World Diplomacy of the European Parliament

in The Hague Journal of Diplomacy
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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.

World Diplomacy of the European Parliament

in The Hague Journal of Diplomacy




Gráinne de Búrca‘The European Court of Justice and the International Legal Order after Kadi’Harvard International Law Journalvol. 51 no. 1 (2010) p. 5.


See Bernd Halling‘A Telephone Number for Henry Kissinger’EUobserver (25 April 2003) available online at


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.


Thym‘Parliamentary Involvement in European International Relations’ p. 212.


Laura Feliu and Francesc Serra‘The European Union as a “Normative Power” and the Normative Voice of the European Parliament’ p. 23.


Robert Cutler‘International Parliamentary Instutitions as Organizations’Journal of International Organizations Studiesvol. 4 no. 1 (2013) p. 104.


Davor Jančić‘Globalizing Representative Democracy: The Emergence of Multi-layered International Parliamentarism’Hastings International and Comparative Law Reviewvol. 38 no. 2 (2015) pp. 197-242.


Zlatko Šabič‘Building Democratic and Responsible Global Governance: The Role of International Parliamentary Institutions’Parliamentary Affairsvol. 61 no. 2 (2008) p. 258.


Christiane Kraft-Kasack‘Transnational Parliamentary Assemblies: A Remedy for the Democratic Deficit of International Governance?’West European Politicsvol. 31 no. 3 (2008) p. 552.


Julien Navarro‘The Creation and Transformation of Regional Parliamentary Assemblies: Lessons from the Pan-African Parliament’Journal of Legislative Studiesvol. 16 no. 2 (2010) pp. 195-214.


Ricardo Passos‘The European Union’s External Relations a Year After Lisbon: A First Evaluation from the European Parliament’ pp. 54-55.

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