The European Parliament, the National Parliaments, and European Integration

The European Parliament, the National Parliaments, and European Integration

The European Parliament, the National Parliaments, and European Integration

The European Parliament, the National Parliaments, and European Integration

Synopsis

European integration is progressing at an even more rapid rate. Accompanying this progress is an increasing debate about the institutional shape and legitimacy of this new political order. This debate is driven in part by conflicting values, and in part by uncertainty. This book addresses the question of parliamentary involvement in the emerging European political system by looking at both national and European levels of parliamentary representation. In doing this, it gives greater attention to the role of national parliaments than is usual in discussions about democracy in the European Union. Based on interviews and surveys among members of parliament at the European level, and in eleven member states, it analyses the role of parliaments and parliamentarians, the linkages between national citizenry and the European level, and the problems and perspectives of institutional change. The book is provides analyses of the views from within concerning European integration and concentrates of three dimensions: the MPs themselves; their embeddedness in the process; and their perspectives on institutional structures. These views from within offer new insights and answers to institutional problems in the European Union and the so-called democratic deficit.

Excerpt

This book is the result of a collective effort that started in 1993. It is the companion to the volume Political Representation and Legitimacy in the European Union, edited by Hermann Schmitt and Jacques Thomassen , also published with Oxford University Press. In 1993, Hermann Schmitt and Jacques Thomassen proposed a fascinating idea in conjunction with plans for the 1994 European Election Study. This idea was to study "Political Representation in Europe", and this became the project name. It was not long before a whole group of people were engaged to realize a research design in which European elections could be studied comprehensively, but also in connection to the attitudes, backgrounds, roles and reported actions of parliamentarians over what was then the European Community.

In a sort of division of labor, but with close co-operation and co-ordination, four larger empirical studies soon were on their way; the European Elections Study of 1994, a comparative EC-wide survey among mass publics; the European Candidate Survey, a mail survey conducted before the elections in eleven of the then twelve member states; the Members of the European Parliament Study, a face-to-face survey conducted in spring 1996; and the European Study of Members of Parliament, a mail survey carried out in 1996 and 1997 in eleven member states.

Those who worked in conjunction with the overall project on Political Representation in Europe or its sub-projects, have enjoyed something that is relatively rare but none the less needed--at least the editors of the two companion volumes feel so: a kind of gluing together to get the big tanker launched. It was a real comparative undertaking and given the topics of our books one might say, a real European project. At least it furthered the integration of Europe between many social scientists.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.