PositionEuropean Union. European Parliament

The incoming European Parliament with its new President gets down to serious work this week, with plenty for it to do. Can it fulfil its potential, or will it choke on internal feuding and rhetoric?

The Parliament is fighting for its place in the EU's institutional sun, overshadowed by May's enlargement, June's agreement on a new Treaty, and August's designation of a new European Commission. So Josep Borrell, presiding over his first full plenary session, aimed to ensure plenty of vision in his first major speech.

Recognising the importance of the enlarged EU, he claimed it was the largest supranational Parliament in the world which legislates in areas that affect citizens' daily lives. Above all, he said, he wants the European Parliament to be seen as part of a Europe which is a solution, rather than a Europe which is a problem.

But much of the agenda he spelled out was a pragmatic reflection of the interests of those 450 million citizens' daily lives: confronting fears that globalisation will lead to jobs being transferred outside the EU; countering and reducing terrorism; pursuing the search for social inclusion and tolerancea

Admirable stuff.

Less exciting for Europe's citizens is the Parliament's introspective fascination with institutional, procedural and internal questions - such as the statute for its members, or its linguistic regime, or office...

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