|11th Euclean Parliament|
|Founded||1 January 1948|
(as Continental Assembly)
15 June 1964
Length of term
|Varies by member state:|
|Palace of Euclea, Kesselbourg City, Kesselbourg|
The Euclean Parliament (PE or EP, see names) is the directly-elected unicameral legislature of the Euclean Community. It is considered the first institution of the Euclean Community, having ceremonial precedence over the other Euclean institutions of the Euclean Trident, superseded in authority only by the Office of the President.
The Parliament is comprised of 725 Deputies of Euclea (DEs), who have been directly-elected since 1964. Deputies are elected every five years by universal suffrage, with Euclean citizens older than 18 (16 in some states) eligible to vote. Seats are apportioned to each member state according to size. The voting system is varies by member state, with members elected through party-list proportional representation, mixed-member proportional representation or the single transferable vote. The Parliament represents the largest democratic electorate in the world, numbering 278 million eligible voters in 2019.
The Parliament works in concert with the Euclean Trident. It is not responsible for policymaking or drafting legislation, as this sits with the Euclean Council. The Parliament does however have the sole power to officially pass Euclean legislation, though as it cannot draft bills and is required to debate policy resolutions drafted by the Council, in practice this means that the body's main power is to block legislation. It can also pass resolutions endorsing specific policies. The Parliament is responsible for ensuring that proposed bills do not contradict existing Euclean legislation or violate treaty requirements. It shares legislative and budgetary powers with the Council in most areas. The Parliament is also responsible for holding the Euclean Commission to account and is the only body capable forcing the resignation of the Commission through an official motion of censure. As part of this responsibility, the Parliament operates 26 standing committees, which scrutinise the Commissioners.
The Parliament is a multi-party chamber, with 7 party groups having official status as of 2019. The three largest groups are the Socialist Alternative for Euclea (ASE), the Alliance of Conservatives and Democrats for Euclea (ACDE) and Forward Euclea (Avant). The Parliament operates a form of consensus-based decision-making, but the three largest groups have nevertheless functioned as a coordinated pro-Euclean supermajority, sometimes described as the Grand Continental Coalition. This, along with other aspects of the Parliament, has been criticised.
In a similar fashion to most Euclean institutions, the Euclean Parliament is officially known by nineteen names, one in each of the nineteen official languages of the Euclean Community. The most commonly used names for the institution are the Estmerish, Gaullican and Weranian translations. Parliament is also known by the official acronyms EP and PE, and is sometimes referred by the portmanteau Eucloparl.
The full list of co-official names are as follows:
- Amathian: Ⱂⰰⱃⰾⰰⰿⰵⱀⱅⱆⰾ Ⰵⱆⱌⰾⰵⰰⱀ
- Azmaran: Oklejiś Laagsþing
- Blostlandic: Eucleaparlamentet
- Borish: Euclæïsket Parlament
- Dellish: Eukleesk Parlemint
- Esmeiran: Parlamento Eucleo
- Estmerish: Euclean Parliament
- Frellandic: Evklópuþingið
- Gaullican: Parlement eucléen
- Ghaillish: Parlaimint na hEocla
- Hennish: Eucloees Parlement
- Hoeltish: Eucleoches Parlement
- Luzelese: Parlamento Eucloreia
- Martish: Euklaa Parlament
- Mescon: Euklea-Parlamentet
- Tosuton: Parlament Eucleu
- Vestelian: Eukleaparlamentet
- Visegan: Parlamento Eucleo
- Weranian: Eukläisches Parlament
The Euclean Parliament traces its history back to the Continental Assembly. The Continental Assembly was founded on 1 January 1948 along with the Euclean Community itself with the signing of the Treaty of Kesselbourg. This makes it among the oldest of the Euclean institutions. In this initial iteration, it was an entirely consultative body comprised of initially 60 members appointed by national governments, with 10 members drawn from the national legislatures of each member state. Its consultative role meant that it had no legislative powers.
