Yearbook of European Law - Vol. 14

By Francis Geoffrey Jacobs | Go to book overview

ANNUAL SURVEYS

Legal Developments in the European Parliament

KIERAN ST. C. BRADLEY AND AIDAN FEENEY


I. Introduction

The year in the European Parliament was nothing if not eventful. The application of the codecision procedure and the exercise of Parliament's other new powers under the Treaty on European Union jostled for attention with preparations for enlargements of the Union in the short and medium term, and the conclusion of the Uruguay Round trade negotiations. The fourth direct elections disrupted the normal work rhythm, with peaks in April-May and towards the end of the year, and a long trough during the summer months; part-sessions in Brussels, of which there were four, became a normal feature of the calendar and a useful means of speeding up consideration of legislative proposals between Strasbourg meetings.

The elections brought an increase in the number of members to 567, but no fundamental changes in Parliament's political complexion. The turnover amongst members was relatively higher than in previous elections, which may go to show that fifteen years is a long time in transnational politics; one member retired from Parliament having been continually in office since 19 December 1962 and with a total of thirty-four and a half years service as an MEP under his belt, a feat unlikely to be emulated for some time. The new members include a number of personalities formerly better known for reasons other than their political acumen; singers, philanthropists, millionaire businessmen,1 and veterans of '68 were all represented amongst those elected in June. The British

____________________
1
The election of Mr. Berlusconi, then Italian prime minister, was the subject of a petition to Parliament, submitted by a former Commissioner and successful election candidate (OJ 1994 C 341/32; see also II/E/(i), below).
© St. Kieran C. Bradley and Aidan Feeney, 1995. Référendaire at the Court of Justice, and European Parliament official (responsible for section III), respectively.

The views expressed by the authors are personal, and may not be attributed to either institution, or any member thereof.

-401-

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