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Roles and orientations of members of parliament in the EU context: Congruence or difference? Europeanisation or not?

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This paper analyses role orientations and attitudes towards European integration of members of 11 national parliaments in Europe and tries to answer three questions: how much diversity or convergence exists in the understanding of democracy and the role of parliament?; how do MPs evaluate the democracy of the EU, which kind of political order do they want to see emerging and how does this relate to their understandings of the role and function of national parliaments?; and are there trends of Europeanisation observable in contacts and orientations of MPs? Results show that there is a high degree of diversity with regard to the functions that national parliaments should perform and to the way in which European institutions should be reformed and a political order established. These orientations are very persistent and change only very slowly in the course of Europeanisation. This implies that variety across countries will not vanish quickly and raises the question whether institutional change and incentives will work fast enough to provoke adaptation of national parliaments to the danger of loss of authority, functions and relevance.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Social Science Research Centre, Berlin (WZB)

Publication date: 2005-10-01

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