Tuesday, June 01, 2004
Less Irrelevant than you think

Thomas Fuller in the International Herald Tribune writes an informative article on the growing power of the European Parliament. This power has been clouded by the low turnout in elections across Europe; this will be seen again in the forthcoming elections on June 10th, including the new Member States of East-Central Europe.

The European Parliament's main powers set laws on the single market. Yet, if one analyzes their role in this area, the centralised power of European institutions is clarified:

The paradox for the European Union, analysts say, is that in recent years the European Parliament has become increasingly powerful, in some cases surpassing the lawmaking powers of national Parliaments.

Experts estimate that the majority of laws passed in Parliaments in Paris, Berlin or other capitals in the EU originate in Brussels, suggesting that Europe is more centralized than most voters think.

Yet, according to Fuller, the Parliament is only one of eighteen ways in which the European institutions can pass laws. In the last five year term, as one of the European methods of legislating (leaving out the Commission), it has managed to pass 400 laws.

Whilst the national electorates will continue to vote on the performance of their national governments, these MEPs, elected on a minority of a minority, will continue reinforce the work of the Commission and structure our lives in ways that favour harmonisation across the Continent.

(23.04, 1st June 2004)


Post a Comment

Blog Archive