University of Exeter
MA in public Administration
Pol. 6025: European Political Integration
Spring Term Essay 1
THE ROLE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT IN THE DECISION MAKING PROCESS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
Decision making in the European Union comprises several different procedures. This means that the different institutions play different roles depending on the subject matter concerned. As a rule, decision making principally involves three institutions of the European Union (EU): the European Parliament (EP), the Council and the Commission. However, other institutions and bodies such as the Court of Auditors, the European Central Bank, the Economic and Financial Committee, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions also play a role in certain specific areas. The various bodies operate within the powers conferred on them by the treaties.
The role of the EP in the decision making process of the EU has increased since 1958. In this essay I will try to explain these changes, but first of all, I will give a brief information about the EP. Then I will outline the role of the EP in the decision making process under the Treaty of Rome. Then, I will discuss what the Single European Act (SEA) meant for the Parliament’s role. Later on, I will explain what changes were made by the Maastricht Treaty and finally, I will discuss the role of the EP after the Treaty of Amsterdam. At the end I will give my conclusions.
THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
This essay deals with the role of the EP in the decision making process of the EU. So it seems proper to give a brief information about the EP to understand the topic better.
The EP is the only directly elected institution of the EU. It consists of a single chamber, and its 626 members are directly elected by universal suffrage for fixed, renewable five-year terms. The seats are divided between the member states roughly...