Brazilian Political Science Review (Online)
On-line version ISSN 1981-3821
DRI, Clarissa. At what point does a legislature become institutionalized? The Mercosur Parliament's path. Braz. political sci. rev. (Online) [online]. 2009, vol.4Selected edition, pp. 0-0. ISSN 1981-3821.
The Mercosur Parliament was created in 2005 to represent the peoples of the region. The constitutive documents affirm the necessity of reinforcing and deepening integration and democracy within Mercosur through an efficient and balanced institutional structure. In order to examine the potential role of the Parliament in strengthening the institutional framework of the bloc, this paper aims to analyse its initial years of activity. What is the institutionalization level reached by the assembly so far? The research is grounded on the idea that the more institutionalized the legislature is, the more it will influence the political system. The article presents a comparative approach that considers the earliest steps of the European Parliament. In terms of methodology, the qualitative analysis is based on documental research and on direct observation of the Mercosur Parliament's meetings. The main conclusions are related to the limited level of institutionalization of this new assembly, in spite of its innovative features regarding the Mercosur structure, and to its similarity with the initial period of the European Parliament.
Keywords : Regional integration; Parliamentary institutionalization; Mercosur; European Union.