Parliamentary Questions: Expressions of Opposition(s) within the European Parliament?

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Abstract

Parliamentary questions are a direct form of parliamentary scrutiny of other EU institutions and bodies, traditionally being an important tool for the opposition. This study examines how parliamentary questions are used in the European Parliament. We ascertain whether political groups representing opposition differ in their use of parliamentary questions from those who are represented in the European Commission. The article presents two main findings. First, such a difference does exist in all types of questions at the aggregated level. Groups not represented in the European Commission pose more questions than those who are represented. Secondly, it appears that the type of parliamentary question determines the groups’ behaviour. The article thus contributes to our understanding of how opposition functions in the European Parliament.

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