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The International Role of the European Parliament’s Intergroups

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Informal structures are often key to the perceptions by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) of their role and also of how the European Parliament is perceived worldwide. Intergroups are one of the most remarkable examples of this: they tend to focus on a specific theme, attract the interest and involvement of individual MEPs, and profit from significant input by external actors such as interest groups or civil-society organizations. The role of intergroups in the international relations of the European Parliament is studied little in the literature and is thus the focus of this article. Through an assessment of their composition, organization and external support, the article discusses the extent to which informal structures such as intergroups contribute to the European Parliament’s international action, particularly on human rights matters.

Affiliations: 1: Haute école spécialisée de Suisse Occidentale (HES-SO) 2800 DelémontSwitzerland


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