The European Parliament is often criticised for being unaccountable to its citizens and highly technocratic. The main decisions are made in the committees and there is hardly any debate in the plenary. This apolitical nature of the EP will likely be changed in this new legislative period, shaping a more politicised European assembly. What does it mean for European foreign policy, in particular in the Eastern Neighbourhood? While traditionally the European Parliament is considered to have limited competences in foreign policy, this article shows that at least with regard to the European Neighbourhood Policy, it enjoys considerable powers and informal influence. Taking the case of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, it also analyses how it has utilized its opportunities to conduct interparliamentary diplomacy and what its purpose has been for MEPs.

Maryia Hushcha is a Research Assistant at the International Institute for Peace in Vienna. She previously worked at Pontis Foundation in Slovakia, where she managed a capacity-building project for NGOs in Russia. Maryia has completed training and fellowship programmes at the United Nations Office in Belarus, European Academy of Diplomacy in Warsaw, and University of San Diego. She holds a Master’s degree in European Studies from Comenius University in Bratislava.

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