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Where consensus is king - Le Monde /Presseurop

The European Parliament is distinctive for its very strong culture of compromise. In order to have pull with the Commission and Council, MEPs seek to make agreements before voting, and traditional political divisions are glossed over.

At the end of 2006: MEPs brought one of the most heated exchanges ever to take place in the European parliament to a close, when they voted for an amended version of the "Bolkestein" directive on the liberalization of services. On that day, which will not be forgotten, the French socialists broke rank with their allies to oppose the text proposed by one of their German counterparts. The outcome of that battle illustrates one of the little known aspects of the European Parliament: it is an institution with a very strong "culture of compromise," which often has little to do with national traditions, but can be swayed by ulterior motives.

There are many reasons for this inherent duality. The parliament rules on a wide variety of technical issues, such as fuel quality, telecommunications regulations, and safety standards, which, at the end of the day, only elicit strong opinions from the battalions of lobbyists in the European quarter of Brussels.

by Fran on Fri May 29th, 2009 at 12:34:54 PM EST
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