Talk:European Parliament

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(old comments)[edit]

PLEASE CAN SOMEONE REWRITE THIS ARTICLE SO THAT PEOPLE CAN UNDERSTAND IT. Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.238.8.128 (talk) 09:31, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Did someone vandalize this page? When I viewed it it said "MOOOOOO." So I reverted it to the last edition before that.


I am deleting my own previous suggestion for improvement. Why? I was an idiot and did not observe that the suggestion has already been implemented! Cheers.


There is a statement that the EP has 23 official languages, and that therefore it is the most multilingual Parliament in the world. But the 8th Schedule to the Indian Constitution lists 22 official languages, and the 92nd Constitutional Amendment of 2003 added four more.

Sean O'Connell, Richmond, BC, Canada. +604-271-0814


—Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.2.54.36 (talk) 00:20, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

I was under the impression the EU parliament had little actual legislative power. Can anybody provide an authoritative reference one way or the other? - Khendon

See the http://europa.eu.int/abc/index3_en.htm for details. -- till we *) 22:53, Dec 17, 2003 (UTC)
The Parliament's legislative powers have been gradually increased since the EU's inception, from negligible to considerable. These days, it is the second chamber of what is basically a bicameral legislature together with the Council of Ministers. The Parliament cannot initiate legislation but it can accept (adopt), amend or reject legislation in tandem with the Council. In most areas of policy it has equal legislative power; very few areas now remain where it can only advise. See [1] for a detailed discussion. Toby 09:19, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Hmm, how about we include what the parliament actually does, apart from begging not to go to strasbourg every month? CJWilly


Another thing: the note about the largest elections -- I've read the "international simultaneous", but aren't the Indian congress elections (which aren't international, but at least simultaneous) a bit bigger? I'm not sure how many of the 1000 mio people there are allowed to vote, but India is praising itself as the biggest democracy. -- till we *) 22:53, Dec 17, 2003 (UTC)

Yes, i'll amend this - "largest transnational elections" is clearer. Toby 09:19, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Initiating legislation[edit]

Sobolewski added the following (actually it was already there, but (s)he rightly highlighted it):

The fact that the European Parliament cannot itself initiate legislation makes it different from most national "parliaments".

It's true that the EP can't initiate legislation, but I would query whether that's unusual among parliaments in general. It's my understanding that most parliaments have little or no power to do so. For instance, the UK Parliament hardly ever initiates legislation, as (to my knowledge) the only way it can do that is through a Private Members' Bill; government support is almost always needed. I suspect this is true of most parliamentary assemblies around the world, though I'm no expert on foreign systems. That would make the European Parliament quite similar to other parliaments in that respect. What do other contributors think? Wombat 20:08, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I suppose this comes down to the definition of what it means for a "Parliament" to "initiate" legislation. It would be my understanding that even though 99% of bills in a Westminister-system Parliament are "Government Bills," the act of initiation is still a function of the legislative branch— if, say, a minister had been appointed from outside Parliament, the act of introducing legislation would still have to be done by a parliamentary secretary or somesuch. -The Tom 00:16, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Well, I'm not sure I agree. The act of adopting that legislation would be down to the legislature, but the initiative, drafting and timetabling is down to the executive, i.e. the government. They can also decide if and when they want to present or withdraw the bill. In other words, the UK Parliament can call for new proposals, but it can't in general require the government to bring them forward, nor can it decide what proposals it wants to consider. That, to my mind, is the exact analogy of the situation in the EU, where the Commission drafts and presents proposals, while Parliament (and Council) amend and adopt or reject them. Wombat 07:59, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

well, either "initiate" means "conception, drafting and timetabling" or it means "introduce." By choosing your definition you choose your answer. ;) -The Tom 01:26, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Agreed - but my point is this: whichever definition you choose, the UK Parliament (and other Westminster-system parliaments) has the same power to 'initiate' as does the European Parliament. Therefore, whichever definition you choose, the fact remains that the statement "The fact that the European Parliament cannot itself initiate legislation makes it different from most national "parliaments" is false. Wombat 16:41, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I've changed the wording to "makes it different from most national legislative assemblies". This is for a few reasons but most important is that the EP differs in this way from all legislatures, not just "parliaments" (if by that we mean a particular kind of legislature).
On the issue under dispute as I understand it houses of legislatures in almost all countries have the right to initiate legislation. The case can be made that in most country's that follow the parliamentary system this right has been rendered meaningless by the dominance of the executive over the legislature but what matters here is the formal procedure. We say most houses of parliament can iniate legislation because:
  • In some systems the cabinet or president has the right to introduce bills themselves, acting in their capacity as president or cabinet. However in many systems (including, I think, the UK) "government bills", even though drafted and endorsed by the executive, are introduced by ministers acting in their capacity as members of parliament.
  • Almost every system allows for private members bills. In a parliamentary system the executive may have the ability in practice to decide which bills get debated and to vote down those it dissaproves of but it only has this power because it commands the loyalty of a majority of members. It is a majority of members of parliament, not the executive, who vote down bills.
In a presidential system the right to iniate legislation is not merely a formality but matters a great deal. The EP is closest to a legislative assembly under a presidential system (it is not dominated by the executive) so the right to intiate laws would represent a significant increase in its powers.
I think part of the confusion is the way the word "government" is used in some countries such as the UK. In the UK the "government" can refer to the executive but also to the majority group of MPs who voted in the executive. So to say a bill was "introduced by the government" doesn't necessarily mean that it wasn't initiated by a house of a legislature. Iota 20:40, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Thanks, that's interesting. Can I just summarise your point to make sure I understand it? Westminster(-type systems) can initiate legislation, strictly speaking, but the fact that they're dominated by a government majority makes that power a bit of a formality. But the EP has no inbuilt majority, so for it, the ability to initiate legislation would be far more significant.

