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The European Parliament 2025 - Preparing for complexity

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Klaus Welle, secretary general of the European Parliament, took the initiative for the realisation of this report. What will the European Parliament look like in 13 years? What are the evolutionary trends which will play a major role in determining the way in which the Parliament will work in the future?

In an interview with the secretary general, Klaus Welle underlined that, in the first place, Parliament needs to incorporate the element of ‘change’ in its working, this to cope with the rapidly changing world and the growing complexity of world affairs.

This complexity shows itself in four areas: Europe’s place in the world, different levels of governance, variety of stakeholders and technological developments.

The secretary general has no doubts about Europe’s potential capacity as a world leader. But we “need to have the willingness to be there”. The euro crisis has taught us that we belong together and that we are interdependent.

The Lisbon Treaty has reinforced the role of national parliaments but, so far, we see no real increase in collaboration between national parliaments and the European Parliament. The structures for possible interaction between national and European parliaments exist, but national parliaments are not yet fully prepared for this. For legislative questions, they still turn to the European Commission. In order to have a real impact on legislation, however, expert-to-expert relations between MPs and MEPs will be indispensable.

The secretary general believes that the European Parliament is well-prepared to deal with the complexity of affairs, because it is itself an extremely complex institution.

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