The Assembly was essentially a response to the perceived failures of the United Nations of Euclea which had preceded the Euclean Community. The United Nations had no sitting legislature or consultative body, and was instead led by a small council of ambassadors with one representative from each member state. This meant that the United Nations struggled to exert authority as an organisation, which in part led to the Solarian War and the dissolution of the United Nations. It was hoped that the Assembly would remedy the issue of authority, by providing the Community with a large body of expert parliamentarians who could scrutinise policy and who, together, would help to elevate the Community's legitimacy. The body rotated between Kesselbourg City, Kesselbourg and Maredoux, Gaullica.
It eventually became clear, however, that the Assembly was not fulfilling this role. The unelected nature of the chamber meant that it was itself not scrutinised, meaning that it eventually gained a reputation for simply being a place where politicians could earn an easy salary prior to their official retirement. In addition, the Assembly was heavily biased towards smaller states due to the uneven distribution of seats. The Treaty of Morwall aimed to rectify these issues by reforming the Assembly into a directly-elected body with greater powers.
The new Parliament was renamed to distance it from the connotations of the Assembly, but it continued to treat the Assembly years as a core part of its history, so that it could continue to be seen as the first institution of the Community. As part of the transition from Assembly to Parliament, the Parliament also soldified the growing collection of Euclean institutions in Kesselbourg City, ceasing the rotation between it and Maredoux and ordering the construction of the new Palace of Euclea, which would become the Parliament's official seat upon its completion in 1974.
The first election was held in 1964, with the first official session and opening of the Parliament held on 15 June. The number of seats up for election had increased dramatically from the 100 in the Assembly at dissolution, and were now apportioned to each member state on the basis of population. The initial powers of the Parliament were still limited and it essentially remained a consultative body, as many of its new powers remained capable of being overridden by the Council.
The Treaty of Wiesstadt in 1983 was the first official amendment of the powers of the Parliament, though it essentially only confirmed the powers which the Parliament had already acquired in practice in the prior decade. It granted the Parliament the sole power officially pass Euclean legislation, confirming the body's power to block legislation drafted by the Euclean Council, while also confirming the precedent that the Parliament could pass resolutions to endorse policies not yet drafted by the Council. This was subject to criticism from national governments, which were concerned that the Parliament would supersede their own legislative powers.
The number of Deputies grew from 601 in 1964 to 725 in 1995 under the Harbrough Accords due to the accession of Paretia and Amathia to the Community. Similarly, while voting systems remain varied based on member state, in 1997 the Parliament mandated that members were elected using proportional systems, effectively banning first-past-the-post.
The main change to the Parliament's powers came in 2006 with the Treaty of Maredoux. Created in response to growing Eucloscepticism and dissatisfaction with Eastern governments following the 2005 financial crash, Maredoux greatly expanded the powers of the Parliament by making the Euclean Commission officially accountable to it. It enshrined the motion of censure into Euclean law, allowing the Parliament to force the resignation of the Commission. This was part of a wider package of powers intended to allow Parliament to better scrutinise the Commission, such as the official recognition of the standing committees for each Commissioner. This linked the Commission to Parliament far more closely than previously. The Treaty also solidified the shared powers over legislative and budgetary matters which Parliament now holds.
Maredoux also saw the establishment of the position of President of the Euclean Community as a directly-elected position to head the Commission and provide the Community with direction. As an also directly-elected position, the President and the Parliament have sometimes been at odds. As both exercise control over the Commission, there remains criticism that the position of President undermined the Parliament's powers.
The future of the body has been subject to debate. There has been criticism from Euclosceptic parties that the body is bloated and acts as a sinecure for retiring politicians, much like the Continental Assembly. In contrast, there is also criticism from those in favour of deeper Euclean integration that the Parliament is unfairly constrained by unelected bureaucrats and by the Euclean Council, which are without a direct electoral mandate of their own. They argue that the Parliament should be granted full legislative powers, akin to a national legislature.