It's a fair point. I suppose the detail of this discussion is too complex to include in the article - which is a shame, because the simple statement as it stands, that the EP can't initiate legislation and other parliaments can, gives a rather simplistic view. It implies an outright weakness when the reality is much more subtle.

Never mind - I suppose Wikipedia is an encyclopedia at the end of the day, not a treatise on political theory. The text is fine as it stands. Thanks. :o) Wombat 08:06, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This discussion is getting close to the uniqueness of the EP. In all democracies the parliament can fix anything. The UK House of Commons has rules about initiating legislation, including a few private members bills and oportunities to the opposing parties. Any one of those bills could rewrite the HoC rules, they don't because a two party system provides elected tyrany. I believe the pr houses are more flexible.
The EP is unique because it is not supreme. Regnim 15:31, 19 Feb 2006

Surely no legislature can initiate legislation: a single MP doesn't represent the whole legislature when introducing legislation. For the whole legislature to be able to do that, a majority would spontaneously have to propose exactly the same text.

Surely the point is that no-one within the EP can initiate legislation, only the Commission, whereas in other systems members of the executive are drawn from the legislature?

Constituencies Project[edit]

I think we should have some information on European Parliamentary Constituencies.

There are already articles on UK contituencies: East Midlands (European Parliament constituency), East of England (European Parliament constituency), London (European Parliament constituency), North East England (European Parliament constituency), North West England (European Parliament constituency), South West England (European Parliament constituency), Northern Ireland (European Parliament constituency), Scotland (European Parliament constituency), South East England (European Parliament constituency), Wales (European Parliament constituency), West Midlands (European Parliament constituency), Yorkshire and the Humber (European Parliament constituency).

Belgium, Ireland, Italy also use consitiuencies, information is here: European Parliament election, 2004 (Italy), European Parliament election, 2004 (Ireland), European Parliament election, 2004 (Belgium). Consituency articles should be developed along a similar format to above.

For all other countries, the whole state is one electoral area it seems. But this needs to be said more clearly than now. It would also be nice to have a map of Europe showing consituencies. Seabhcán 11:31, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

I've started this at European Parliamentary ConstituenciesSeabhcán 12:59, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

Scope[edit]

I have revised to from "the EP is unique in that ... " to

The European Parliament is directly elected by the people of the European Union and has some restricted legislative power

I justify this now. As was observed India has direct elections. The EU is a Union, just like the USA.

My view is that the EP legislative power is trivial, which contributors may think is good or bad. Certainly the EP has powers of oversight through its necessary approvals. I hope a text can be found that everyone will find acceptable.

Alan Firminger ( Regnim when we had to logon )


Salary[edit]

How much do these guys get paid, and what perks and priveleges come with membership? EikwaR 05:47, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Minimum and Maximum number of seats[edit]

It was agreed that the maximum number of MEPs should be fixed at 750, with a minimum threshold of six per member state and no member state being allocated more than 96 seats

Why does Germany have more than 96 and Malta have less then 6 seats? Grioghair 10:15, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, I have two theories. The first is incorrect data (then, max=99; min=5), but maybe such limits were agreed upon the EU-27 parliament, that is, for the 2009 elections. Habbit 14:29, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
The number of seats were set for 2009 onwards. Malta gets an extra seat in 3 years. Before that it was all by negotiation (I remember Malta was going to be allocated 3 seats before the negotiations). VodkaJazz/talk 16:53, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
I had this same question... it would be good to add this information to the article (with sources). -- Joebeone (Talk) 15:22, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Good Article[edit]

I'm passing this as a good article. There are some minor improvements (I think some more citations would be beneficial and the above inconsistancy needs ironing out) that could be done before FAC but it's good enough for GA. MGSpiller 23:49, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

GA Re-Review and In-line citations[edit]

Members of the Wikipedia:WikiProject Good articles are in the process of doing a re-review of current Good Article listings to ensure compliance with the standards of the Good Article Criteria. (Discussion of the changes and re-review can be found here). A significant change to the GA criteria is the mandatory use of some sort of in-line citation (In accordance to WP:CITE) to be used in order for an article to pass the verification and reference criteria. Currently this article does not include in-line citations. It is recommended that the article's editors take a look at the inclusion of in-line citations as well as how the article stacks up against the rest of the Good Article criteria. GA reviewers will give you at least a week's time from the date of this notice to work on the in-line citations before doing a full re-review and deciding if the article still merits being considered a Good Article or would need to be de-listed. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us on the Good Article project talk page or you may contact me personally. On behalf of the Good Articles Project, I want to thank you for all the time and effort that you have put into working on this article and improving the overall quality of the Wikipedia project. Agne 23:55, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

Issues with the article[edit]

I tripped over some internal inconsitencies when perusing this article, for example:

  • The lead states that the first direct election occured in 1979, while the "History" section makes a claim of 1981. Which is it?
  • Also, the lead says that the P-ment does not have codecision power with the Council, but later, in powers and functions, says it does? Again, something is unclear here.
  • The Locations section appears to violate neutrality conventions at wikipedia. It is also entirely unreferenced.

