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The Importance of Expertise: Political Careers, Personnel Turnover, and Throughput Legitimacy in the European Parliament

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

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the political consequences of the career paths of members of the European Parliament (MEPs). We focus on two leadership positions—committee chairships and rapporteurships. We use an original dataset to consider the relationship among turnover, MEPs’ previous political experience, and throughput legitimacy. We find that while previous European Parliament (EP) experience is an important criterion for committee chair selection, such experience is less important for rapporteurship selection. This finding does not hold, however, for rapporteurs who receive a larger number of reports. We also observe, contrary to existing theoretical arguments, that throughput legitimacy suffers when politicians entering the EP are political outsiders but not when new MEPs have been professional politicians in their home country.

Keywords

  • Turnover
  • Throughput legitimacy
  • Political careers
  • Political leadership
  • European Parliament

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Fig. 6.1

(Source Obholzer et al. [2019: 243] and own elaboration)

Fig. 6.2

(Note N = 1583. Numbers above bars are percentages. Reelection refers only to the legislative term before the one at issue. A committee chair can be also selected as rapporteur)

Fig. 6.3
Fig. 6.4

(Note Percentages on the vertical axis)

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Acknowledgements

Preliminary drafts of this chapter were presented at the 2019 EUSA International Biennial Conference in Denver (May 9–11) and the 2019 ECPR General Conference in Wrocław (4–7 September). We thank all panels’ participants for their valuable suggestions and especially Edoardo Bressanelli, William Daniel, Matthew Kirby, Lauren Perez, and John Scherpereel for having read and commented on earlier versions. Thanks also to Pamela Pansardi for helping us with the access to the data on reports’ allocation in the 7th parliamentary term. Finally, we are grateful to Edoardo Bressanelli, Christel Koop, and Christine Reh for sharing with us updated and unpublished information from “The Informal Politics of Codecision” dataset.

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Salvati, E., Vercesi, M. (2021). The Importance of Expertise: Political Careers, Personnel Turnover, and Throughput Legitimacy in the European Parliament. In: Scherpereel, J.A. (eds) Personnel Turnover and the Legitimacy of the EU. Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-60052-5_6

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