Shaping Parliamentary Democracy

Collected Memories from the European Parliament

  • Alfredo De Feo
  • Michael Shackleton

Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics book series (PSEUP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Alfredo De Feo, Michael Shackleton
    Pages 1-10
  3. Francis Jacobs
    Pages 11-22
  4. Gérard Laprat
    Pages 23-35
  5. Gérard Laprat
    Pages 37-48
  6. Dietmar Nickel
    Pages 49-61
  7. Alfredo De Feo
    Pages 63-75
  8. Michael Shackleton
    Pages 77-87
  9. Dietmar Nickel
    Pages 89-100
  10. Alfredo De Feo
    Pages 101-110
  11. Francis Jacobs
    Pages 111-123
  12. Michael Shackleton
    Pages 125-135
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 137-159

About this book


This book analyses nearly 100 original interviews with Members of the European Parliament from across the European Union who were active between 1979 and 2019. These interviews, preserved in the Historical Archives of the European Union at the European University Institute, capture the memories of the MEPs about their own roles and their assessment of what the parliament achieved in developing a European parliamentary democracy in the forty years following the first direct elections. The book offers a taste of the interviews in ten chapters, each of which corresponds to a specific theme presented in the archive: choosing the parliament, working inside the parliament machine, living inside the political groups, playing a part in major moments, influencing and shaping policy, scrutinizing and holding to account, making a mark beyond the EU, communicating the work of the parliament, keeping in touch with national societies, and looking to the future.

Alfredo De Feo is a professor at the European College of Parma and Fellow at the European University Institute, Firenze, Italy. He is former Director of the European Parliament and has published widely on EU affairs, including The New Politics of the European Union Budget (with S. Becker and M. Bauer, 2017).

Michael Shackleton is Special Professor in European Institutions at the University of Maastricht, The Netherlands, and former Head of the EP Information Office in London, UK. He has published widely on EU affairs, including co-authoring eight editions of The European Parliament.


European parliament democracy legitimacy transparency accountability policy influence MEP European Union Historical Archives of the European Union European University Institute parliamentary democracy European Parliament elections political groups leadership roles grand coalition Spinelli Draft Treaty European Single Market Maastricht data protection media relations

Editors and affiliations

  • Alfredo De Feo
    • 1
  • Michael Shackleton
    • 2
  1. 1.European College of ParmaParmaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG, part of Springer Nature 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Pivot, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-27212-8
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-27213-5
  • Series Print ISSN 2662-5873
  • Series Online ISSN 2662-5881
  • Buy this book on publisher's site