As a whole, the article could benefit from referencing. If we knew where all of this information comes from, it might be easier to resolve these issues. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 15:57, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

It's 1971, I've fixed that. In regards to codecision, it does in some areas and not in others. Hence why the lead uses the proviso "full". On locations, well the first to segments are facts about the location, the third - well I don't think it strays too much, I think a million people could count as strong, not sure. It's hard to make a case against for the two seats from where I'm sitting so I'm not sure how else to put it in a small place, I think it is more a topic for the locations page where there is more room to discuss it. Most info can be found on the europarl.europa.eu webpage, probably hasn't been referenced as a lot is common knowledge. -JLogan 20:18, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Successful good article nomination[edit]

I am glad to say that this article which was nominated for good article status has succeeded. This is how the article, as of June 18, 2007, compares against the six good article criteria:

THIS IS A DREADFUL article. How anyone can think it is well-written or comprehensive or anything else is beyond me. I opened the article a few minutes ago, and immediately corrected 'statue' into 'statute'. I went on spotting errors, then opened this discussion page, to find it had once appeared as a Featured article. You're all barmy. Best Wishes Fairlightseven. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 172.207.242.250 (talk) 16:03, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

1. Well written?: The grammar is correct and the text is comprehensible by international users. It adheres to the Manual of Style. The English is clear and the style is concise. The introductory section gives a good overall view and the article's sections are properly separated and no section is longer than it should.
2. Factually accurate?: Many inline citations and references across the whole article, pointing to reliable sources (many references to institutional sites).
3. Broad in coverage?: The article is broad in coverage, without going off-topic. It addresses all the aspects related to the European Parliament institution.
4. Neutral point of view?: I don't see bias in the article. The subject is treated technically and all the possible different views on the subject are addressed.
5. Article stability? The article is stable with most of this month's edits accounted to a group of editors committed into fixing the problems that were found in the last peer review that delisted the article from GA. It did not change substantially in the last few months (except for the due changes) and there were few anonymous edits in the same period. No edit wars too.
6. Images?: Appropriate usage of images, all captioned. Many images are from the Photographic Service of the European Parliament, and therefore are copyright free. All the images are copyright tagged and have an acceptable copyright status.

If you feel that this review is in error, feel free to take it to a GA review. Thank you to all of the editors who worked hard to bring it to this status. — giandrea European stars.svg 00:47, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Copyedit notes and questions[edit]

I added some mandatory commas and the like, and fixed a couple of sentence fragments, but there is more to do. My ignorance of the topic is a two-edged sword: I can tell when something is not clear, but I can't with confidence fix it. I hope someone will address the following:

"The Parliament, together with the Council, form the highest legislative body within the Union.": "Parliament" is a singular subject, with "together with the council" being parenthetical, but Parliament can't form the body alone. I fixed this.

"This is only within the competencies of the European Community being limited to specific policy areas...": I need help here. Would someone please parse this for me? I can't make heads or tails of it.

"Although the European Parliament has legislative power that such bodies as those above do not possess...": I need help here, too. Above what? Where?

"The Parliament, like the other institutions, was not designed in its current form...": "Other institutions" has no antecedent. Perhaps "...like the other EU institutions...".

"One of the oldest common institutions...": In Europe? If so, say that.

"Even the Parliament's two seats...": What seats? I'm doing this on the fly and expect to find out later in the article, but right now this is incomprehensible.

"It served all three communities, while the Commission and Council has separate bodies for each.": What Commission? What Council? And they would "have" bodies unless they are a single organ called The Commission and Council.

"...Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Assembly...": I'm pretty sure that the second "Assembly" shouldn't be there.

"Veil was also the first female President of the Parliament.": This might sound picky, but isn't that rather sexist? She was the first president of any sex, and being first is sufficient distinction. Let her have that. I just sense a sort of cognitive feedback loop here.

"...incentives for the secession of Iranian nuclear development...": Surely, "cessation."

"...Council can overrule the Parliament if it is unanimous along with the Consultation, which require just consultation of the Parliament...": I find "unanimous along with the Consultation" mystifying, and I can't tell what is supposed to be the subject of "require".

"The Parliament also has the power to censure the Commission, as a body, once they are in power with a two-thirds majority.": They are in power with a majority? Should this be "once they are in power, with..."?

Boy, that's a nice graph.

"...when a member joins mid-term, they will hold by-elections...": Who are they? Perhaps, "when a member joins mid-term, that state will hold by-elections..."? Milkbreath 03:13, 3 August 2007 (UTC)


Thanks for your work here! On your points, I've looked through and I've made some changes, I hope things are clearer, if not I'll see what I can do. I'm sure User:Ssolbergj will be happy to know his graph work is appreciated! Very good points though, thanks again for the copyedit. - J Logan t: 17:13, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Inaccurate article[edit]

This article contains several revealing (deliberate?) mistakes.

First of all, the parliament is in no sense democratic. Since a EU demos (fortunately) does not exist, any EU institution, by definition cannot be democratic. Since this is an encyclopedia and we have to adhere to the definition of democracy all references to the EU being in any way democratic have to be removed from all EU articles. I would volunteer to do that as I personally despise the Fourth Reich (EU). I want our national democracy back.

Furthermore, how is the EU parliament a real parliament? It cannot initiate or impose a legislative agenda, it cannot form a government from its ranks. It cannot do anything by itself (except to dismiss a Commission as a whole). I believe that Advisory Council might be a better title for it. And before anyone mentions it, the mere fact that there are 'elections' for this 'parliament' does not make it democratic either.

