This article looks at the voting behaviour in the European Parliament (EP) from
a new perspective.
By analysing all legislative reports adopted by the parliamentary
committees during the 1999-2004 legislature, the present study overcomes most of the
shortcomings of roll call based researches and brings additional evidence to assess
existing claims about the nature of the EP.
Empirical evidence illustrates that consensual politics is still dominant in the EP
arena and suggests that competition fails to emerge even under the circumstances that
are expected to foster politicisation: co-decision procedure in the EP and qualified
majority voting in the Council.
In sum, this article challenges the recurrent statement
that more powers to the EP increase the party-political nature of policy-making in the
European Union (EU) and argues that consociational theory still explains an
overwhelming share of EP politics.