The recent empowerment of the European Parliament makes this a timely study of the impact of its internal organisation on legislative politics, interest representation and democracy within the Union. Using data on all legislators and legislative proposals in the sixth parliamentary term, the book confronts alternative theories of legislative organisation in rigorous statistical analyses supported by rich interview information. The findings indicate that the internal setup and legislative output of the parliamentary committees serve the policy goals of parties in the European Parliament, and in particular the working majority party, rather than special interests or purely informational needs, which the author explains with the formal and informal parliamentary rules. As the committees advance party politics instead of particularistic policies, she concludes that legislating within the committees is positive for democracy in the European Union and raises concerns about the loss in transparency, legitimacy and accountability that the increasingly common fast-track bicameral decision-making outside the committees entails.
List of Figures and Tables ix
List of Abbreviations xi
Chapter One: Introduction 1
Chapter Two: Theoretical Framework on Legislative Organisation 11
Chapter Three: The Rationale Behind Committee Assignment 37
Chapter Four: Distribution of Legislative Tasks 61
Chapter Five: Legislative Influence of the European Parliament Committees 85
Chapter Six: Main Findings and Empirical Implications 113
Chapter Seven: Towards a Combined Theoretical Framework 129
Chapter Eight: Concluding Remarks 139
Nikoleta Yordanova is Assistant Professor of European Politics in the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Mannheim, Germany, where she had previously been a Research Fellow at the Political Economy of Reforms Research Centre. Prior to that she was a Researcher at the European University Institute (EUI), a Research Assistant at the Robert Schuman Centre and an intern at the European Parliament. Her work on the European Parliament was awarded the European Union Studies Association Award for Best Dissertation, the EUI's François Mény Prize for Best Comparative Thesis on Political Institutions and the Duncan Black Award by the ECPR Standing Group on Analytical Politics and Public Choice. She has published articles in international journals including European Union Politicsand West European Politics.