Powers and responsibilities
The Parliament works in concert with the Euclean Trident and is designed accordingly. It therefore lacks the right of initiative common to other legislatures and the Euclean Council, rather than the Parliament, is responsible for making policy and drafting legislation. In practice, these policies are often determined by the appointed Euclean Commission. The direction of the Community is also outlined by the President of the Euclean Community rather than the Parliament.
Legislation requires the support of the Parliament, as for a bill to become Euclean law it must pass a successful vote in the Parliament. In practice, this means that the Parliament's main power is to block legislation, rather than to propose it. The Parliament is required to debate any policy drafts made by the Council. It can also pass resolutions to endorse specific policies which the Council or Commission may consider for review. It is the responsibility of the Parliament to scrutinise the legislative drafts put before it by the Council and Commission. The responsibility to ensure proposed bills to not contradict with existing Euclean legislation or violate existing treaty requirements also lays with the Parliament.
In addition to these legislative powers, the Parliament also shares budgetary powers with the Council. In an occasion where the Parliament and Council disagree on setting a budget, the issue moves to a conciliation committee. The Parliament has the power to reject any budget put forward, though this has only happened once, in 2005. The Parliament is also responsible for implementing any changes made in budgets which require legislative alterations.
The Euclean Commission is responsible to the Parliament, similar to a council of ministers in a national government. A successful vote in the Parliament with a simple majority is required for a Commission to take office. The Parliament therefore has influence over the High Commissioner and each Ordinary Commissioner, even though the positions are officially appointed by the President. The Parliament has yet to vote against a proposed Commission, in part due to the fact that the three major parties tend to operate in concert across all Euclean institutions. Commissions must also make regular reports and addresses to the Parliament, where deputies are permitted to question Commission members. The Parliament is the only Euclean institution capable of forcing the Commission resign, which it can do by passing an official motion of censure, requiring a two-thirds majority of deputies to vote in favour. In this respect, the Parliament therefore also has the responsibility to scrutinise the Commission and ensure it acts in the interest of the Community.
The Parliament also has the responsibility to scrutinise other Euclean institutions outside of the Commission. It is capable of setting up a committee to scrutinise any Euclean institution or issue and it appoints members to a number of institutions, such as the Euclean Central Bank and the Euclean Court of Auditors, who have a responsibility to report regularly to the Parliament in all cases.
In addition to its official powers, the Parliament is recognised to have wider indirect influence. As the only multi-member Euclean institution to be directly-elected, it is seen to have greater legitimacy than other institutions by some. Deputies are also known to have the ear of journalists based in Kesselbourg, meaning they can influence the media. The Parliament cannot directly veto new Euclean treaties, however it is widely understood that if the Parliament threatened to do so that it could have repercussions, as in particular the Kesselbourg government has said on occasion that it would veto treaties on the Parliament's behalf. In a case where the Parliament receives a petition with more than 100,000 signatures, it is required to present the petition to the Council for consideration.
Members are officially known as Deputies of Euclea (Députés d'Euclée, DEs). They are sometimes unofficially known as Members of the Euclean Parliament (Membres du Parlement Eucléenne, MEPs/MPEs).
Deputies have, since 1964, been directly-elected in five year cycles by the universal suffrage of Euclean citizens aged either 18 or 16 and older dependent on member state. This makes the Euclean electorate the largest to participate in free and fair elections globally, numbering 278 million in 2019. Before 1964, deputies were members of national legislators appointed by the governments of member states.
All deputies are elected through some form of proportional representation since 1997, with the three systems used being party-list proportional representation, mixed-member proportional representation or the single transferable vote depending on the member state in question.
In most member states, deputies are elected to represent the entire country as a single constituency, but in a number the nation is divided into smaller constituencies for which deputies are elected. This does not have any impact on the deputies' titles or responsibilities in the Parliament as, for purposes of procedure, all members are considered representatives of their respective member state as a whole.
