Conclusion: European Parliament Ascendant?
In this chapter, we summarise and review the most important findings of the empirical case studies. We crystallise how in all of these cases the EP had considerable success in expanding its formal and informal powers by using its strategies skilfully. Furthermore, we systematically compare which strategies the EP used to widen its powers; how this varies between cases; and what accounts for this variation. Moreover, we explain why we observe variation in the degrees of formal or informal empowerment between cases of substantive policy areas. Based on our findings, this chapter reflects on the strengths and limitations of our theoretical argument, and we reflect on three counterforces to the EP’s self-empowerment: intergovernmentalism, over-constitutionalisation and agencification. Finally, we discuss the consequences of the EP’s successful self-empowerment. Despite existing counterforces, we argue that, by using certain strategies, the EP has been pushing the EU in the direction of parliamentary democracy. While we cannot see a fully fledged EU-wide parliamentary democracy any time soon, we contend that the EP has, on its own account and cooperating with actors with similar preferences, made significant progress in that direction.
KeywordsEuropean Parliament Empowerment Parliamentary democracy Strategy
- Bartolini, S. (2006). Should the Union Be ‘Politicised’? Prospects and Risks. Politics: The Right or the Wrong Sort of Medicine for the EU? (Notre Europe Policy Paper, 2006(19)). Paris.Google Scholar
- Dinan, D. (2011). Governance and Institutions: Implementing the Lisbon Treaty in the Shadow of the Euro Crisis. Journal of Common Market Studies, 49(Annual Review), 103–121.Google Scholar
- Rittberger, B., & Schimmelfennig, F. (2006). Explaining the constitutionalization of the European Union. Journal of European Public Policy, 13(8), 1148–1167.Google Scholar
- Scharpf, F. W. (2016). De-Constitutionalization and Majority Rule: A Democratic Vision for Europe (MPIfG Discussion Paper, 2016(14)). Cologne.Google Scholar
- Smith-Meyer, B. (2018, February 13). Capital’s Power Grab for Eurozone Enforcer. Politico.Google Scholar
- Wessels, W. (2015). The European Council. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar