Inter-Parliamentary Contacts of Members of the European Parliament. Report of a Survey

B.J.J. Crum, E. Miklin

Research output: Working paperAcademic

Abstract

In the run-up to the EU Treaty of Lisbon, and its failed predecessor the EU Constitutional Treaty, there has been increasing attention for the formal links between the European Parliament and national parliaments. There is however very little systematic evidence of whether and how parliamentarians actually use these formal opportunities in practice. In this paper we report on a survey among members of the sixth European Parliament (2004-2009) about the way they coordinated their work with their national parties and representatives in national parliaments. The survey results confirm our hypothesis that most inter-parliamentary engagement actually proceeds through political parties rather than through the formal inter-parliamentary institutions that have been developed. Following up on this, three more conclusions come to the fore. One is that MEPs coordinate above all with party colleagues from their own country. Contacts with parliamentarians from other countries are much rarer. Secondly, we find that initiatives from MEPs towards the domestic level outweigh initiatives the other way around, and that a majority of MEPs considers that their national party engages too little with EP affairs. Finally, our results suggest that there is considerable variation between different party families in the standing that MEPs enjoy within their national parties, the amount of inter-parliamentary coordination, and the attention national parties pay to EU decision-making.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOslo
PublisherARENA Centre for European Studies
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameRECON Online Working Papers
No.2011/08

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European Parliament
contact
parliament
EU
EU Treaty
treaty
decision making
evidence

Cite this

Crum, B. J. J., & Miklin, E. (2011). Inter-Parliamentary Contacts of Members of the European Parliament. Report of a Survey. (RECON Online Working Papers; No. 2011/08). Oslo: ARENA Centre for European Studies.
Crum, B.J.J. ; Miklin, E. / Inter-Parliamentary Contacts of Members of the European Parliament. Report of a Survey. Oslo : ARENA Centre for European Studies, 2011. (RECON Online Working Papers; 2011/08).
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Crum, BJJ & Miklin, E 2011 'Inter-Parliamentary Contacts of Members of the European Parliament. Report of a Survey' RECON Online Working Papers, no. 2011/08, ARENA Centre for European Studies, Oslo.

Inter-Parliamentary Contacts of Members of the European Parliament. Report of a Survey. / Crum, B.J.J.; Miklin, E.

Oslo : ARENA Centre for European Studies, 2011. (RECON Online Working Papers; No. 2011/08).

Research output: Working paperAcademic

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T1 - Inter-Parliamentary Contacts of Members of the European Parliament. Report of a Survey

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AB - In the run-up to the EU Treaty of Lisbon, and its failed predecessor the EU Constitutional Treaty, there has been increasing attention for the formal links between the European Parliament and national parliaments. There is however very little systematic evidence of whether and how parliamentarians actually use these formal opportunities in practice. In this paper we report on a survey among members of the sixth European Parliament (2004-2009) about the way they coordinated their work with their national parties and representatives in national parliaments. The survey results confirm our hypothesis that most inter-parliamentary engagement actually proceeds through political parties rather than through the formal inter-parliamentary institutions that have been developed. Following up on this, three more conclusions come to the fore. One is that MEPs coordinate above all with party colleagues from their own country. Contacts with parliamentarians from other countries are much rarer. Secondly, we find that initiatives from MEPs towards the domestic level outweigh initiatives the other way around, and that a majority of MEPs considers that their national party engages too little with EP affairs. Finally, our results suggest that there is considerable variation between different party families in the standing that MEPs enjoy within their national parties, the amount of inter-parliamentary coordination, and the attention national parties pay to EU decision-making.

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Crum BJJ, Miklin E. Inter-Parliamentary Contacts of Members of the European Parliament. Report of a Survey. Oslo: ARENA Centre for European Studies. 2011. (RECON Online Working Papers; 2011/08).