Democratic Politics in the European Parliament by Simon Hix

By Simon Hix

With the eu Parliament comprising politicians from many various nations, cultures, languages, nationwide events and institutional backgrounds, one may possibly anticipate politics within the Parliament to be highly-fragmented and unpredictable. via learning greater than 12,000 recorded votes among 1979 and 2004 this booklet establishes that the other is in truth precise: transnational events within the eu Parliament are hugely cohesive and the vintage 'left-right' measurement dominates vote casting behaviour. moreover, the unity of events within the ecu Parliament has elevated because the powers of the Parliament have elevated. The authors recommend that the most explanation for those advancements is that like-minded MEPs have incentives to shape solid transnational get together firms and to exploit those organisations to compete over eu Union rules. They recommend that it is a confident improvement for the way forward for democratic responsibility within the ecu Union.

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This de facto existence of the political groups led the new Rules Committee to conduct a study on the implications of political party group formation and suggest courses of action. The report from the Rules Committee, which was adopted in June 1953, emphasised the crucial role of political parties in the internal organisation of the assembly. The report noted that the groups had, in practice, already formed and all that was needed was to establish some form of formal recognition. This recognition took the form of an addition to the Rules of Procedure, which stated that members of the Development of the European Parliament 23 assembly could form groups according to ‘political persuasion’.

For example, in the adoption of the End-of-Life Vehicles Directive in 2000, which introduced rules on the recycling of cars, a centre-right majority in the fifth parliament (1999–2004) watered down the draft legislation supported by the ‘red–green’ majorities in the Council and Commission. Meanwhile, in 2001, a centre-left coalition in the same parliament rejected the deal in the Council on the Takeover Directive, which would have liberalised rules on hostile takeover bids, as we show in Chapter 11.

If there is more than one dimension, the citizen-delegate view has no answer as to how decisions should be taken in a parliament. The rather unrealistic prediction of the theory is that a voting equilibrium does not exist (cf. Arrow, 1951; Mckelvey, 1976). The reason is as follows. Imagine that a bill is put to the floor of the parliament. Then, if there is more than one dimension, even if the first 36 Democratic politics in the European Parliament bill is proposed at the position of the median voter on that dimension, an amendment can be proposed that will move the position of the bill along a second dimension, and create a new majority in favour of the amended bill.

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