Political Representation and Political Integration in Europe: Is it possible to square the circle?
With the ongoing making of a European polity the character of political representation and the role of national parliaments is changing. Europe is more and more facing a situation where input legitimacy is produced at the national level whereas binding political decisions are taken at the supranational level. This is why there is an ongoing debate about the democratic deficit. The paper takes up this discussion from a particular perspective: how do the members of national parliaments of eleven member states and the members of the European Parliament perceive the future of European integration, to which degree do they support further competence shift, and which kind of future political order of the EU do they prefer? The impact of several factors on support for further integration are explored including policy character, exposure to economic globalization, and national institutional settings. Results show that the ideas about institutional reform and future political order do differ considerably between MPs of different nations, ideologies as well as the national and European level partly due to the mentioned factors. The necessary consensus about the future order seems to be far from feasible.
European Parliament; institutions; integration theory; intergovernmentalism; state building; national parliaments; political representation; political science
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