The European parliament: problem, and solution

The European parliament: problem, and solution

To be clear: the European parliament is in many ways an admirable institution, populated by a number of hard-working, dedicated and highly able members (MEPs). Indeed, in those areas where it enjoys coequal status with the council of ministers in the legislative process, it is far more effective than virtually any parliament in any domestic setting. Its committees produce enlightening and thoughtful reports; it has frequently shown itself able to amend and even veto legislation proposed by the commission and endorsed by the member-states in the European council.

So it is not the quality of the parliamentarians that is the problem, or even of (some of) its work – but the anomalous position of the institution itself. However high the calibre of individual MEPs, European parliament elections do not work – they fail to provide a parliament with a genuine mandate for action at European level. It is, moreover, hard to imagine a sensible way in which to make them do so.

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