The Implications of Possible Enlargements of the European Union for the Configuration of Power in the European Parliament

Katarzyna Cegielka, Piotr Dniestrzanski, Arkadiusz Maciuk, Maciej Szczecinski
European Research Studies Journal, Volume XXV, Issue 2, 145-159, 2022
DOI: 10.35808/ersj/2912


Purpose: The paper aims at simulating the composition of the European Parliament (EP) after possible impending enlargements of the European Union. To this end, a number of scenarios are considered to this end including the accession of the four countries with current candidate status and the three countries which applied for admission to the Community as of March 2022. Approach/Methodology/Design: The analyzed simulations of EP composition were developed using the methods most frequently proposed in the literature, i.e. the parabolic method, the base+prop method and r-DP methods. These methods allocate the seats in concordance with the condition of degressive proportionality. Findings: All the scenarios of the EU enlargement discussed imply an increased total EP representation of the group of countries with low income in terms of GDP per capita, hence their role in the EP increases. This result complies with the idea of the harmonious development of European countries based on cooperation as promoted by the Community. Practical Implications: Eight different scenarios of possible enlargements of the European Union were applied to determine the divisions of seats in the European Parliament. These simulations can underlie the choice of a concrete method of finding the allocation of mandates as an alternative to the current practice of determining the composition of seats by negotiations. Grouping states according to GDP per capita makes it possible to compare the methods employed in the context of their influence on the total quantity of the representation of countries with different levels of affluence. Originality/Value: The added value of this paper is the comparison of results from selected methods in view of possible enlargements of the Community. In particular, it turns out that the base+prop method is the most “neutral” for the countries with the highest GDP per capita, as in the case of Ukraine’s accession.

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