The New European Parliament
This review of the formation of the 1999–2004 European Parliament has two purposes. The first is to ask whether the directly elected Parliament should be considered an old or a young institution now that it has reached the age of twenty. Does it represent a mature stage in the parliamentarianization of European Union politics? Or is the EP still an adolescent organization, full of diverse potentials, experimental in its roles, awkward in its practices, incompletely formed, and of uncertain relationship both with its public and other Union institutions? The second and related question is whether the formation of the 1999–2004 Parliament advances our understanding of the exact model of Parliamentary politics that is emerging at Union level. To answer these questions, the chapter will be broken into four sections corresponding to different stages in the formation of a new European Parliament: the electoral link, party-group formation, committee assignments, and the work of the new Parliament in confirming the new Commission in office.
KeywordsParty System Voter Choice National Party Voter Participation Committee Assignment
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