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The European Parliament, 8th Edition

by Richard Corbett, Francis Jacobs and Michael Shackleton
The European Parliament, 8th Edition by Richard Corbett, Francis Jacobs and Michael Shackleton

For more than two decades this has been the standard textbook on the European Parliament, covering every aspect of how it is elected, organised and does it work. This new edition has been fully updated to include the many important changes since the last edition in 2007 – including the results of the Treaty of Lisbon.

ISBN 978-0-9564508-5-2

10 June 2011

Price: £25 / €30

  1. Description

  2. Contents

  3. Corrections

  4. Authors

  5. Ebook

  6. Free Sample

  7. Panel Discussion


“Over eight editions, The European Parliament has established itself as an important landmark in the literature on the European Union. The book provides an invaluable guide to the institution's history, power and politics. ... For academics and practitioners alike, Corbett, Jacobs and Shackleton offer a superb starting-point for any serious understanding of the world's only elected transnational parliament.”
Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament

“No one can seek to understand the functioning of the European Union without understanding its Parliament. This book -- now in its eighth edition -- is recognised in academia and among practitioners as the authoritative guide to the European Parliament.”
Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council

Table of Contents

  1. The Parliament in context
  2. How it is elected
  3. Where, when and in quale lingua
  4. The individual members
  5. The political groups
  6. Leadership structures
  7. The Parliamentary committees
  8. Interparliamentary delegations
  9. Plenary
  10. Intergroups
  11. The Parliament secretariat
  12. The Parliament and legislation
  13. The budgetary role
  14. Appointment and dismissal
  15. Scrutiny and control of the executive
  16. A political forum and a channel for communication
  17. The EP and National Parliaments
  18. Parliament and constitutional change

Corrections and Updates

Page 79
As a result of two Members changing party affiliation (Anna Rosbach from the Danish far-right People's Party in March 2011, and David Campbell Bannerman from UKIP in June 2011) and joining the CER, the latter has become the fourth largest Group with 56 members, one more than the Greens with 55.

Page 132, Table 21
Two new EP Vice-Presidents were elected 6 July 2011 as follows:

  • Giles CHICHESTER (ECR/ United Kingdom) to replace Silvana Koch-Mehrin.
  • Anni PODIMATA (S&D/ Greece) to replace Stavros Lambrinidis.

Page 309, Table 43
Motions of Censure: last one listed (Cointat) should be third.

Page 356, Update to Table 48

  • Lambridinis, Foreign Minister, Greece
  • Hautala, Development Minister, Finland

Page 359, Table 49
Date of Saakashvili's address should be 24/11/2010, not 2011


The same three authors have co-written all eight editions of this book.

The European Parliament, 8th Edition authors (Richard Corbett, Francis Jacobs and Michael Shackleton)

Richard Corbett is the advisor on constitutional questions to the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy. He handles the President's relations with the European Parliament. From 1996 to 2009 he was a Member of the European Parliament (MEP). He was spokesperson on constitutional affairs and EU reform for the Socialist Group and rapporteur on the European Constitution and the treaty of Lisbon, as well as on several revisions of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure.

Francis Jacobs is Head of the European Parliament’s Information Office in Dublin. Before that he had worked as an official for several of the Parliament’s committees, most recently as the Head of Unit responsible for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection.

Michael Shackleton is Head of the European Parliament Information Office in the United Kingdom. Before this he had most recently been responsible for the setting up of europarltv, the Parliament’s webTV channel, launched in September 2008, and prior to that been the Head of Unit responsible for conciliations and codecision.


Also available as an ebook. Vendors include:

The European Parliament: Finally a Powerful and Legitimate Institution?

The launch of the 8th edition of The European Parliament by Richard Corbett, Francis Jacobs and Michael Shackleton offers a timely opportunity to reflect on the development of this fascinating institution. Following the Lisbon Treaty, has the European Parliament reached the apogee of its powers, or is there still more for the MEPs' to influence? And, after a record low in voter participation in the 2009 European Parliament elections, what can or should the European Parliament do to increase its legitimacy?

Download: MP3 (39.3MB)Recorded on 22 June 2011


  • Michael Shackleton, Head of the European Parliament Information Office in the United Kingdom.
  • David Curry, Former MEP and former MP. Entered the European Parliament as a Conservative in 1979. He was elected to the House of Commons in 1987.
  • Hugo Brady, Joined the CER in May 2005, as a research fellow on EU institutions and justice and home affairs.
  • Sara Hagemann, Lecturer in EU Politics at European Institute LSE, where she joined in September 2009. Also Head of


  • Simon Hix, Professor of European and Comparative Politics, LSE.