Pragmatism and the Limits to the European Parliament’s Strategies for Self-Empowerment

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2463

Article | Open Access

Pragmatism and the Limits to the European Parliament’s Strategies for Self-Empowerment


  • Carlos Closa Montero Institute of Public Goods and Policies, Spanish National Research Council, Spain / School of Transnational Governance, European University Institute, Italy
  • Felipe González de León Institute of Public Goods and Policies, Spanish National Research Council, Spain
  • Gisela Hernández González Institute of Public Goods and Policies, Spanish National Research Council, Spain


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Abstract:  Despite the European Parliament’s (EP) growing role, its influence and scrutiny capacity remain considerably weaker than the role traditionally reserved for parliaments in economic and fiscal policy decision-making at the national level. The EP has exploited any opportunity to enhance these powers: In particular, the EP has a record of using crisis and extraordinary situations to expand its role beyond the formal prerogatives given to the institution. Following this literature, this article examines the role and influence of the EP on economic and fiscal policy, focusing on the response to the Covid-19 crisis. Negotiation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility presents an auspicious area to analyse the strategies implemented by the EP to influence the outcome and reinforce its position in EU economic governance. The article will look specifically at the formal and informal mechanisms used by the EP during the crisis to expand its powers. Moreover, it utilises a research design that combines the content analysis of several official/public documents and statements from key members of the European Parliament (MEPs) involved in economic policy.

Keywords:  accountability; Covid-19; economic governance; economic policy; empowerment; European Parliament; negotiation

Published:   13 August 2021


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/pag.v9i3.4243


© Carlos Closa Montero, Felipe González de León, Gisela Hernández González. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.