Published in The Oxford Handbook of International Organizations, 2016

Recommended citation: Bjørn Høyland (2016)."Parliaments."The Oxford Handbook of International Organizations Eds Jacob Katz Cogan; Ian Hurd & Ian Johnstone.

International organizations often have a parliamentary body among their governing institutions. However, these bodies often lack the powers associated with national-level equivalents. One international organization, the European Union (EU), stands out as having empowered its parliamentary body with substantive powers. The European Parliament (EP) elects its members by general direct elections, has been empowered with substantive legislative and budgetary powers, and its support is required for the executive, the European Commission, to take office. Once in office, the members of the Commission are accountable to the EP. As the EU is unique in its empowerment of its parliamentary body, this chapter discusses to what extent its model should be adopted by other international organizations.