British parliamentary attitudes towards a supranational parliament and the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe, 1948–49
Häkkinen, T. (2018). British parliamentary attitudes towards a supranational parliament and the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe, 1948–49. Parliaments, Estates and Representation, 38 (1), 63-75. doi:10.1080/02606755.2018.1428396
Published inParliaments, Estates and Representation
© 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License.
With a mounting communist threat from Eastern Europe after the Second World War, in Western Europe an attempt was made to create permanent structures not only to help in facilitating cooperation in different fields of life to rebuild societies, but to launch a common European supranational parliamentary body. The creation of the Council of Europe in May 1949 proved to be a compromise. It lacked a workable European parliament, as had been the vision of certain federalists in many Western European countries. During the creation process, the British foreign policy leadership emphasized the weak supranational parliamentarization of Western European politics. In this article, parliamentary debates and archival sources are utilized to examine British political discussions that related to the creation of the Council of Europe and its parliamentary body, the Consultative Assembly, in 1948–49. The author also asks whether the British parliamentarians were in favour of a truly European parliament and how their attitudes surfaced in the first session of the Consultative Assembly when the question of European parliament was on the agenda. ...