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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