Effectiveness of the European Parliament as a Legislative Body: A Critical Analysis

Giulia Gentile, LLM in European Law, King’s College London 

Since its creation, the European Parliament (EUP) has been the subject of considerable debate. Originally established in 1951 as “Assembly”, this body was instituted as the legislator of the European Coal and Steel Community. However, before the entry into force of the Maastricht Treaty, the EUP could barely be compared to a legislative body, since its policy-making powers were extremely bounded.[1] This Treaty, indeed, assigned to the EUP enhanced legislative powers, further strengthened through the following European Treaties.[2] Nevertheless, although the EUP’s decision-making powers have significantly increased in the last twenty years, a deeper analysis shows that the EUP’s influence as a legislative body still have significant constraints. This paper will first analyse and assess the power of the EUP as a legislator in the ordinary procedure (OP) and its “deviation”, the informal bargaining (IB), the current main legislative processes in the EU.[3] Subsequently, a brief analysis of the potential EUP’s role in the UK’s renegotiation of its membership in the EU will provide further elements of reflection on EUP’s effectiveness as a legislative body.[4]

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UK in the EU? A Rhetorical Question

Luca Carmosino, LLB student, King’s College London

In 2012, Cohen-Bendit MEP stated that the UK will have to decide whether it stays in the EU or whether it becomes the 51st United States’ State.[1] This quote summarises most of the argument as it illustrates the fact that full independence is, potentially, no longer a solution for the UK. However, I will not restrict my analysis to a citation!

In 1975, the United Kingdom (UK) held a referendum on the (then) European Economic Community (EEC) membership: 67.2% voted in favour.[2] The wind -since then- has apparently changed with the UK constantly ‘threatening’ the European Union (EU) to propose an in-out referendum.[3] This post makes a case for the UK staying in the EU. The first argument will relate to domestic politics. Indeed, the main reason why the UK domestic political parties focus so much on ‘Brexit’ is because it attracts votes by blaming the EU for the politically sensitive issues, namely, immigration, unemployment and many more. Secondly, following the political analysis, an economic perspective is essential. Indeed, the UK largely benefits from the EU as a commercial partner. The third and final part of this post discusses and portrays the globalised context in which we live and argues that the UK is bound by the EU and that political and economic integration is essential in light of the globalisation effect.

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