Tag Archives: leaders

May 2014 European elections: why should it be different this time?

I recently sat by chance in a plane with a College of Europe alumnus of my own promotion (Copernicus) who happens to work at the European Parliament (EP). After exchanging news of common friends I told him about a paper I recently wrote on how to tackle youth absenteeism in the elections to the European Parliament. When he asked me to summarise my conclusions and recommendations he was shocked by my remark that national leaders should publicly debate the main policy decisions in the EP. He interrupted me to say “Luis, that’s already done, national leaders and the chairman of the European Council come to the EP before and after the Councils”. Even though this is not exactly what I meant, I think that the anecdote is telling about the lack of visibility of the EP. If someone teaching and researching on European politics vaguely remembers about the EP in holding the European Council to account, there are high chances that the general public is not aware of the role of the Parliament in the EU. Continue reading