Jonathan B. Slapin, Sven-Oliver Proksch
Look who’s talking: Parliamentary debate in the European Union

European Union Politics, 2010: 11, pp. 333-357

Legislative speeches are an important part of parliamentary activity in the European Parliament (EP). Using a new dataset on EP speeches, this paper offers an explanation for participation in legislative debates. We argue that floor speeches partially serve as a communication tool between members of parliament, their national parties, and their European political groups. EP group dissidents often go on record by taking the floor when there is a conflict between their national party and their European political group. In this instance, members give speeches for two reasons: to explain their national party’s position to other members of their EP political group, and to create a positive record for themselves in the eyes of the national party to serve their own reelection purposes.