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Parliament for new Europe. Bulletin from the European Community for Coal and Steel. No. 16, June 1956

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  • Economics
  • Law
  • Political Science


• $2 w - PARLIAMENT FOR NEW EUROPE Common Assembly Emerges as Political Body The cause of European unity frequently has been identified with the creation of a democratic European parliament whose popularly-elected members would be the legislators of the new Europe. But with the collapse of the EDC and stillbirth of the European Political Community, the concept of a European par- liament remained unrealized except in the embryonic form of the Coal and Steel Community's Common Assembly. Today that body shows signs of growing beyond the minor role assigned to it by the Schuman Plan Treaty and of becoming a political institution in its own right . Should the current Euratom and Common Market schemes be realized, the Common Assembly would immediately inherit vastly greater powers and could prop- erly be considered Europe's first "economic parliament". In the light of these developments and of future plans, the following article deals with some of the problems and aspects of the Common Assembly as it functions today. In the winter of 1951-52, when ratification of the Eu- ropean Coal and Steel Community Treaty was debated in six European parliaments, even the staunchest supporters of united Europe were hard put to find merit in the pro- posed parliament or Common Assembly of the Community. Where critics viewed the High Authority as having "near dictatorial powers," they found the Assembly too weak, wanting in both function and power. Pro-Europeans had centered their hopes largely upon the creation of a strong legislative branch that eventually would grow into a full- fledged European parliament. Yet, in its given role, the Community's Assembly appeared to some to represent a "backward revolution" whereby sovereignty would be sur- rendered by national parliaments without being awarded to a supranational parliament. The Common Assembly came into being lacking not only legislative powers, but most of the other traditional forms of authority vested in democratic p

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