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European Parliament as an independent actor in EU affairs - Essay Example

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This paper "European Parliament as an independent actor in EU affairs" concerns The enhanced role of the European Parliament. From the review, it can be suggested that while the EP is institutionally an independent actor, functionally it is yet to become free…
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European Parliament as an independent actor in EU affairs
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Download file to see previous pages The Parliament has been given greater powers by various treaties, which came in through extensions in ordinary legislative procedures. In December 2009, the Lisbon Treaty came into force, which linked the Commission’s presidential election to that of the EP elections. At the same time, the Lisbon treaty also authorised the European Parliament with complete control over the EU budget, thus turning the legislative powers of the parliament in equal standing to that of the Council of the European Union (Europa, A Constitution for Europe, nd). Since the Lisbon Treaty, almost all decisions within the EU must be made with the permission of European Parliament (EP). Since the EP is the only body within the EU that is directly elected, it represents all citizens of the EU member states. However, despite its enhanced powers over the legislation and budgetary processes of the EU, a closer analysis reveals that the European Parliament lacks political freedom and it does not have an adequate access to the citizens, which must necessarily change to make it an independent actor within EU affairs. Discussion The enhanced role of the European parliament The European Parliament is the most democratic body within the EU, as the citizens of the EU directly elect its members. Various treaties, over the years, have granted greater powers to this institution in order to bring democracy within the EU. Owing to these changes, the EU has evolved from being a mere body for consultations to an important decision making body, as regards framing the EU laws and budget (under articles 14.1 and 16.1). Initially, the EP’s activities were limited to providing nonbinding viewpoints through consultation. It started...
The European Parliament is the most democratic body within the EU, as the citizens of the EU directly elect its members. Various treaties, over the years, have granted greater powers to this institution in order to bring democracy within the EU. Owing to these changes, the EU has evolved from being a mere body for consultations to an important decision making body.
Initially, the EP’s activities were limited to providing nonbinding viewpoints through consultation. It started gaining more power, in regard of influencing the EU legislation, through the cooperation procedure provided in the 1986 Single European Act. The Maastricht Treaty of 1992 brought in the co-decision procedure that significantly increased EP’s power to affect EU’s legislative procedures in some arenas, especially the ones linked to the common domestic market of the EU (Europa, 2010). The Council of Ministers and the EP share powers of legislation and according to the co-decision procedure, both the EP and the Council must approve all Commission proposals for it to become a law; while using co-decision, the EP has the authority to change, remove or accept any proposed legislation. More power was accorded to the EP by the Amsterdam Treaty (1997) that increased the scope of use of co-decision to various other policies such as social policies, environmental policies amongst many more. As the decisions making processes of the Council of Ministers are subject to an intricate system of majority voting instead of consensus. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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