Divergences in Constitutional Approaches in Europe: The Remuneration of Members of Parliament
PhD student: Mr B. Michel
Promotor: Prof L.F.M. Besselink
Duration: 1/9/2012 - 31/12/2016
Decisions of members of parliament to increase their own pay invariably cause public outrage. The resulting image of a detached, self-interested political class poses a real thread to the functioning of out democracies. Meeting this challenge requires a keen understanding of the underlying constitutional dilemmas. Does the parliamentarians role require increased financial independence or is equality to his voters the paramount characteristic of the representative? Is the question of representatives remuneration of intrinsically political nature, or can objective criteria neutralise it? Can the legislatures ultimate accountability to the electorate provide the desired check and how can its effectiveness be ensured in practice? Which role might an outside regulator play and how could it be independent and legitimate at the same time? This PhD research will investigate how Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom answer those questions. It will show commonalities in approach, but also differences that demonstrate a notable divergence in constitutional thinking within Europe.