Parliament Staff: Background, career patterns and behaviour

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Series Details No.10, October 2011
Publication Date 2011
ISSN 1890- 7741
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Officials within parliaments have got marginal scholarly attention. This also holds for the European Parliament (EP) which contains a considerable administration. Similar to administrative personnel within executives, parliament staff deserves attention because they may take part in decision processes and thus might affect the content of decisions.

Our study, based on an online survey (N=118), shows that political group staff are primarily committed to the concerns of their respective political groups, but also to the arguments of those external actors which have similar party affiliation.

Since most group officials are, in addition, affiliated to a particular committee, they also emphasise sectoral interests, including the concerns of affected interest groups. EP-secretariat officials, on the other hand, give priority to sectoral and expert concerns.

Both groups of staff rank European concerns above national ones, and pay more attention to the arguments of the Commission than to the arguments of any other institution.

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