Sir, – Whenever the European Parliament gains more influence, commentators complain that is has “seized” or “grabbed” power, as though it had mounted an undemocratic coup or putsch.
They ignore the fact that the European Parliament is the only directly elected institution at the European level. Increasing its influence strengthens its capability to exercise democratic control over the activities of councils and commissions. Even the European Court of Justice will learn, like the US Supreme Court, to “keep an eye on the last election”.
If the European Parliament is to fulfil its potential, however, voters need to interest themselves in the work of their MEPs, and to keep constant pressure on them just as they (should) do on the members of their national parliaments. – Yours, etc,