By Richard Laming
Published in EUobserver, 20 May 2003
A new pressure group launched last week in London raises lots of important questions about the future of democracy, both in the UK and across Europe. Parliament First has been set up by a group of MPs to campaign for the rights of members of the House of Commons.
The MPs are concerned about the growing power of the executive as compared with the legislature, attributing this in part to the increasing role of the media and NGOs. The fact that the MPs have to set up a pressure group to advance their campaign says on its own quite a lot about the declining importance of parliament.
Parliament First’s case is based specifically on the need for reform in Westminster, but thereare echoes of their proposals in the debate about the future of Europe. The same issues arebeing dealt with by the Constitutional Convention too.
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