Its Bark is its Bite

The TDIP and the European Parliament’s Voice in European Foreign Policy

European Parliament
Its Bark is its Bite : The TDIP and the European Parliament’s Voice in European Foreign Policy - Alton V. Buland


The European Union (EU) continues to redefine sovereignty as it makes strides toward a unified foreign policy. However, its member states wield foreign affairs power guardedly, concentrating it in the EU institutions they control, such as the Council of Ministers, and keeping it from the ones they do not, such as the directly-elected European Parliament. Within these constraints, the European Parliament must influence EU external relations through creative means, including its public investigation into CIA activities in Europe, thus testing transatlantic relations and offering an international institution twist on the classic foreign policy battle of the legislature versus the executive.


Nearing the time of the 2004 US presidential election, Cem Özdemir of Germany and Claude Turmes of Luxembourg, two Green Party Members of the European Parliament (MEP), visited Washington, DC. While Washington-based Commission diplomats often handled the visits of senior Council of Ministers or Commission officials personally, the delegation of the European Commission in Washington (the EU’s “embassy”) tasked an intern with coordinating the MEP visit—arranging working dinners, think-tank roundtables and meetings at the State Department.[1] It appeared to the intern, and perhaps also to the MEPs, that the European Parliament ranked very low in the EU institutional hierarchy when it came to foreign policy-making in Brussels.

Two years later, MEP Cem Özdemir returned to Washington as a vice chairman of the European Parliament’s “Temporary Committee on the Alleged Use of European Countries by the CIA for the Transport and Illegal Detention of Prisoners” (TDIP).[2] This time his visit made headlines across the world, as his delegation hosted press conferences and met with senior Congressional, State Department, and (former) Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officials as part of its investigation into extraordinary renditions and secret prisons in Europe. The European Parliament found itself dominating these controversial issues of tremendous importance to the transatlantic relationship.[3] MEP Özdemir’s second trip was likely not handled by an intern.

The contrast between the two visits highlights how the European Parliament has used the TDIP to increase its role in European foreign policy. Although member states traditionally have been hesitant to hand over foreign policy-making powers to the European Union, the past years have seen the development of new external relations competencies and capabilities for the European project. Most notably, the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) represent an attempt to forge a unified foreign policy. Protectively guarding their own sovereignty, member states have kept these efforts intergovernmental in nature, favoring the Council of Ministers, the main decision making body of the European Union (formed by the various ministers of the member states and representing their national interests). The European Parliament—the weaker legislative body of 785 directly elected MEPs designed to represent the 496 million citizens of Europe—traditionally has been shut out of the foreign policy-making process, although it retains consultative rights and budgetary powers with regard to the CFSP and other institutions. This paper will explore the means used by the European Parliament to find a voice in foreign policy, despite being hobbled by member states, focusing on the TDIP as the European Parliament’s assertion of its role in the external relations of the European Union.

The first section of the paper will give a brief overview of the development of a common European foreign policy, exploring the sovereign rights that member states are ceding to the European Union. The second section will detail and evaluate the few responsibilities and powers the various treaties have given Parliament in the realm of foreign affairs, as well as the roles Parliament has carved out for itself. The third section will introduce the CIA renditions and detention scandal and explore the European Parliament’s investigation of it. The discussion concludes with an examination of the implications of greater involvement of the European Parliament in European foreign policy.

The Foreign Policy of an International Institution

Foreign relations help define sovereignty, so it is only with great reluctance that member states share any functions with the European Union. However, in order to act credibly on the world stage, the European Union requires appropriate foreign policy powers and capabilities, which member states have slowly granted through various treaties of the past decades. A unified European foreign policy has its roots in the failed Pleven Plan of 1950, which would have created an integrated European army. In the years after French rejection of the Pleven Plan in 1954, US-led NATO dominated the European security sphere, while the then-European Community (EC) focused on economic integration and cultivating “soft” power. In the 1970s, the EC revisited the notion of unified foreign affairs among member states and created the European Political Community (EPC).[4] Although a step forward, the EPC did not go far toward establishing a unified European foreign policy.

Five years later, the Maastricht Treaty of the European Union (TEU, 1992) went even further, establishing the CFSP, now the second pillar of the legal structure of the European Union. Lacking central institutions, this “post-modern foreign policy,” like the EPC, is formally intergovernmental, requiring consensus and involving member states’ foreign ministries in each phase of the policy-making and implementation process.[5] The TEU put the design and implementation of the CFSP in the hands of the European Council (the meeting of EU nations’ heads of state or government) and the Council of Ministers (national ministers). Member states dominated the CFSP because they dominated the institutions that controlled it. The Amsterdam Treaty of 1997 strengthened the CFSP by making the Secretary-General of the Council the High Representative for the CFSP of the European Union, providing European foreign policy with a friendly face.[6] The treaty finally handed Kissinger not one number to call for Europe, as he famously requested, but certainly one to put at the top of his speed dial for the continent. The “key instruments” of the CFSP are “common positions” on issues, which member states must then adhere to as they design national policies and “joint actions,” or operations undertaken by the member states in the name of the CFSP.[7]