The whole article itself is full of the standard EU propaganda (which as usual does not reflect reality wholly.) --81.68.98.95 18:46, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Article titles are taken from the real situation, the institution is called the European Parliament and so the article is called that. unsurprisingly and i'm sure everyone would agree that it isn't up to wikipedia users to decide article titles based on their own opinions. Mad onion 20:29, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
  • That's a lot more polite than I could have managed Mad Onion. Marcus22 21:24, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Where are these references to the EU being democratic? Brutannica 21:48, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Read any official source or respectable academic writing. We also have this thing called logic to go on as well. Not even groups like UKIP try to say the Parliament isn't democratic, the very fact they were elected into it buggers that. Anyway, it is clear this is not a serious attempt to improve the article, just more POV from nationalists. I'll remind everyone this is for discussion article improvement, not about personal rants from Sun and Daily Mail readers. - J Logan t: 14:36, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
And to add to JLogan's reply to the comment, "demos" is Ancient greek for people, and it's a bit ridiculous to say that those electing MEPs are in any way not people. Maybe the above person is some kind of mongoloid troll, who hides in caves and makes the occasional swipe at passers by, because the whole world is, well, Greek to him. The trouble is, that some people come to Wikipedia just to criticise stuff rather than read and be informed. Well done on this article so far everyone! Wikidea 17:27, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Oh great, namecalling. Well I can do that too. Those who support the EU are treasonous quislings selling out their national democracy without any popular mandate to do so. Back in 1939-45 we also had many in Europe willing to sell their countries out to hand power to Berlin. Now its the same, except Berlin is now Brussels (albeit without the direct terror). Tell me, how is it different selling your country out now than it was then? Why should traitors not be dealt with like they were then, namely with summary execution? --81.68.98.95 21:49, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. And just a quick addition. The UK national democracy is hardly a gold standard I'd want to depend upon, especially given the attitude of recent governments. We are lumbered with a far worse democratic system which shows no signs of improvement and many of the problems with democracy and the EU stem from problems with the UK constitution and the lack of reform to cope with the modern world. Few words, Lords, Queen, Prerogative, Prime Minister, Presidential, WL Question, Spin, Iraq, DEFRA, FPTP, SOCA, Terrorism Act... Anyway, sorry just wanted to do the pot kettle black, I'll stop now - as I said, this is for the article. - J Logan t: 19:50, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Merge from Apportionment in the European Parliament[edit]

It has been suggested that Apportionment in the European Parliament be merged into this article.

  • Weak oppose. On balance, I think it is useful to have a separate article for more detail. Discussions about the system could also be included there. I think the subject should have its own sub-section here, with a reference to the "Main" article. On the other hand the data needs to be kept up to date, and at present it does not contain much additional information. --Boson 15:59, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Budget section[edit]

How did the parliament's refusal to discharge the 1984 EC budget bring down the Santer commission in 1999 ? --Triwbe (talk) 16:21, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

see Santer Commission- J Logan t: 20:07, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Comparison to Queen[edit]

Is that not common knowledge? Why is this disputed?- J Logan t: 20:07, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

It will remain to be seen whether calling it an election will spur political groups to use their power and mandate to force their own candidates upon the European Council in the same way as, for example, the British House of Commons does in its relation to the Queen

I don't think that this is "common knowledge". i am particularly uncomfortable with the use of the word "force". There is a pejorative tone here implying something untoward in the relationship between parliament and Monarch. In addition, the statement makes an unsourced comparison between two separate issues which is clearly one editors opinion, making it speculation and original research. --Brideshead (talk) 20:33, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

The future arrangement in the EP is laid out in the article, making a comparison in order to explain something is hardly something new. The relationship between the Commons and Queen may not be 'common" I suppose, but it is not something subject to dispute. If it is the tone though, I'll give it a rewrite in a second.- J Logan t: 21:32, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Popular myth EP is weak[edit]

The following section was put at the top by an IP;

The popular belief that the EP is powerless is due to it's recent past as a consultative assembly and the implicit comparison with national parliaments, but this comparison leads to false conclusions.[2]

EP is more appropriately compared with the US house of representatives. Important differences with national parliaments and similarities with the house of representatives, are the role of committees, bipartisan voting, decentralized political parties and absence of Government-opposition divide.[3]

In the EU ,legislative initiative rest only on the commission, this is interpreted as a weakness, however in national parliaments more then 85% of legislative initiatives come from the executive and are adopted as is most of the time, most amendments come from the opposition and fail.In contrast, under the codecision procedure more than 80% of the European Parliament’s amendments are adopted.[4]

This has been removed by myself and SSJ twice, let me outline my reasoning. The data is included in the article in its relevant sections, although correct this is a rather messy assembly crammed in at the top and is a repetition of data elsewhere. Starting off on popular belief, most things on the EU are popular belief and we can't go into all of them, it is best to present the facts and popular belief will be dismissed on that basis. Such facts come in in the intro and the detailed sections on exact powers, we can't just have a section essentially saying they say it is but it isn't. Basically, it is written as an argument rather than a presentation of fact (difference between an encyclopaedia and an academic journal). Furthermore, some points are obvious or partly contradicted in following sections. Also, its lack of detail causes problems, for example "national parliaments more then 85% of legislative initiatives come from the executive and are adopted as is most of the time" - which parliaments are these? Could be any, could be Zimbabwe and if it is all the national parliaments than an average of all of them is hardly a fair comparison given the different systems. We can't compare to the Chinese Congress when a member caused controversy for voting against something once. Your last point is good though, what I will say is please integrate neatly into the existing text rather than create a whole new section to make just one point.- J.Logan`t: 18:47, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

European national parliament,china is a dictatorship. The difference is that this myth is particulary important, believing that your parlement don't worth much is not with out consequences, as explained, peopol are comparing it to there national parliaments.That the commission is unacountable, or that story on strait cocombres ect are less important, and to a great degree have there origines in the "EP=ruber stamp assembly" myth.As for the mode of presentation, "it is best to present the facts and popular belief will be dismissed" this imply from the reader to become a constitutional expert or something, even by reading the entire article you don't get the idea of how things work in reality.Does it say any where that they are strong similarities with the US house of representatives?They see a sort of a soft consecus and say "EP has no balls", this actually shows that EP is actually working, there is more democracy in EP then in the greek parlement.Does it say anywhere about the 80% of amedment rate, peopol think of how amedments in national parlements are done, and say "ooo, EP can ONLY propose amedmends, EP is poupou".The reader, by following what your saying, should read the articles(assuming they are complite, big if) on US house of representatives,federal political parties in the US, legislative initiative, amedments , comities . Even your opinion on EP is flaud.No one will read all it takes to dig out that EP is a functional parliament, with simply perculiar methods of doing things because of the underling political situation(concencus). Sory for the big chunk in ugly English.--88.82.47.59 (talk) 21:37, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

