This book examines the impact of increased legislative power and political authority on the internal development of the European Parliament and the supranational party group system. This is done through an analysis of changes in the hierarchical structures that regulate the internal organization of both the EP as a whole and the individual party groups. In addition, the changing pattern of coalition formation between party groups across time and legislative procedure is analyzed. The trends of internal development examined suggest that the increases in EP power that have occurred since the creation of the cooperation procedure by the Single European Act in 1987 have caused a fundamental shift in the character of the European Parliament as a legislative institution. Prior to 1987 the European Parliament, despite direct election and several small attempts to increase its powers, served primarily as a chamber of debate where much more was discussed than accomplished.
• Analysis of institutional development in EP which could apply to other institutions • Extensive data on voting within the European Parliament • Extensive information on the rules of procedure of both the EP as a whole and the two largest party groups across time
1. Introduction: the European parliament and the institutional evolution of legislatures; 2. Theories of legislative development and the European Parliament; 3. The development of the party group system and the party groups; 4. The history of the European Parliament; 5. The internal developments of the European parliament: from collegiality to conflict; 6. The development of the supranational party group system-conflict and cooperation in the coalition formation process; 7. Cooperation and co-decision: the role of ideology and rules; 8. The Internal development of the supranational party groups; An elusive goal; 9. Conclusions: understanding the developmental process.
'This book provides a major contribution to the rapidly growing literature on the internal development of the European Parliament … should be required reading for any scholar of the European Parliament or of legislative development.' The Journal of Legislative Studies
'Extremely well written, and with a highly original approach, the book is compulsory reading for both EU and legislative scholars.' West European Politics