MEPs as representatives: Individual and institutional roles

  • Scully R
  • Farrell D
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Abstract

Abstract Although the European Parliament (EP), as the sole directly-elected institution of the EU, has often been accorded prominence in discussions of 'democracy' and 'representation' within the Union, relatively little attention has been paid to the attitudes of EP members to the practice of representation in the EU. This article develops our understanding of MEPs' attitudes in two important areas. First, we examine how MEPs view their role as individual representatives, and their priorities within that role. Second, we explore parliamentarians' attitudes to their collective position within the EU by considering their opinions on the powers of the EP itself. Drawing on data from a recent survey of MEPs, we assess the extent to which their views on these questions are predicted by individual, institutional and political sources of explanation; our findings indicate that all three significantly, but far from exclusively, shape MEPs' views.

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Authors

  • Roger Scully

  • David M. Farrell

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