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More power to the European Parliament?


  • Abdul Ghafar Noury
  • Gérard Roland


Many observers have expressed scepticism about granting more power to the European Parliament. The sceptics believe that Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) do not vote in a disciplined way and that they vote more often with their country group than with their European Party. Using a unique database consisting of all roll call votes by each individual MEP between 1989 and 1999 (over 6000 votes by over 1000 different MEPs), we show that the sceptics are wrong. Our data shows clearly that MEPs vote more along party lines than along country lines. Party cohesion is comparable to that of the US Congress and is increasing over time whereas country cohesion is low and declining. In short, politics in the European Parliament generally follows the traditional left-right divide that one finds in all European nations. These findings are valid across issues, even on issues like the structural and cohesion funds where one would expect country rather than party cohesion. In votes where the EP has the most power - those held under the so-called co-decision procedure - MEPs participate more and are more party-cohesive. In our opinion, this unique empirical analysis provides grounds for justifying a generalization of the co-decision procedure. Copyright (c) CEPR, CES, MSH, 2002.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Abdul Ghafar Noury & Gérard Roland, 2002. "More power to the European Parliament?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7760, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/7760

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Crombez, Christophe, 1996. "Legislative Procedures in the European Community," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(02), pages 199-228, April.
    2. Bindseil, Ulrich & Hantke, Cordula, 1997. "The power distribution in decision making among EU member states," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 171-185, February.
    3. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 2000. "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1121-1161, December.
    4. repec:cup:apsrev:v:92:y:1998:i:03:p:611-621_21 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Abdul Noury, 2000. "Ideology, Nationality and Euro-Parliamentarians," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1285, Econometric Society.
    6. Simon Hix & Amie Kreppel & Abdul Noury, 2003. "The Party System in the European Parliament: Collusive or Competitive?," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 309-331, April.
    7. repec:cup:apsrev:v:90:y:1996:i:02:p:269-282_20 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:88:y:1994:i:01:p:128-142_09 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Kauppi, Heikki & Widgrén, Mika, 2008. "Do Benevolent Aspects Have Room in Explaining EU Budget Receipts?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6778, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Barr, Jason & Passarelli, Francesco, 2009. "Who has the power in the EU?," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 339-366, May.
    3. Francisco Torres, 2003. "How efficient is joint decision-making in the EU?," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer;German National Library of Economics;Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), vol. 38(6), pages 312-322, November.
    4. Stefan Napel & Mika Widgrén, 2006. "The Inter-Institutional Distribution of Power in EU Codecision," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 27(1), pages 129-154, August.
    5. Abdul Noury, 2004. "Abstention in Daylight: Strategic Calculus of Voting in the European Parliament," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 121(1), pages 179-211, October.
    6. Kauppi, Heikki & Widgrén, Mika, 2008. "Do Benevolent Aspects Have Room Explaining EU Bydget Receipts?," Discussion Papers 1161, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    7. Abdul Ghafar Noury & Simon Hix & Gérard Roland, 2003. "How to choose the European executive? A counterfactual analysis, 1979-2001," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8516, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    8. Simon Hix, Abdul Noury, Gérard Roland, 2003. "How to Choose the European Executive: A Counterfactual Analysis (1979-1999)," Les Cahiers européens de Sciences Po 1, Centre d'études européennes (CEE) at Sciences Po, Paris.
    9. Roland, Gerard, 2003. "New governance of Europe: Parliamentary or presidential?, The," IESE Research Papers D/503, IESE Business School.
    10. Vaubel, Roland, 2003. "Principal-Agent-Probleme in internationalen Organisationen," HWWA Discussion Papers 219, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
    11. Bernhard Boockmann, 2003. "Mixed Motives: An Empirical Analysis of ILO Roll-Call Voting," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 263-285, December.
    12. Roland Vaubel, 2006. "Principal-agent problems in international organizations," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 125-138, June.

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