"The voice of the spirit of Europe" is the European Commission's description of the Community's 434 member Parliament. Four years after the European Parliament's historic first direct election by the citizens of nine countries, that voice is barely audible and one must pause to wonder whether the spirit is equally weak. The European Parliament is potentially one of the most interesting legislative bodies in the world because of the circumstances which created it, its unique transnational composition, and the power it may some day wield. However, the gap between the real and the possible is very large indeed.