The European Parliament as a Driving Force of Constitutionalisation

15-10-2015

This report analyses the increasing role played by the European Parliament (EP) in the EU decision-making process. In the first part (Sections 2, 3, 4 and 5), it describes how the EP acquired more power in legislation, comitology, in the appointment of the European Commission and in the budgetary field. In the second part (Sections 6 and 7), the report illustrates the EP’s role in two relevant policy fields: economic governance and external trade agreements. The report demonstrates that EP’s formal and informal powers in legislation, comitology, Commission investiture, the budgetary process, economic governance and international agreements have increased strikingly since the Treaty of Rome. This empowerment is partially explained by the concern for democratic legitimacy on the part of some member states’ (and the Commission). To another important part the empowerment may be explained by the fact that treaties frequently contain ambiguous provisions and thus allow room for informal rules to emerge through bargaining specifying the details of treaty provisions.

This report analyses the increasing role played by the European Parliament (EP) in the EU decision-making process. In the first part (Sections 2, 3, 4 and 5), it describes how the EP acquired more power in legislation, comitology, in the appointment of the European Commission and in the budgetary field. In the second part (Sections 6 and 7), the report illustrates the EP’s role in two relevant policy fields: economic governance and external trade agreements. The report demonstrates that EP’s formal and informal powers in legislation, comitology, Commission investiture, the budgetary process, economic governance and international agreements have increased strikingly since the Treaty of Rome. This empowerment is partially explained by the concern for democratic legitimacy on the part of some member states’ (and the Commission). To another important part the empowerment may be explained by the fact that treaties frequently contain ambiguous provisions and thus allow room for informal rules to emerge through bargaining specifying the details of treaty provisions.