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Wednesday, 4 June 2008
The European Parliament
Today I am in Brussels, visiting the European Parliament. While the institutions of the European Union are outside the remit of this blog, perhaps a little background may be useful in understanding an important influence on British law and politics.
The European Parliament is directly elected. In Britain, MEPs are elected from each region, where parties put forward a list. I'll be on the Labour Party list for the East Midlands in 2009.
European Law is binding on all members states. The two major forms of legislation are Regulations and Directives. Both are proposed by the Commission, and must be approved by both the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. (Note: there are a number of legislative procedures - the applicable one for any measure depends upon the Treaty Article which is the authority for the legislation. I have described the most important procedure - but others might apply). Regulations become part of national law without the need for further implementation by Member States, while directives are binding as to the result to be achieved but the means of implementation are up to the individual states.
An experienced lecturer, tutor & researcher with practical experience of working in the UK and European Parliaments.
I have a keen academic and practical interest in the workings of both the UK Parliament and the US Congress.
Over the years I have broadcast on both UK & US Politics for BBC local radio stations.