No Representation without Integration! Why Differentiated Integration Challenges the Composition of the European Parliament

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Series Details Volume 58, Number 4, Pages 1016-1033
Publication Date July 2020
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This article provides a normative assessment of parliamentary representation in fields of differentiated integration in the European Union. Based on three criteria of legitimate democratic representation, autonomy, accountability and equality, we evaluate four alternative representation models.

These models comprise (I) complete representation of all members of the European Parliament (MEPs), (II) insider representation through the creation of new, regime‐specific assemblies, and (III) partial representation without and (IV) with inclusive deliberative stages. We find that the current system of complete representation, while honouring the principle of equality, violates autonomy and accountability in areas of differentiated integration.

We therefore advocate a model of partial representation: MEPs elected in opt‐out states should not take part in EP voting but should be invited to participate in the deliberative stages of parliamentary decision‐making. This reconciles the principles of autonomy, accountability and equality, at least as long as there is no truly European electoral system in place.

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