Democracy Building in the Regional Context: Insights from the European Parliament and Beyond

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UNU-CRIS Policy Brief
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UNU Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies
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International parliamentary institutions (IPIs) are often seen as a valid response to the democratic challenges posed by globalization and regional integration. Following the principles underpinning their national counterparts, IPIs have the potential to contribute to democratization by promoting the representation of affected citizens and by facilitating their incorporation into regional or global governance structures. They can also foster the articulation of popular interests in coherent democratic claims and lead to greater levels of transparency and accountability of international actors. The United Nations University –Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS) and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (Int. IDEA) sought to analyze this emerging phenomenon. The questions asked relate to the way IPIs perform as vectors of democratization. What is the status of democracy in regional integration and cooperation processes? Do IPIs play an important role in promoting democratic practices across regions? How can we strengthen international legislative assemblies? The research aimed to answer such questions and to produce tangible policy recommendations for enhancing the democratic performance of IPIs.