European Assemblies: the Experimental Period, 1949-1959

European Assemblies: the Experimental Period, 1949-1959

European Assemblies: the Experimental Period, 1949-1959

European Assemblies: the Experimental Period, 1949-1959

Excerpt

In an earlier book on the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe I made some references to other assemblies and organisations which have grown up in Europe since the war. It was pointed out to me that a wider study of the functioning of these assemblies and the reasons for their proliferation might throw some light on a problem that was becoming more and more obscure to outside observers. I had thrown out the suggestion that a Round Table Conference, presided over by a scholar-politician, might be a useful experiment. Such a Conference should be based on the living experience of parliamentarians and administrators, and assisted by a few political scientists, who had enjoyed the unique advantage of working together over recent years in these institutions. It was clear that only by careful documentation, by seeking private aid and a sponsoring body, could the idea of a Round Table Conference come to anything.

Furthermore, I was aware of the absence of any documentation on the attitude of national parliaments and parliamentarians towards these assemblies. True, the Inter-Parliamentary Union in 1953 published a useful comparative handbook on Parliamentary Procedure in selected countries. Any study, however, of the various European assemblies must take into account, not only parliamentary procedure, but also party systems and the social and political background of these European and Atlantic countries, from which members have proceeded to these novel international bodies. The Carnegie Foundation has also published . . .

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