The EU has a classic two-chamber legislature: in which the Council represents the ‘states’, and the European Parliament (EP) represents the ‘citizens’. In contrast to many other legislatures, however, the Council is more powerful than the EP. Nevertheless, under the so-called ‘co-decision’ procedure, the EP and the Council are genuine co-legislators. Finally, despite the fact that the main actors in the Council are governments and the main actors in the EP are political parties, internal politics and political organization in the two chambers are very similar. To understand how this system works, we shall first look at some theories of legislative behaviour and organization.
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