Explaining MEPs’ use of written parliamentary questions: the impact of domestic experience and parliamentary culture (1994-2019)

Francois Randour, Jérémy Dodeigne, Olivier Rozenberg, Ferdinand Teuber

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Despite a growing scholarship focusing on the use of parliamentary questions in the EP, we still know little about the personal motivations as well as national cultural political differences that drive MEPs to invest time in the use of parliamentary questions. The paper provides an analysis of MEPs’ use of written parliamentary questions (WpQ) in the 28 member states covering 163.894 WpQs presented since the 4th legislative term (1994 – 2019). For that goal, this paper investigates the impact of a domestic parliamentary culture of MEPs (i.e. macro-level variable). We argue that when entering the EP, MEPs bring their domestic ‘vision’ about how to behave and act in an assembly parliament (i.e., how things are done in my country). In addition, we posit that this parliamentary culture thesis is stronger for MEPs with a former experience in domestic politics (i.e. individual-level variable). MEPs who have been directly socialized in a domestic parliamentary culture will be more likely to ‘replicate’ their work habits in the EP. Our findings confirm that MEPs originating from a country where the use of written parliamentary questions is high are also more active in the EP. And vice and versa for MEPs from a parliamentary culture with lower WpQs activity. The empirical effects observed are stronger for MEPs who directly experience a domestic parliamentary culture serving in a national parliament prior to their European mandate. These findings therefore confirm that macro-level and individual-level variables matter in the explanation of MEPs’ parliamentary activity. Their interactive effects should be systematically taken into consideration in future research.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2022
EventUACES Annual Conference 2022 - ESPOL, Lille, France
Duration: 5 Sept 20228 Sept 2022
Conference number: 52

Scientific committee

Scientific committeeUACES Annual Conference 2022


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