Mapping the involvement of the European Parliament in EU external relations – a legal and empirical analysis

Published 28 July 2016

The most recent issue in the CLEER Paper series has been published. As the EU continues to develop its role in global affairs, the question of appropriate democratic involvement becomes increasingly relevant. This paper therefore examines the methods and the degree to which the European Parliament (EP) is involved in EU external relations through a combination of legal and empirical analysis. The legal analysis will investigate the extent to which the Lisbon Treaty has improved the position of the EP in the EU’s external decision-making, the additional arrangements laid down in Inter-Institutional Agreements, and the EP’s leverage through its role as part of the EU’s budgetary authority. Having mapped the methods through which the EP is involved in foreign affairs, the paper subsequently investigates the degree to which the EP’s formal rights and powers translate into actual involvement through two empirical analyses. The paper will first examine the usage of the consent, consultation and information procedures under the Lisbon and Nice Treaties, before turning to the influence that the EP attempts to exert on external affairs through its resolutions.

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