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European Parliament (The) after enlargement: any different?
Examining the adaptation of Polish Members of the European Parliament and their impact on political life of the chamber

This paper looks at other aspects of the process of socialisation/adaptation than the attitude of the MEPs towards Europe. It presents MEPs’ own accounts of the processes of learning certain parliamentary strategies specific for the EP, their views on political groups and on representing European citizens. The data analysed comes from interviews with Polish MEPs, carried out between October 2005 and January 2006.
The impact of the arrival of MEPs from CEE on parliamentary politics is assessed both qualitatively and quantitatively. First, the efforts of Polish MEPs to influence parliamentary debates on historical issues are described. The paper also attempts to examine how the arrival of new MEPs (from CEE, not only Poland) influenced the numerical balance of power between political groups and their cohesion.
The paper is divided into four sections. First, previous research on relevant issues is briefly reviewed. It is followed by some background information concerning Polish political parties present in the EP. Third section reviews different aspects of the accommodation process of freshmen MEPs, while the fourth one assesses the effect that their presence has had so far on parliamentary politics and the cohesion of political groups.

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