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The Introduction of Direct Election and the Recognition of “European parties at the European level”: Two Case Studies on the Institutionalization of the European Parliament

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Abstract:

Since its creation in 1951 as one of the political institutions of the European Coal and Steal Community, the Common Assembly (which later became the European Parliament (EP)) has been empowered through several measures of institutionalization and legitimization. These measures have been presented by different political and bureaucratic actors, and by a large number of scholars as well, as “natural outcomes” of the so-called “European integration process” and as important steps in reducing the “democratic deficit” of the European Union (EU). Another argumentative line claims that the measures which contribute to the EP empowerment are deliberate “victories” of federalist or supranational ideas against intergovernmentalism and national-state centered politics.
This paper, besides questioning the developmentalist idea of any “natural evolution” of the EU, aims at a reassessment of the link between institutionalization of the EP, “supranationalism” and, more widely, political ideas by analyzing two particular examples of institutional changes which have contributed to the institutionalization of the EP: the decision to hold direct elections for European elections, taken at the Summit of Paris in December 1974, and the legal recognition of “political parties at the European level” in the Maastricht Treaty, which is often presented to stem from the direct election of the EP.
By comparing the argumentative positioning of actors who have been mobilizing for or justifying these institutional modifications and the actual socio-historical genesis of these precise decisions, this paper shows that both are widely disconnected and thus contributes to the reassessment of the respective role of ideas and interests in institutional change in the European Union.
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Association:
Name: Eighteenth International Conference of the Council for European Studies
URL:
http://www.ces.columbia.edu


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p485155_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Roa Bastos, Francisco. "The Introduction of Direct Election and the Recognition of “European parties at the European level”: Two Case Studies on the Institutionalization of the European Parliament" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Eighteenth International Conference of the Council for European Studies, Various University Venues, Barcelona, Spain, <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p485155_index.html>

APA Citation:

Roa Bastos, F. "The Introduction of Direct Election and the Recognition of “European parties at the European level”: Two Case Studies on the Institutionalization of the European Parliament" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Eighteenth International Conference of the Council for European Studies, Various University Venues, Barcelona, Spain <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p485155_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Since its creation in 1951 as one of the political institutions of the European Coal and Steal Community, the Common Assembly (which later became the European Parliament (EP)) has been empowered through several measures of institutionalization and legitimization. These measures have been presented by different political and bureaucratic actors, and by a large number of scholars as well, as “natural outcomes” of the so-called “European integration process” and as important steps in reducing the “democratic deficit” of the European Union (EU). Another argumentative line claims that the measures which contribute to the EP empowerment are deliberate “victories” of federalist or supranational ideas against intergovernmentalism and national-state centered politics.
This paper, besides questioning the developmentalist idea of any “natural evolution” of the EU, aims at a reassessment of the link between institutionalization of the EP, “supranationalism” and, more widely, political ideas by analyzing two particular examples of institutional changes which have contributed to the institutionalization of the EP: the decision to hold direct elections for European elections, taken at the Summit of Paris in December 1974, and the legal recognition of “political parties at the European level” in the Maastricht Treaty, which is often presented to stem from the direct election of the EP.
By comparing the argumentative positioning of actors who have been mobilizing for or justifying these institutional modifications and the actual socio-historical genesis of these precise decisions, this paper shows that both are widely disconnected and thus contributes to the reassessment of the respective role of ideas and interests in institutional change in the European Union.


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