The point is made in the introduction and elaborated in the proceeding sections. Its powers are clearly outlined. We can't just start off making random statements which may stand out as making a political point. Yes its important, but you have to tell people through facts, rather than through an argument. Encyclopaedia, not academic journal. Besides, I hardly think people are going to miss the quote I have used a few times at the start about it being one of the most powerful legislatures in the world... Furthermore, when adding data please read the text first so you know where to add the information. No one will read it if the information is all over the place, repeating itself with no order. Yes this is important data and thanks for this, but please try to keep the article tidy.- J.Logan`t: 23:33, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not merely a colection of facts, they are theories too.Your quote fall very short. The article passes under silence, that EP is wildly counsidered as weak.What if i started arguing that your quote is undue wait to a fringe theory?It's not a random statement, either people are right(EP=banana) or wrong(peopol=banana), if they are wrong then why is that? "Its powers are clearly outlined" this is exacly the problem, it doen't take in to acount that pepol have preconceive idea about what a parlement looks like, if pepol only new it's name,they would be more inclind in beleaving that EP is a normal parlement.I know this is counter intuitive, but all thies details actually add to the counviction of the preconceived reader that "EP=banana",in general this is used as a misinformation tric..... creationist are arguing for something similar as you do,just to show that you idea is not very whell thoat thrue.The real level of detail necesairy to really explain to the reader the EP necesitates so much diging, from many other areas, that olmost no one will do this.The "real theory" is so counter intuitive,that readers will fit the fact in to the "EP=banana" theory. Do you understad that your proposal can be used as a misinformation tactic?--88.82.47.59 (talk) 00:25, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
You make arguments for including it as a theory then say it is true or it isn't. That is contradictory. We have a descriptor stating that the EP is powerful within the first para, its exact powers are then explained. The general idea of an article is that people read it, if they do then they know the detail, if they read only the intro then they also know and if they read nothing then there no point in any of this. Problem on Wikipedia is that if you start making our a high profile argument (again, an encyclopaedia is about a collection of facts - its very definition) then it will attract others of a different opinion to messily twist it this way or that and eventually it will attract vandalism. Same reason the EU page does not have a criticism section, it attracts mess and vandalism. If we organise the facts in the text properly, then it makes a far more professional and sustainable article.- J.Logan`t: 08:47, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Sorry to rv that last one, I made a point on each bit there. Basically all that info is already there in proper detail and the introduced section is very messy with little connection with the rest of the section. If you are trying to draw an exact similarity with a particular parliament, i.e. US Congress, perhaps a neat paragraph explicitly exploring that rather than a rushed list?- J.Logan`t: 22:56, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Why do i have the feeling that it's all about the "featured article" status that you are a pain in the ass?It's sourced, it's relevent, if you don't like it start a formal conflict rezolution.--88.82.47.248 (talk) 00:35, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

It is about maintaining the overall quality. Yes it is sourced but the data is already there in proper ordered sections and following the rules of English grammar. I don't like to mice words, so although the source is good the way it is presented and the manner of its inclusion is a complete mess. There is repetition of the rest of the article that gives an indication, be it true or false, that you are including data without reading what is in the article already or respecting its structure. You've now just made a whole section of repeated data, some of which we've only just put into the main body so you're repeating the data you just got included. To expand upon my comments in the edit summery;
  • "extensive role of committees" - this means nothing. In all parliaments the real action happens in committees and there is no grounding for the assertion here. Such info should be under committees anyway - the way it is put in like this is like you're construction an argument totally independent of this article but sharing its same file space.
  • "bipartisan voting". If you mean, voting politically then that is hardly an innovation for a parliament while at the same time it conflicts with the consensus idea. This issue is dealt with in detail and the point you put in conflicts with the more nuanced discussion of it.
  • "absence of Government-opposition divide" - likewise, it is not so simple. This hardly reflects the US system unless you're talking about parliamentary systems in which case it should be stated as such. As with the above this is gone into nuanced detail on the two sides of the theory here. A one sided assertion on this topic conflicts with that.
Basically, I am trying to protect the integrity of the information of this article by ensuring consistency and quality. - J.Logan`t: 01:07, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

If you whant to do a comparison, you don't tell to the reader, go and read this cople of hundreds of pages and make up your mind.You are basicly saying, read all this article and subarticles and all articles and sub articles of US house of representatives and the articles on "standard parlements".The section makes a comparison, if you whant the details follow the not yet added links to the relevent articles, it adds info valuable on it's won right, it's not just the small list, you need to much diging and prior to construct this list.

The frequent recourse to bipartisan voting is, in part, facilitated by the reliance on

Congressional committees and their ability to promote compromise3. The absence of a consistent left-right or Government-opposition divide created by a comparatively high level of bi- partisanship is one of the attributes of the American political system that most clearly distinguishes it from the national political systems of the EU member states. In fact, all of three of these almost definitional characteristics of the American legislature are well-studied and familiar because of the extent to which they distinguish the American system from those of the EU member states. The goal here is to demonstrate the existence and significance of similar institutional characteristics in the European Parliament, understand to what extent these may be a function of the broadly similar federalist political environment in which the two institutions exist and explore the benefits of utilizing the US as a model of comparison instead of the national parliaments of the member states.

The full staff and resources of the EP committees, though small when compared to those

of the American Congress, are quite substantial when compared to the parliamentary or committee resources of most EU national parliaments (Longley and Davidson, 1998; Bowler and Farrell, 1995). Each committee has between twelve and eighteen staff members dedicated to it full time, as well as an additional three to five supporting staff members. Further supporting the activities of the committees (and the EP in general) are the resources of the EP’s library, archives, staff and research resources located both in Brussels and Luxembourg. These resources are at the disposal of all MEPs and staff members. There is also a separate Directorate General for Committees that provides additional support staff when needed.

