however, in its perception by the public, the resulting participation in elections, and beyond that its direct relations with the citizen. None of the past enlargements, as different from each other as they may have keen, put into question the unicity of the EC institutional system. This may radically change with the forthcoming inclusion of Central and Eastern European countries. The 1996 Intergovernmental Conference may well open the way to a differentiated integration which would create major problems for the EP. The EP is discussing at present how to meet this challenge.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Ireland
    Countries > Denmark
    EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-Central and Eastern Europe
    Countries > Germany
    EU policies and themes > Treaty reform > enlargement
    Countries > Spain
    Countries > Greece
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > institutional development/policy > historical development of EC (pre-1986)
    Countries > U.K.
    Countries > Portugal
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > European Parliament
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series: UNSPECIFIED
    ["eprint_fieldname_eusries" not defined]: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 1995 (4th), May 11-14, 1995
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2007
    Page Range: p. 12
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:45
    URI: http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/6970

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