The European Parliament’s role in EU digital governance: Aspiration and reality

Yesterday, my European View article has been published by the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies. It explains - with a focus on digital laws - how the European Parliament can fix its internal deficits in order to become a more powerful co-legislator.


Although I wrote the piece already in August, the recent decision of the Conference of Presidents (COP) to allocate the AI Act to the IMCO and LIBE committee has again demonstrated that massive internal reforms within the European Parliament are necessary. Not only the final COP decision was questionable, several procedural steps have already been irregular and in conflict with the existing Rules of Procedures. Without installing a new regime, the European Parliament risks to neutralize itself as co-legislator and would waste the chance to shape the EU's digital transformation process.


Many thanks to the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies for the excellent cooperation and for offering me this unique chance!



Abstract of the article


Despite its enhanced legislative powers, the European Parliament still struggles to be recognised as an authoritative and reliable political actor. Its current role in EU digital governance serves as a good example to illustrate both the aspirations of the parliamentarians as well as their actual impact. Confronted with a horizontal policy issue that affects all sectors of the analogue and digital world parliamentary working methods have proven to be unfit for purpose. The European Parliament has so far been unable to assume leadership to guide the EU through the digital transformation process. Yet, its aspirations are not pulled out of thin air. Intellectual freedom, swift decision-making channels, and an open and pragmatic debating culture make it, in fact, predestined to define an overarching and balanced digital agenda for the EU. Before this is achievable, however, it is necessary to execute comprehensive internal reforms to overcome a list of structural, financial, political and external deficits.



Where can I read it?


You can access the article here or via SAGE Publishing here. The complete European View Volume 20 - Autumn 2021 edition 'Europe’s digital future: Navigating opportunities and challenges' with many other interesting pieces can be accessed here.