In a study on Rapporteur statistics titled “Report allocation in the European Parliament after eastern enlargement” to be published in the academic Journal of European Public Policy*, Steffen Hurka and Michael Kaeding found that in the parliamentary term 2004-09:
- MEPs from the 12 accession countries received significantly less reports in co-decision as well as in budgetary or discharge procedures than their counterparts from “older” EU member states.
- Even compared with newly elected MEPs from “old” member states, new member states’ MEPs scored significantly worse.
- Only Hungary and Slovenia scored above average in the allocation of reports.
- The disadvantage of report allocation for new member states’ MEPs was in particular relevant in the EPP/ED and the ALDE group.
- Special types of reports such as waivers for immunity were handed to more experienced MEPs, while in average an MEPs experience doesn’t determine how many reports s/he gets.
- MEPs with higher attendance rate in plenary sessions also received more reports.
- MEPs from larger political groups had higher chances of receiving politically important reports (co-decision, budget, discharge).
These findings are interesting because, as Hurka and Kaeding say, “Rapporteurs are among the most powerful legislative entrepreneurs in EU policy-making” – at least for the Parliament, I may add. They conclude that these patterns confirm findings from previous enlargements.
It will be interesting to see whether these statistics will have changed in the current electoral period that lasts until 2014…
* Article published online in advance on 8 September 2011.