Have you read the source?--88.82.47.138 (talk) 12:53, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

You say they shouldn't trawl through the other pages to find the information, but that's exactly what they'd have to do with the information you put up. For example, the quote you ended on talked about the exact nature of committees, rather than just saying they are similar to the US ones. Such a statement alone means absolutely nothing. And again on the partisan point, have you read this article? This is one university source when the reality is a lot more complicated. Read the article. On the committee point, I'll just write in that data in a second in proper detail as an example.- J.Logan`t: 13:56, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

I wasn"t planning to write the hole thing just start a stub.With the stub at least you know they are similarities and differences, with out it, he must read all of the articles just to know that they exist, assuming you can really do this just by reading wikipedia's articles.It's a wiki, proper details will be added gradually, stubs are not illegal."Such a statement alone means absolutely nothing" ,if you remove it, then the reader will not know that they exist at all, this would mean that he will not start searching for enything, unles he was planning from the start to read many articles, and even then the articles don't nessairly say some of those details.This looks like the article on female autophelatio,they read the article that said that this thing don't really exist, and on that basis they deleted it,claimming that they didn't learn enything."the reality is a lot more complicated" Yes it is, it's you that is too absolute.If you try to understand something, you simplify it so that you can see structure more easily, and you keep in mind that you did a simplification, if you want to change the wording, so that it doesn't sound simplistic in your ear please do.This is supposed to be a stub, and try to push as much as possible in 2 phrases.I'm not bully you in righting it, readers are above FA status.--88.82.47.138 (talk) 20:22, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

I think you rather missed the point of most of my examples there. It is not a case of a stub, it is a case of misplaced misinformation that is detrimental to the article. That is why I am acting on this, if it was just stub information then that would be no problem but its making things worse which is why I am still trying to integrate this into the text rather than objecting to the concept.- J.Logan`t: 20:51, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
It's not misinformation, it's you that is to absolute.--88.82.47.138 (talk) 23:27, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
I've already explained my reasonings as to the error, if you simply say I'm wrong rather than reply tot he issues I've raised then that's not much of an argument. Futher, it is hardly absolute that nearly all points you put in are still in the text - merely integrated with the topics where they are already mentioned.- J.Logan`t: 16:46, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Source[edit]

The proceedings of the 2nd annual conference of the Parliamentary Program of the Faculty of Economics & Political Science (Cairo University in cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation) has a chapter called "The European Parliament: A Pioneering Institution and How it Changes". It's written in 2003 so it's a bit out of date, but it's a good overview and includes groups, committees and intergroups. Can't put it into the article direct, so I'll park it here if anybody wants to add bits to the article. Regards, Anameofmyveryown (talk) 20:17, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

webcast link[edit]

mms://livewms.europarl.europa.eu/reflector:56235Kaihsu (talk) 10:27, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Template[edit]

I don't understand the first template at the bottom of this page or how it is supposed to work. Why does it link to the various national parliaments? Why does it add "parliament of" to all the other topics? Mezigue (talk) 20:02, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Number of members from each country[edit]

Bulgaria has 17 members, not 18 as the article states. I'm not sure about the numbers of MEPs from the other countries, but they might be wrong too. --212.36.9.163 (talk) 20:06, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Convicted MEP'S[edit]

Can I add the information that there are many MEP'S convicted for serious things (example: corrupion), who still seat in the EP because there is no law to avoid that? See: http://www.eudebate2009.eu/eng/article/30271/meps-corrupt-europe-parliament-italy-problem.html --78.12.53.56 (talk) 10:28, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

That's very specific information, perhaps the Member of the European Parliament article?- J.Logan`t: 20:57, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
That sounds better. And Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons should be scrupuously adhered to. --Boson (talk) 22:05, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Thank you! So I will. --84.220.219.51 (talk) 14:16, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

(Replying here as it looks like you have a dynamic IP address and won't necessarily see if I post on your current talk page)
I copy-edited it slightly - I don't think I've fundamentally changed the meaning, however. More importantly, I've removed the list of examples (Vito Bonsignore, Aldo Patriciello, Mario Borghezio) as I felt it gave undue weight to Italy (i.e. a reader might assume that Italy was a really corrupt place!) The URL you put in the edit summary I added as a reference, so interested readers can get the example list from the original article.
Hope that's OK! If not we can discuss it at Talk:Member of the European Parliament.
Cheers, This flag once was redpropagandadeeds 14:39, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
a reader might assume that Italy was a really corrupt place - what a disparaged assumption to make! ;) Habbit: just shy, not antisocial - you can talk to me! 14:48, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, I wouldn't want the hypothetical reader to forget Britain's contribution ;-) This flag once was redpropagandadeeds 14:55, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Thank you to all of you! We now discuss about it on the Talk:Member of the European Parliament as Bosondecided to remove all the voice about that.--78.12.41.253 (talk) 22:06, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

FA Status[edit]

This article needs updating in a few sections if it is to retain it's FA Status. WikiTownsvillian 09:57, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Phantom or shadow MEPs[edit]

Does anyone know what's happening to the 'phantom' or shadow MEPs who are added under the reallocation of EP seats under the Lisbon Treaty? The EP website doesn't say directly other than a note from the beginning of last month that they were eligible to take their seats once the Treaty entered into force. But the designations still seem to be unofficial and the EP website does not include them on their list of MEPs nor on the 'incoming/outgoing' list. Sam Blacketer (talk) 11:55, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

It is a bit of a mess and I've seen very little data on it. Germany elected shadow MEPs and France didn't so they will hold another election for them - but none of them will have full powers until the Council gives a declaration clearing up the mess surrounding their status. Until them, even with the Lisbon Treaty in force, they are not fully MEPs.- J.Logan`t: 16:56, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Europarl[edit]

