Manage Pending Friend Requests: MEPs’ Interactions with Their National Counterparts

Ms. Camille Kelbel
Dr. Julien Navarro

With the Treaty of Lisbon the National Parliaments have been recognised an increased role in the institutional framework of the EU. This resulted in a growingly dense network of inter-parliamentary relations that also involves the European Parliament (EP). While this evolution and its outcomes have been the object of much scholarly attention, there is still little research about how the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have reacted and adjusted to this emerging reality. In fact, although inter-parliamentary relations are expected to play a major role in the coordination of political decisions in the multi-level setting of the EU, MEPs’ individual engagement with the national parliaments remains largely under-investigated. With this paper, we aim at filling this gap by asking how MEPs interact concretely with their national counterparts and what their views about inter-parliamentary cooperation are. To do this, we rely on a survey of the newly elected MEPs conducted in the framework of the H2020 project RECONNECT. Going beyond a mere descriptive approach of their attitudes toward and practices of inter-parliamentary relations, data on the MEPs’ background and career as well as on their political opinions will enable us to relate these attitudes and practices to various individual and institutional factors.