An Essential Companion
Edited by Kolja Raube, Meltem Müftüler-Baç and Jan Wouters
Chapter 2: Inter-parliamentary cooperation in the European Union: towards institutionalization?
This chapter explores the degree to which cooperation between parliaments and political parties has become institutionalized in the EU, and assesses the significance of this process from a neo-institutionalist perspective. Having first discussed the manner in which three varieties of new institutionalism – historical, sociological and rational choice – may be useful to study this process, the chapter analyses the institutionalization of cooperation among parliaments and among political parties. In each domain, the developments are interpreted from the different theoretical perspectives. In doing so, we highlight different characteristics of cooperation, in particular the coexistence of cooperation and rivalry between the European Parliament and national parliaments, the growth of both formal and informal party-political cooperation, and a significant degree of institutional isomorphism where cooperation has been established. The chapter emphasizes the significance of established institutional arrangements, and argues that an openness regarding theoretical choices in the study of inter-parliamentary cooperation is essential.
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