There are 725 seats in the Euclean Parliament. In practice, for most votes in the Parliament, this number is reduced to 724 seats as the Speaker is a non-voting member. In circumstances where there is believed to be a conflict of interest, Deputy Speakers may also become non-voting members, reducing the effective number of seats further to 711. Seats are distributed proportionally between the member states, though each member state is entitled to a minimum of four deputies regardless of population. No current member state has a population small enough to allow for a number of deputies lower than this to be allocated.
Gaullica has been apportioned the greatest number of seats in every parliamentary session, with 173 seats as of 2019, while Kesselbourg has likewise always been apportioned the smallest number of seats, with 6 in 2019. The size of the legislature grew from 601 to 725 in 1995 due to the accession of Paretia and Amathia, which became the fourth and fifth largest member states.
Parliamentary groups are officially recognised by the procedures of the Euclean Parliament and may comprise a single or multiple Euclean political parties, from which they are legally distinct. In order to become officially-recognised, the prospective group must either consist of a minimum of 3% of Deputies (22) from at least half plus one of the member states (7), or since 2006, be recognised as a group dedicated to minorities as defined by the Treaty of Maredoux. Members of the Parliament who do not belong to a parliamentary group are instead designated as Non-Inscrits (NI), and lack the privileges of group status.
Group status has a significant impact on parliamentary proceedings. The majority of funding for activities is granted to parliamentary groups, rather than individual Deputies. Representation on committees, allotted time for speaking, and the right to nominate Deputy Speakers are based on group status. The size of a group also determines the extent of these privileges, with a larger group allotted more representation and more time for speaking, for example.
A group must nominate a single group leader (officially Chef de groupe) and at least two deputy leaders, regardless of whether the group is comprised of a party which has co-leaders. In many cases, the group leader is also the group's candidat principal in the Euclean elections. The group leader functions as the head of the group in the Parliament, with additional speaking time and privileges in debates.
There are currently seven different groups represented in the Parliament, not including the Non-Inscrits. The three largest groups are the Socialist Alternative for Euclea (ASE), the Alliance of Conservatives and Democrats for Euclea (ACDE) and Forward Euclea (Avant). The other groups in the current Parliament elected in 2019 are the Green and Ecologist Movement (MVE), the Movement for a New Democratic Euclea (MNED), the Mixed Radical Left (GRM) and the Alliance for a Federal and Regionalist Euclea (AEFR).
Due to the history of the Parliament, it has adopted a consensual approach rather than a culture of competing coalitions, and no single group has ever held a majority. Instead, the three largest parties comprise a pro-Euclean supermajority and cooperate closely in what has become known as the Grand Continental Coalition. Previously, the coalition was only between the ASE and the ACDE (and predecessors), which have been the two largest groups in the Parliament throughout its history, with Avant effectively joining the coalition after the 2017 presidential election. There have been breaks in the coalition, most recently in response to the 2005 financial crisis, where the ASE and ACDE disagreed on the approach the Community should take. This, along with the subsequent Pink Wave and the Federalisation of Euclean domestic politics, has given rise to speculation that, along with the election of the presidency, politics in the Parliament may be heading in a more partisan direction.
|Group||Parties||Group leader||Est.||DEs as of 2019||Political position||EC position|
|Socialist Alternative for Euclea (ASE)||Hervé Bachelot||1964||
198 / 725
|Alliance of Conservatives and Democrats for Euclea (ACDE)||Osvaldo Mendonça||1997||
197 / 725
|Forward Euclea (Avant)||Angela Jonsdohter||2017||
129 / 725
|Movement for a New Democratic Euclea (MNED)||Mathijn Heerlijkheid||2018||
72 / 725
|Right-wing to far-right||Euclosceptic|
|Green and Ecologist Movement (MVE)||Marianne Koeppen||2019||
69 / 725
|Centre to centre-left||Pro-Euclean|
|Mixed Radical Left (GRM)||Sara Plantier||2006||
25 / 725
|Left-wing to far-left||Euclosceptic|
|Alliance for a Federal and Regionalist Euclea (AEFR)||Ạþelviġne Vycces||2019||
16 / 725
19 / 725
The Euclean Parliament is able to convene under its own power, without needing the approval of another institution. In practice, outside of extraordinary circumstances, the Parliament maintains a regular schedule, with four seasonal recesses in Summer (late June to early August), Autumn (late September), Winter (mid December to mid January) and Spring (mid April). While the Parliament is in session, deputies split their time between committees, political groups, sessions and constituency work, with the majority of time allocated for the former.
