Six Battles That Shaped Europe’s Parliament

by Julian Priestley
This book is no longer available.
Free Sample (PDF)


Sir Julian Priestley was Secretary-General of the European Parliament from 1997-2007, having been an official there since the 1970s. In this illuminating new book he looks at a series of key battles – all of which he witnessed at first hand – that contributed to the development of the Parliament’s powers and influence.

The battles selected show Parliament engaged in a struggle not only to expand its formal institutional powers, in areas such as the budget, legislation and appointment, but also to command respect and recognition from the other European institutions. The author vividly demonstrates the complex interplay between politics and personalities in the Parliament and how internal political divisions at times proved a critical factor in determining outcomes.

“One could hardly imagine a better commentator on the evolution of the European Parliament than Julian Priestley… formidable analytical skills.”Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister of Luxembourg
“Alive with different personalities, deftly sketched… an entertaining, intelligent read.”European Voice

Table of Contents

  • Preface, by Jean-Claude Juncker
  • About the author
  • Introduction
  • Acknowledgements
  • Dramatis Personae
  • A few words of explanation…
  1. Tugging the purse strings: the battle for the budget
  2. Being there: the battle to get in the room
  3. Legitimising Brussels: the battle to appoint
  4. Bringing the cow off the ice: the battle for a Statute for MEPs and for reform
  5. Taking over: the battle for legislative power
  6. Who killed the European Commission?: the battle for accountability
  • Some concluding remarks: the battles of the future
  • Index

Product Details

Publication Date
12 Jun 2008
Page Count