The European Parliament (EP) has been on the move during the last ten to fteen years: literally, in that thanks to certain national governments it continues the bizarre monthly shuttle between Strasbourg and Brussels, but more importantly, guratively, as a governing institution of the European Union (EU) whose status has grown dramatically over this time period (Steunenberg and Thomassen, forthcoming). It was once probably fair to characterize the EP as a ‘multi-lingual talking shop’: it is dif cult to sustain such a view today. The chamber’s prerogatives have progressively been expanded – primarily in relation to the law-making process, but also to some degree in relation to executive selection and oversight (Jacobs et al. 2000; Westlake 1998; Scully, forthcoming). Moreover, unlike some so-called ‘sovereign’ parliaments which in practice become largely rubber-stamps for stable governing majorities, the EP has actually shown a consistent willingness to use its new powers (Shackleton 2000).