The European Parliament (EP) – today one of the most powerful actors at EU level – was intended to be a mere consultative assembly at the founding of the European Communities. In my research project on the institutional evolution of the EP prior to its first direct elections in 1979, I demonstrate that the Parliament went beyond this formally provided and significantly limited role already before formally gaining a larger range of parliamentary powers (notably in legislation and budgetary control) from the 1970s.
In my most recent article, published with the Journal of Common Market Studies (open access), I study the EP’s early parliamentarisation as a Europeanisation process. Namely, the article uses the concept of Europeanization to analyse what ideational, normative and rationalist factors induced MEPs – delegates from the member states’ national parliaments at the time – to invest considerable time and effort into an institution that promised no significant political impact, career improvement, or acknowledgement by voters. In so doing, the article demonstrates that despite the fact that careers were made at the national level, MEPs swiftly began to behave as Euro‐parliamentarians rather than national delegates. Inside the EP, MEPs were therefore both themselves Europeanized and pushed for the Europeanization of the EP more generally.