The procedure of the Parliament is notably distinct to that of national parliaments in a number of ways. The consensual politics of the institution and the need for interpretation mean that debates tend to be reserved, though much like in many national parliaments, deputies (and Council or Commission members) may only speak when invited to by the Speaker. Voting is conducted through an electronic ballot, with the votes of deputies recorded since 2011. Previously, a show of hands was considered sufficient, but a switch to electronic recorded voting was made to increase trust in the Parliament. The votes of deputies are recorded by the Deputy Speakers and can be accessed online by anyone. In the chamber, deputies sit with their political groups in a hemicycle, with the leftmost parties sat on the left and Non-Inscrits on the right, and the group leaders sat at the front of the benches. The Speaker, Deputy Speakers and anyone addressing the Parliament sit at the desks at the front-centre of the hemicycle when not addressing the Parliament, and move to a podium at the centre when addressing the deputies. Raised benches at the sides of the hemicycle provide seating for observers, such as reporters or members of youth parliaments.
Access to the Parliament can be permitted and revoked by the Speaker if a deputy is disruptive or is considered to be in contempt of the Parliament. The Speaker is assisted in enforcing revocation of access by the Euclean Institutions Security Inspectorate, a separate police force which is tasked with law enforcement on the premises of the Euclean institutions.
Deputies are entitled to speak in any of the nineteen official languages of the Euclean Community, so simultaneous interpretation is offered to deputies. This makes the Euclean Parliament the largest and most multilingual legislature in the world. Every desk in the chamber is equipped with microphones and headphones to enable this, and a full staff of interpreters is employed to do this in real time. The interpreters are also assisted by translation software. Every bill passed by the Parliament is also translated into each language. The cost of this translation staff has led to some criticism and there have been proposals to reduce the number of permitted languages to the most commonly used languages of Estmerish, Gaullican and Weranian.
The presiding officer of the Parliament is the Speaker. As presiding officer, the Speaker presides over the Parliament when it is in session and it responsible for ensuring orderly conduct and adherence to the rules of procedure. The Speaker is required to sign off on all bill passed by the Parliament, most notably on the Euclean budget. The Speaker is the second figure in the order of protocol of the Euclean Community, surpassed in rank only by the President of the Euclean Community, and is responsible for representing the Parliament externally. The Speaker serves for five years or until the end of their parliamentary session, unless re-elected, with a term limit of ten years total.
The Speaker is assisted in their role by 13 Deputy Speakers, drawn from across the Parliament. The Deputy Speakers also serve as substitutes for the Speaker; during the absence of a Speaker, such as during the election of a new Speaker or if the incumbent is incapacitated, one of the 13 Deputy Speakers presides over the chamber in their stead, taking over in order of seniority. Due to the consensual nature of proceedings, every recognised and quorate party group is entitled to at least one Deputy Speaker position. It has yet to happen in the history of the Euclean Parliament, but in the event of more than 13 party groups entering the chamber, the Parliament has the power to increase the number of Deputy Speakers in order to accommodate them. The current Deputy Speakers are distributed between ASE (3), ACDE (3), Avant (2), MVE (2), MNED (1), GRM (1) and AEFR (1).
Several prominent figures have served as Speaker, starting with the first Speaker of the reformed Parliament Ludwig Stadtbäumer in 1964. The first female speaker to be elected was Meadhbh Ní Chadhla in 1984. Other notable officeholders include future Premier of Scovern Georg Yngve Helsing and former Thingspeaker of Azmara Herman Jonssun. The post was held from 2016 to 2019 by Vivien Vallette, who was subsequently elected in 2022 to serve as President of the Euclean Community. The incumbent Speaker is Heidi Reid, the first woman to be elected Prime Minister of Estmere, who was elected in December 2022.
