Chapter

The European Parliament as an Outlier: Delegation of Legislative Power in the European Union

Mark A. Pollack

in The Engines of European Integration

Published in print March 2003 | ISBN: 9780199251179
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600111 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199251177.003.0005
 The European Parliament as an Outlier: Delegation of Legislative Power in the European Union

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European Union governments have delegated an ever‐expanding set of supervisory, budgetary and legislative powers to the European Parliament over the past five decades of European integration. Such delegation to the Parliament appears to be motivated not by the functional demands emphasized in principal‐agent approaches, but primarily by an ideological concern on the part of member governments, and their constituents, to enhance the democratic legitimacy of the European Union. A close examination of the patterns and process of delegation to the EP, however, suggests that member governments calculate the likely consequences of delegation to the EP, and refrain from delegating powers in areas where they perceive that the EP would move political outcomes away from their collective preferences.

Keywords: delegation; democracy; European integration; European Parliament; European Union; ideology; legislative powers; legitimacy; preferences

Chapter.  18905 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: European Union

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