DOI link for European Parliament
European Parliament book
This chapter considers the gendered nature of the European Parliament as an institution by accounting for recent gender research and relating this to mainstream European Union (EU) literature. It addresses four key elements of parliamentary politics in the EU: candidates and members of the European Parliament (MEPs), political groups, committees, and structures and policies. The chapter focuses on research gaps and directions for future research on three selected areas: intersectionality; the role of the Parliament in relation to the other EU institutions; and national/transnational dynamics. European elections have been often characterized as “second-order elections”, implying they are less important than national elections. The number of MEPs has gradually increased to 751 due to the enlargement of the EU; this is the maximum number set in the treaties. Candidates typically run for election as representatives of their national parties. Substantive representative of women in the political groups can be understood by considering their positioning in different policy fields.