There are four types of committee in the Euclean Parliament. There are standing committees which are permanent, special committees which are temporary, private committees which revolve around members' interests and delegative committees which are responsible for external relations. Sub-committees can also be created under any of the four types of committees, though they are most commonly created under the standing committees; for example, the Sub-Committee on LGBT+ Rights under the broader Committee on Social Affairs and Gender Equality.
The Euclean Parliament operates 26 standing committees, 24 of which scrutinise a specific portfolio of the current Commission. The remaining two committees are the committee dedicated to scrutinising the conduct of Euclean deputies and the committee focusing on interpretation of treaties and the organisation of petitions. Each standing committee is comprised of 20 to 50 deputies, drawn from across the Parliament. Only members of registered official parliamentary groups may sit on committees, and the number of committee seats allocated to each group is dependent on that group's size. Each committee also elects a chair, a secretary and a treasurer. Standing committees are required to meet at least twice a month to scrutinise their respective Commissioner and amend any reports or proposals related to their remit. The chair then presents any amendments or recommendations to the Parliament as a whole. In cases where an issue falls under two or more committees, they may establish a broader working group.
Delegative committees are responsible for the relations of the Parliament with external institutions, largely national legislatures, an example being the Delegative Committee to the National Assembly of Senria. Delegative committees may also involve themselves in the promotion of free and fair elections and democracy worldwide, such as through the observation of foreign elections.
Private committees are named as such as they are more informal, do not express the view of the Parliament as an institution and are largely organised by deputies with similar interests. Their primary aim is not to scrutinise the Commission as with the standing committees, but to address relevant topics and ensure that the Parliament is aware of issues that may not be immediately obvious to a legislature with such a large electorate. There are accusations that the private committees have been used to lobby on behalf of corporate interests, leading to some calls for reform and further oversight of private committees.
The Parliament also reserves the right to establish temporary special committees when the need arises. Special committees by law cease existing after twelve months, unless renewed. Special committees have, in the past, also sometimes become standing committees if their remit entered the portfolio of a Commissioner, as happened most recently when the Special Committee on Climate Change became a standing committee to scrutinise the new Commissioner position on climate change. Another notable example of a special committee was the Special Committee on Financial Hardship and Economic Recovery, which was set up in response to the 2005 financial crash.
In line with the Euclean Parliament's responsibilities toward representing the Euclean public, it commissions periodic opinion polls and market research to gauge perceptions and expectation of Euclean citizens. In order to do this, the Euclean Parliament created and funds CERO (Centre eucléen de recherche et d'opinion), which conducts these surveys and provides analysis for the Parliament. CERO also functions as the in-house research department and think tank for the Euclean Parliament, providing unique insight backed by expert sources to enable the members and committees to do their work.
The Palace of Euclea in Kesselbourg City, Kesselbourg is the official seat of the Parliament. Kesselbourg is also home to the majority of other Euclean institutions, which has given it the moniker the Capital of Euclea.
The body previously rotated between the Dreessen Building in Kesselbourg City and the Maison de la Nouvelle République in Maredoux in Gaullica until 1964, when the body reformed from the Continental Assembly to the current Euclean Parliament and it selected Kesselbourg as its sole headquarters. It was hoped that setting a permanent seat for the institution would help to distance it from the connotations of the old Assembly being a "travelling circus". The Palace of Euclea was commissioned by the Parliament in the same year, and construction concluded in 1974, when the building became the Parliament's official seat.
The Dreessen Building then became an alternative meeting space for the Commission, until it was transformed into the residence and offices of the President of the Euclean Community in 2007, while the Maison de la Nouvelle République was returned to the Gaullican government in 1966 and became the new meeting place of the Outreterre State Senate in 1979.
- Euclean Council
- Euclean Commission
- Euclean Conference
- President of the Euclean Community
- Euclean Community
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