The micro-politics of parliamentary powers: European Parliament strategies for expanding its influence in the EU institutional system

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Series Details Volume 40, Number 4, Pages 375-391
Publication Date May 2018
ISSN 0703-6337 (print) | 1477-2280 (online)
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The European Parliament (EP) has gained considerable new powers since it was first established in 1952. Why has this happened, and how should the powers the EP possesses be assessed? This article suggests a novel approach that focuses on inter-institutional micropolitics and the processes in which the EP obtained its powers rather than treaty changes at IGCs.

Interinstitutional micropolitics are carried out by institutions and their members who act politically and shape the EU’s system from within. The EP’s successes in interinstitutional micropolitics are shaped by (1) its existing powers that need to be assessed in their differentiation; (2) the interparliamentary setting and the power constellations; (3) the political context; (4) the symbolic powers of the EP and (5) the stakes of the different institutions.

The EP’s micropolitics work by first successfully negotiating and creating new rules in use. Only after that, these rules can be institutionalised in IIAs and eventually, but not in all cases, in treaties.

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