Participation and political competition in committee report allocation: Under what conditions do MEPs represent their constituents?

Author (Person)
Series Title
Series Details Vol.7, No.4, December 2006, p505-530
Publication Date December 2006
ISSN 1465-1165
Content Type


The paper models the consequences of committee report allocation for political representation in the European Parliament (EP). The range of legislators involved in each policy area affects the values, interests and constituencies that the Parliament represents. Thus, representation is defined as an MEP’s participation in salient policy areas. The allocation of salient reports follows inter-and intra-party group dynamics. First, party groups compete for salient reports in a context of open voting rules in committee and plenum. Second, group coordinators distribute these reports among their MEPs in an attempt to maximize the cohesion of the group. The model is tested on data from the fifth European Parliament (1999-2002). The results confirm the impact of selective participation on political representation. The EP has evolved into a ‘normal’ Parliament featuring coalitions and competition along a left-right cleavage across party groups and a hierarchical allocation of legislative spoils within parties.

Source Link
Subject Categories
Countries / Regions