Wednesday 20 September 2017

The hidden power-play that lies beneath these EU elections

Linda Barry

THE lead-up to the European Parliament elections tomorrow might seem like business as usual, but with a potentially serious clash looming between EU prime ministers and the new parliament, both the electorate and the Government face crucial choices.

Significant changes have occurred since 2009. First, the euro crisis has transformed the context in which the elections take place. Surveys show that Irish people's trust in the EU since the bailout is 23 percentage points lower than before the crisis and this has impacted the campaign.

Second, the Lisbon Treaty entered into force in late 2009, considerably increasing the power of the European Parliament and individual MEPs in the complex EU system. Since then, the parliament has significantly influenced a number of important decisions, including on the EU's seven-year budget and the Single Resolution Mechanism for the winding-up of troubled banks.

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