Building Europes Parliament: Democratic Representation Beyond the Nation State

Paperback | September 27, 2007

byBerthold Rittberger

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Why have the national governments of EU member states successively endowed the European Parliament with supervisory, budgetary, and legislative powers over the past fifty years? Building Europe's Parliament sheds new light on this pivotal issue, and provides a major contribution to the studyof the European Parliament. Rittberger develops a theory of delegation to representative institutions in international politics which combines elements of democratic theory and different strands of institutionalist theory. To test the plausibility of his theory, Rittberger draws on extensive archival material and offerstheory-guided, in-depth case studies of three landmark decisions in the history of the European Parliament: the creation of the Common Assembly of the ECSC in 1951 and the concomitant acquisition of supervisory powers vis-a-vis the quasi-executive High Authority; the delegation of budgetary powersfollowing the signing of the Treaty of Luxembourg in 1970; and the delegation of legislative powers resulting from the adoption of the Single European Act signed in 1986. This is followed by the charting of more recent key developments, culminating in the adoption of the Constitutional Treaty in2004. The book provides a welcome addition to the literature on institutional design by reflecting on the conditions under which governments opt for the creation and empowerment of parliamentary institutions in international politics. It is also makes a valuable contribution to the application ofdemocratic theory to the study of the European Union by demonstrating that political elites shared the view that the new supranational polity which emerged from the debris of World War II suffered from 'democratic deficit' since its inception, thus disproving the claim that the lamented 'democraticdeficit' is a recent phenomenon.

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Why have the national governments of EU member states successively endowed the European Parliament with supervisory, budgetary, and legislative powers over the past fifty years? Building Europe's Parliament sheds new light on this pivotal issue, and provides a major contribution to the studyof the European Parliament. Rittberger develo...

Berthold Rittberger is Assistant Professor in Comparative Government at the University of Kaiserslautern, Germany.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.55 inPublished:September 27, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199231990

ISBN - 13:9780199231997

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Building Europe's ParliamentPart I: Theory1. The Empowerment of the European Parliament: Lessons from the New Institutionalism and Democratic Theory2. Parliamentary Institutions in International Polities: What are the Conditions?Part II: The European Parliament's Power Trias3. The Origins of the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community4. Budgetary Powers and the Treaty of Luxembourg5. Legislative Powers and the Single European Act6. From Maastricht to the Constitutional Treaty: The Return of National Parliaments?Conclusion: No Integration without Representation?Bibliography

Editorial Reviews

`"Building Europe's Parliament is an interesting study of the changes in the institutional framework of democracy that have been generated in the pursuit of a safer and more stable Europe. Rittberger is to be complimented for dealing directly and plainly with such questions in a more serious,more readable, and more optimistic format than most other writers on this theme." 'The International History Review