Is this word used in normal speech or writing? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.140.57.113 (talk) 10:23, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Written mainly, on the website. Very limited usage though, at least in English and the media.- J.Logan`t: 08:57, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

Members getting fined?[edit]

The article Nigel Farage says Farage was fined for his derogatory remarks regarding Herman Van Rompuy. Could someone explain that? I find it rather unusual that members of any parliament could actually be fined for whatever he says during parliamentary sessions. What are the rules? Are they limited to "no member will make comments on the lousy appearance or lack of mandate of our great and benevolent president"? Joepnl (talk) 05:01, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

Most parliament's have that though the exact kind varies. For example in the Commons you can't say that another MP has lied. This data might be on Member of the European Parliament (which has that kind of data) and if not look in the links from that page for the Rules of Procedure. Those are the rules governing the EP.- J.Logan`t: 08:55, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
This was not, of course, a (judicial) fine in the proper sense but a disciplinary measure by Parliament, less than a suspension . Since the attendance allowance is 290 euros a day, I assume he merely had his attendance allowance docked for ten days, rather than actually being suspended (which I presume would have had the same effect, as well as suspending him).
In the (British) House of Commons, he could also have been suspended for breaking the rules. In the House of Commons, of course, the conventions are slightly different (and more robust in some respects): I don't know how many countries would let you get away with epithets like "semi house-trained polecat" in reference to another member.
Aye, his allowance was suspended. 10 days I think. The EP can be tougher in some respects, though that is because continental parliaments are generally more sedate, consensual and respectful rather than 'punch and judy' so to speak. I think that point is mentioned in this article.- J.Logan`t: 10:52, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

Pirate party?[edit]

I could have sworn that the pirate party had one if not two seats in the EP?

Reference: http://torrentfreak.com/sweden-to-finally-get-second-pirate-mep-100827/ --64.134.190.76 (talk) 12:29, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Christian Engström and Amelia Andersdotter, are members of the European Parliament for Sweden 2009–2014 and members of the Pirate Party. They are not in a European political party but are part of The Greens–European Free Alliance group.--Boson (talk) 14:45, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Where and when was it established?[edit]

I added the article to Category:1952 establishments in Belgium originally, however this was subsequently changed to Category:1952 establishments in France. I was pretty unsure when doing the first categorization, both concerning the year and the location. Now, can someone make this clearer to me (here as well as in the article)? __meco (talk) 10:05, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

While the ECSC in 1952 was based in Luxembourg, the European Parliament was initially only based in Strasbourg so France is correct. It only came to have a base in Brussels several decades later.- J.Logan`t: 07:44, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Missing Information[edit]

Even though this article has been considered Featured it lack essential information regarding the EP as a workplace. Just to take a few examples from the top of my head, it would be interesting to know: How many people works there (at the moment I can only find information about interpreters and MEPs)? What are the average salaries? What are the total cost of operating the EP as a whole and for the different parts? How is the division between the different countries when it comes to the people working there? How many trainees are working there, and where are they from? Jopparn (talk) 14:02, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

type: lower house?[edit]

There isn't second parliament in European Union. If European parliament is a lower house then which is the upper house? --Περίεργος (talk) 11:52, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

I agree. I've changed it to Unicameral. --Red King (talk) 12:50, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
The Council of the EU is the EU upper house. In fact the codecision procedure (requiring almost every EU law to be passed both by Parliament and Council) effectively makes the Parliament a lower house and the EU Council an upper house. User:Luca Italy —Preceding undated comment added 10:08, 4 July 2011 (UTC).
I think this is original research, can you cite it? --Περίεργος (talk) 11:01, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
it's well known. eg: "The language was deliberately designed to distinguish between the Council and the European Parliament, ... composed of representatives of the peoples, and an 'upper house' consisting of representatives of the states" [The Council of the European Union by Martin Westlake & David Galloway - 2004 p 29. Rjensen (talk) 11:14, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
The European Parliament can be said to perform similar functions to a lower house of parliament and the opinion that it is a de facto lower house is a valid one, Similarly the Council could be said to be like an upper house (and this could be expressed by calling it an 'upper house' in inverted commas). But I don't think we can state as a matter of fact, rather than opinion, that the European Parliament is a lower house. The system of governance in the EU is sui generis. Legislative power is divided among three institutions: the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, and the European Commission. Regulations, which - like national laws - have the direct force of law, can be enacted by the Council or the Commission (with or without the immediate involvement of the European Parliament, depending on the circumstances). So the European Parliament cannot, without fear of contadiction, be said to be a lower house in the normal sense of the word. Such a statement remains a point of view. --Boson (talk) 12:17, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
The question for wikipedia is what do the Reliable sources say such as "'upper house' consisting of representatives of the states" [The Council of the European Union by Martin Westlake & David Galloway - 2004 p 29; "In the case of the EU, the Council of Ministers, which is the functional equivalent of the upper house" [Political Theory And The European Constitution by Lynn Dobson, Andreas Føllesdal - 2004 p 28]; "he Council of the European Union can be regarded as the upper house." [Patterns of Democracy: Government Forms and Performance Arend Lijphart - 1999 p 42]. Perhaps using the last statement is most useful for this article: "the Council of Ministers is the functional equivalent of the upper house" Rjensen (talk) 12:34, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
It's simple: is there any source that says: European parliament is the lower house of EU, or at least Europarliament works like a lower house..? Is there any citation? --Περίεργος (talk) 12:41, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
I think "functional equivalent of the upper house" is the nearest I would like to go for the Council, since sources are careful not to say it is an upper house. I would like to find a similar source stating that the Parliament is the functional equivalent of a lower house, since here the functional equivalence is slightly less clear. --Boson (talk) 12:51, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Lack of/reluctance to use (recent changes)[edit]

Firstly on the point of a "lack" of powers. Historically the Parliament did have very few powers but today, and within the EU system, the Parliament is very powerful - annoyingly so for the Council who never quite understand the implications of the powers they hand over in each treaty. Now you could say that Parliament does not have the power to impose tax or raise an army, but the EU as a whole doesn't. That is missing the point. If you're talking about brutal state power then the UK's House of Commons has more power than the US Senate, yet within those systems the opposite is true and that is the issue being addressed. It would be misleading to say the Parliament is lacking powers because the EU lacks them. Parliament has a very heavy hand in the passing of laws (and brutally changes them against the Council's preferences, as we saw with Bolkestein). It also has a strong financial hand and while it doesn't have a parliamentary system connection to the executive, it does have strong powers to keep that executive in check (a la a presidential system).

