This article challenges the standard assumption in the academic literature on the European Parliament (EP) that the EP only became a more assertive and activist institution after the first direct elections of 1979. Instead, I argue that already in the 1970s the EP was asserting its role as a representative assembly, for example, by trying to promote and shape the emerging environmental policy. The article focuses on the responsible parliamentary Committee on Public Health and the Environment, whose members devoted much skill and energy trying to place the environment on the EC agenda, to influence the new policy, to insert citizens' views into the policy process, thus linking the EC to its constituency, and contributing to the legitimacy of EC policy-making. Clearly, the EP began to assert its role in (environmental) policymaking already well before direct elections, even though it would require further research to verify whether this claim holds more generally.
Journal of European Integration History, 2011, Vol 17, Issue 1, p. 73-85
miljø; European Parliament; enviroment; European integration; European Community; Societal Actors