Differentiated representation : is a flexible European Parliament desirable?
Title: Differentiated representation : is a flexible European Parliament desirable?
Citation: Bruno de WITTE, Andrea OTT and Ellen VOS (eds), Between flexibility and disintegration : the trajectory of differentiation in EU law, Cheltenham ; Northampton : Edward Elgar, 2017, pp. 118–145
ISBN: 9781783475889; 9781783475896
Adapting the composition and the functioning of the European Parliament (EP) to the increasing flexibility and differentiation in the EU legal and political systems is not an entirely new problem in comparative terms. The issue has also arisen in federal states such as the United States in periods of crisis and times of divided positions among the States. A problem that is similar, although it is not framed in identical terms as in the EU context, is the West Lothian Question in the United Kingdom (UK). Following devolution in the UK, MPs elected in the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish constituencies still vote in the House of Commons for Acts that only apply to England. In contrast, in the same Chamber, MPs elected in English constituencies are no longer entitled to vote on a series of Acts that are now regularly passed by the regional legislative Assemblies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The debate about limiting the voting rights of the MPs elected in the devolved regions, however, has never led to the actual adoption of measures to operationalize a voting limitation in practice. Following the creation of the EMU the problem was discussed by the EP itself, although no measures were adopted to take account of the different degree of participation of Member States in specific policy areas, such as monetary policy and Schengen. This was very different from what happened in the Council where voting rights for non-participating countries were restricted.
Published in print: 24 Feb 2017
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