Wolfgang Wessels: The Maastricht Treaty and the European Council: The History of an Institutional Evolution, Journal of European Integration, Volume 34, Number 7, November 2012, pp. 753-767.
Abstract: Since its creation in 1974 the European Council has turned into the key institution in the institutional architecture of the EU polity. The Maastricht Treaty on the European Union was a history-making product of this body of heads of state or government. For the institutional evolution of the European Council itself the Maastricht Treaty confirmed and reinforced trends starting with the Hague summit in 1969. This article covers the pre-history of the European Council as well as the road from the birth of the European Council in Paris, 1974, to the Maastricht Treaty and the next steps via two treaty revisions and the constitutional convention to the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. This article will not only try to satisfy some historical curiosity, but point out fundamental factors, explaining why Union executive leaders have invested time and energy in the labour-intensive and partly frustrating exercise of the making and working of their club: this key institution helped them to emerge as powerful multi-level players in a multi-institutional architecture.
Sofia Vasilopoulou and Katjana Gattermann: Matching Policy Preferences: The Linkage between Voters and MEPs, Journal of European Public Policy, DOI:10.1080/13501763.2012.718892.
Abstract: The European Parliament has often been accused of its inability to link to European citizens. This article employs quantitative measures to investigate levels of congruence between individual MEPs and their voters on core policy issues following the 2009 EP elections. Operationalizing congruence as a ‘many-to-one’ relationship, it suggests that on socio-economic issues, the correspondence of policy preferences tends to be higher between voters and MEPs belonging to right-wing and liberal parties than for leftist MEPs. On socio-cultural issues, MEPs generally tend to have more liberal views than their representatives. Tobit models show that, depending on the issue, the strength of voter–MEP opinion congruence can be linked to the frequency of contacts and MEP seniority in office. Eurosceptic MEPs tend to be worse at representing their electorate, while voter–MEP agreement also tends to be affected by the electoral system and length of EU membership. The findings have implications for the legitimacy of European politics in current affairs.
Wolfgang Wessels and Cyril Gläser: Theoretischer Pluralismus und Integrationsdynamik: Herausforderungen für den “acquis académique”, in Hans-Jürgen Bieling/Marika Lerch (Hrsg.): Theorien der europäischen Integration, Wiesbaden, 2012, pp. 361-389.