Conclusion: European Parliament Ascendant?

  • Adrienne HéritierEmail author
  • Katharina L. Meissner
  • Catherine Moury
  • Magnus G. Schoeller
Part of the European Administrative Governance book series (EAGOV)


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.


European Parliament Empowerment Parliamentary democracy Strategy 


  1. 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
  2. Bickerton, C. J., Hodson, D., & Puetter, U. (2015). The New Intergovernmentalism: European Integration in the Post-Maastricht Era. Journal of Common Market Studies, 53(4), 703–722.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 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
  4. Fabbrini, S. (2017). Intergovernmentalism in the European Union: A Comparative Federalism Perspective. Journal of European Public Policy, 24(4), 580–597.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fasone, C. (2014). European Economic Governance and Parliamentary Representation: What Place for the European Parliament? European Law Journal, 20(2), 164–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Grimm, D. (2015). The Democratic Costs of Constitutionalization: The European Case. European Law Journal, 21(4), 460–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Mair, P. (2007). Political Opposition and the European Union. Government and Opposition, 42(1), 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Puetter, U. (2014). The European Council and the Council: New Intergovernmentalism and Institutional Change. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Riddervold, M., & Rosén, G. (2016). Trick and Treat: How the Commission and the European Parliament Exert Influence in EU Foreign and Security Policies. Journal of European Integration, 38(6), 687–702.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ripoll Servent, A., & Trauner, F. (2014). Do Supranational Institutions Make A Difference? EU Asylum Law Before and After ‘Communitarization’. Journal of European Public Policy, 21(8), 1142–1162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Rittberger, B., & Schimmelfennig, F. (2006). Explaining the constitutionalization of the European Union. Journal of European Public Policy, 13(8), 1148–1167.Google Scholar
  12. Scharpf, F. W. (2016). De-Constitutionalization and Majority Rule: A Democratic Vision for Europe (MPIfG Discussion Paper, 2016(14)). Cologne.Google Scholar
  13. Schmidt, S. K. (2018). The European Court of Justice and the Policy Process: The Shadow of Case Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Smith-Meyer, B. (2018, February 13). Capital’s Power Grab for Eurozone Enforcer. Politico.Google Scholar
  15. Trauner, F. (2012). The European Parliament and Agency Control in the Area of Freedom. Security and Justice. West European Politics, 35(4), 784–802.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Wessels, W. (2015). The European Council. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrienne Héritier
    • 1
    Email author
  • Katharina L. Meissner
    • 2
  • Catherine Moury
    • 3
  • Magnus G. Schoeller
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Political and Social Sciences and Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced StudiesEuropean University InstituteSan Domenico di Fiesole, FlorenceItaly
  2. 2.Centre for European Integration Research, IPWUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  3. 3.Universidade Nova de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  4. 4.Centre for European Integration Research, IPWUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

Personalised recommendations