This article examines the role of the European Parliament in ensuring democratic participation in European Union external relations and global governance. Although the Lisbon Treaty has reinforced the European Parliament’s foreign affairs prerogatives, many obstacles hinder its influence. This prompts the European Parliament to invest considerable institutional resources not only to counterbalance the Commission and the Council and reduce information asymmetry, but also to enhance its posture on the world stage through value-oriented and region-oriented parliamentary diplomacy. The article argues that by conducting world diplomacy, the European Parliament generates critical mass for its institutional empowerment by a crafty application of its treaty rights, by means of non-legislative instruments, and by establishing bilateral and multilateral diplomatic contacts with parliamentary and executive bodies worldwide. The European Parliament thereby attempts to portray itself as an actor without which decisions cannot be made.
Christopher Lord‘The Political Theory and Practice of Parliamentary Participation in the Common Security and Defence Policy’Journal of European Public Policyvol. 18 no. 8 (2011) p. 1134. See contra Helene Sjursen ‘Not So Intergovernmental After All? On Democracy and Integration in European Foreign and Security Policy’ Journal of European Public Policy vol. 18 no. 8 (2011) p. 1092.
Berthold RittbergerBuilding Europe’s Parliament: Democratic Representation beyond the Nation-State (Oxford: Oxford University Press2005). See also Olivier Costa and Nathalie Brack ‘The Role of the European Parliament in Europe’s Integration and Parliamentarization Process’ in Olivier Costa et al. (eds.) Parliamentary Dimensions of Regionalization and Globalization: The Role of Inter-Parliamentary Institutions (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2013) p. 46.
Richard Whitman and Ana Juncos‘The Lisbon Treaty and the Foreign, Security and Defence Policy: Reforms, Implementation and the Consequences of (Non-)Ratification’European Foreign Affairs Reviewvol. 14 no. 1 (2009) p. 30.
Elisabeth Wisniewski‘The Influence of the European Parliament on the European External Action Service’European Foreign Affairs Reviewvol. 18 no. 1 (2013) p. 88; and Kolja Raube ‘The European External Action Service and the European Parliament’ The Hague Journal of Diplomacy vol. 7 no. 1 (2012) pp. 65-80.