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Edexcel A2 Politics HELP!!!!!!!!!! watch

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    Hey,

    I was revising the EU today and came upon a question that really confused me and I don't know how to answer it!!!

    "Why does the European Parliament remain so weak?"

    Has anyone got an suggestions???

    HELP
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    anyone got any advice??

    PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!
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    (Original post by Red)
    "Why does the European Parliament remain so weak?"

    Has anyone got an suggestions???

    HELP
    The European Parliament is gradually becoming stronger. Up until 1979 it was an appointed body made up of individual parliamentarians from member states. Since 1979 it has been a directly elected body, largely due to public pressure, and has slowly experienced an elevation in its status. However, the EP is still percieved by many observers as a 'talking shop', and is one of the most commonly cited examples of the EU's 'democratic deficet'.

    The slow progress that has been achieved over the past 25 years demonstrates the unwillingness of the EU to raise the powers of the parliament. Many will point to the internal attitudes of the EU and the positions taken by some of the member states. The original, unelected, model was devised by Monnet and popular with influential statesmen like Chales de Gaulle. The Franco-German vision of European Integration was always one of cooperation between the governments of the founding six states in central Europe. Disputes between these members were very rare in comparison to today's. Furthermore, the EEC enjoyed such popular opinion and was admired all over the world for its instant sucess, that there was very little pressure for reform which was amplified by an attitude not to break something which doesn't need fixing.

    The accession of the UK, Ireland and Denmark introduced three new members that did not share cultural ties with central Europe. The number of disagreements increased dramatically, and suddenly European issues became far more contentious, thus capturing the public attention who then began to demand a say in these matters.

    Alongside this, European union has evolved from the ECSC to the ECC to the EC to the EU and now to an institution with a consitution and a heavy reliance of majority-based decision making.

    As Europe's power increases, the public demand a greater say in their European representation. With the threat of a veto in countless policy areas, many populations want to ensure that they get a proper, democratic, opportunity to debate European issues, and get the opportunity to hold the politicians accountable.

    With all of this in mind, it seems a illogical progression to withhold an increase in the powers of the EP, despite the fact that, to some, it seems inevitable.

    But, hitherto, the European Parliament has not set an example which encourages further powers being granted in its direction. Firstly, turnout in European elections is low, significantly lower than for national elections. The governments which currently wield power in the EU have been elected on turnout's of around 80%, whereas the MEP's are elected with turnout's of about 45%. Secondly, there has been a distict lack of cooperation between MEP's from different member states. Despite the fact that they sit in transnational groupings, the Green parties were the only group to fight this weeks election on anything resembling a common manifesto. The prospect of these MEP's working together as a fully-fledged legislature looks impractical. Finally, the incredible amount of bureaucracy that goes through the EP does not inspire confidence. Each month the whole parliament travels from Brussels to Strasbourg at a cost of £300million per year, MEP's absorb millions of Euro's in travelling costs, which are inflated well-beyond the true costs, and debates take days to be completed as every word has to be translated into over twenty different languages.

    The European Union may be crying out for greater democracy, but equally so very few politicians would want to risk passing more power over to the European Parliament.
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    A very relevant article on the EP in this weeks economist.
 
 
 
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