On the matter of not using those powers, some may claim that but as someone who has studied parliament's history, it is clear that Parliament got where it is today through using those powers incredibly heavily and pushing the boundaries. They didn't win every fight and sometimes they stepped too far beyond the treaties, but look at recently - for example over the setting up of the EEAS and the latest Commission. Parliament used its financial levers to try to get more and more say out of Barroso and Ashton. The Council and Commission hate them for using those tactics (so they have to use that tactic sparingly, they pick their battles carefully) but it shows a clear willingness for Parliament to use its power.

Basically, while we could discuss the differing viewpoints of whether or not Parliament uses its powers, it really isn't the place to do so in the intro as at the moment it implies that Parliament doesn't use its powers.- J.Logan`t: 14:02, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

I agree. --Boson (talk) 14:08, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
I apologize, I should have read the talk page before editing. I see now that this issue of the relative strength/weakness of the EU Parliament has been discussed several times before. Also I should have read more of the article itself, which does motivate the description in the lede.
Your text above is very enlightening, I would love to hear more details about this 'pushing the boundaries'. Also I think there should be a separate article on History of the European Parliament which could describe in more detail how its powers grew over time, and how the treaties and practice changed them. (Currently this is just a redirect to History of the European Union.)
I do wonder why the EU Parliament is so rarely in the news. I hear about events in my national parliament all the time (like, daily), which gives the impression that all the major decisions are made there. No doubt this contributes to the low (and declining) turnout for EU elections. KarlFrei (talk) 16:11, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
If you are not in the UK, one TV programme that reports on the work of the European Parliament etc. is The Record Europe on BBC World News TV. It's on at weekends (I think Saturday, repeated on Sunday), but I believe they're having a break at the moment. Among other things, they usually have an interview with about 3 parliamentarians from different countries and parties. Unfortunately, I don't think the European Parliament matches Westminster for entertainment value. --Boson (talk) 16:51, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
No problem. I did initially start a History of the European Parliament article but there was so much interconnection with general EU history it was merged together. While there is a lot of material on the Parliament's history it is very hard to process into a Wikipedia article - I for one simply don't have the time to do that kind of work anymore even if I'd like to. If you want to read more though there are loads of books, I'd personally recommend "Six Battles that Shaped the European Parliament" by Julian Priestly. Also, check out Simon Hix's work.
The media mainly ignore it, IMHO, because it deals with a lot of dull (even if important) subjects (fish quotas, market regulations, industry standards and so on) and it does them in a dull way with a lot of terms alien to national audiences (co-decision procedure, conciliation committee, comitology). European politics can be incredibly interesting once you know what they're on about, and who does what, but that's too much effort for the media. They should cover it of course, a lot of important decisions are taken there that impact on half a billion people! Don't be fooled by the media into thinking they're not important; that goes for other institutions as well, some Commissioners are far more powerful than national ministers.- J.Logan`t: 17:19, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Fun fact: Both India and the EU has the largest trans-national electorate body in the world[edit]

Both this article and Parliament of India uses the phrase 'the largest trans-national democratic electorate in the world' to describe itself. And since they are carbon copies of one another, I wonder whether it is some sort of prank. Or did we retake India? --Svippong 12:30, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Excuse my ignorance, but when did the state of India suddenly become multiple nations ("trans-national"). Connolly15 (talk) 13:38, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Members[edit]

Regarding this sentence: "Thus, for instance, Maltese and Luxembourgian voters have about 10x more influence than citizens of the six large countries." It is unsourced at the moment. I'm not sure how this was arrived at, but didn't want to remove without consensus. I think this sentence is a bit misleading. I could also say that the six largest countries have almost 70x more MEPs as Luxembourg and Malta combined. This is not an unusual system - the Canadian Parliament preserves a minimum number of seats per province... US presidential elections ... I assume Germany might have a similar system? Connolly15 (talk) 16:43, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

I agree. It puts a particular slant on the facts.
You could also say that the 2 countries,
  • Germany and
  • France
together have more weight than 14 other countries:
  • Sweden,
  • Austria,
  • Bulgaria,
  • Denmark,
  • Slovakia,
  • Finland,
  • Ireland,
  • Lithuania,
  • Latvia,
  • Slovenia,
  • Estonia,
  • Cyprus,
  • Luxembourg, and
  • Malta.
In any case the paragraph needs rewriting to take account of the fact that the Lisbon Treaty has taken effect.--Boson (talk) 19:41, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

7th parliament[edit]

A quick google search shows many Wikipedia pages using the term "7th EU parliament" but other sources limiting themselves to "7th term of the EUP" (if mentioning the 7th at all). Can someone provide a reliable source please that supports this phrase. Arnoutf (talk) 17:23, 22 May 2014 (UTC)

Formatting problems[edit]

Pretty important for the formatting errors to be rectified as soon as possible. Those with knowledge of how please sort this asap.

--83.84.60.129 (talk) 14:28, 28 May 2014 (UTC)