Member states, guarding their sovereignty and foreign interests, tried to relegate the CFSP to the EU institutions they controlled, limiting the functions the European Commission, the European Court of Justice, and the European Parliament would have. However, the European national governments did make certain concessions that ceded their individual control of foreign relations, including allowing qualified majority voting (member states’ votes in the Council are allocated in part according to population) in some cases instead of requiring unanimity.[8] Also, the CFSP is merely primus inter pares, or first among equals, of the EU’s foreign policies. Almost every facet of EU policy, from immigration to agriculture policy, affects third-party states. Thus, the Commission wields great influence through its primacy in trade, economic and development policy, and it boasts the EU’s greatest technical expertise.[9] It also represents the European Union to third-party nations through its External Relations Directorate General (Relex) and the 120-plus overseas delegations it runs.

The European Parliament and External Relations

While the Commission wields some influence in the CFSP, the member states view the European Parliament as a hindering and inefficient force in foreign policy, similar to how national parliaments are often perceived. Therefore the formative EU treaties give it few powers in the realm of international relations, instead, in one scholar’s words, limiting it to two tasks: “the scrutiny of the EU executive and approval of the general budget.”[10] Nevertheless, the Parliament exercises influence through more varied means than just those two tasks, including through consultancy with the Council, appointment and censure powers over the Commission, informal interactions with the Commission, and the publicity it musters with its own debates and reports, including the TDIP.

Long one of the weakest institutions within the European project, the European Parliament was granted more authority by Maastricht and subsequent treaties and is slowly evolving into a co-legislative body alongside the Council of Ministers. Although the Council still overshadows the Parliament in foreign affairs, in recent years the Parliament has been more assertive in ensuring that the Council “duly” considers its views.[11] Like its national legislature counterparts, the European Parliament does brandish something akin to the power of treaty ratification through “assent procedure,” where it accepts or rejects a treaty or agreement after a single reading.[12] The Parliament does not have the right to amend these decisions; its power simply lies in the threat of rejection. Nonetheless, neither the TEU, the Treaty of the European Community nor any of the other treaties requires the Council to heed the Parliament’s position or advice once given. In the end, the Council remains, to borrow from the head of the American executive branch, “the decider.”

The European Parliament exercises more substantial influence on foreign affairs through the power of the purse. Article 28 of the TEU places the administrative expenditures of the CFSP under the budget of the communities, which require approval by the Parliament. However, the speed of world events outstrips the pace of budget negotiations, and the European Parliament’s control over European foreign policy through its financial authority remains narrow.

The Parliament also holds some sway over the European Commission. The Parliament, which holds right of approval over the appointment of Commission President and confirms the 25 candidates to the College of Commissioners collectively, can also censure the entire College or provoke its resignation.[13] The rejection or censure of an entire Commission may seem too blunt a weapon, but the threat of its use can have a deterrent effect on the member states’ choice of individual Commissioners, such as with Commission President Barroso’s withdrawal of his original 2004 proposed Commission and the subsequent replacement of the Italian candidate, Rocco Buttiglione. Nonetheless, the threat of censure or rejection has little bearing on the day-to-day foreign policy decisions of the Commission. The Parliament also holds informal consultative influence over the Commission. MEPs and staff meet regularly with their Commission counterparts, and the Commissioner for External Relations and Commission President are regular speakers before Parliament.[14] The Parliament’s various powers of approval partially inspired its informal inclusion in foreign affairs matters by the Commission, but the Commission, the most bureaucratic and least responsive of the EU institutions, also has an interest in the opinions and positions of the European Union’s most democratic and only directly-elected branch.[15]

The final means by which the European Parliament can influence EU international affairs has no constitutional basis for direct effect on foreign policy, but it remains a tried and true strategy for legislators the world over: the “bully pulpit”—shaping the power of public opinion through debates, committees and reports. In addition to the reports the committees of Parliament generate upon request, the Parliament may draw-up own-initiative reports.”[16] Temporary committees are charged with the investigation of “alleged contraventions or maladministration” of Community law by either an EU or member-state institution or body. The temporary committees of inquiry, although structured much like their counterparts in a national legislature, do not hold powers of subpoena, cannot compel people or institutions to testify and have a lifespan limited to 12 months.[17] At the end of its tenure, the temporary committee submits for adoption to the entire Parliament its report and recommendations. Then, if approved, the Parliament “may forward to the institutions or bodies of the European Communities or to the member states any recommendations which it adopts,” none of which are binding on the Commission, Council or any member state. Those bodies shall afterward merely “draw therefrom the conclusions which they deem appropriate.”[18] Unlike committees of inquiry in national legislatures, EU law constrains most European Parliament temporary committees to generating a lot of parliamentary flash with little direct-policy-affecting heat. However, not all temporary committees are so benign, as the case of the TDIP shall illustrate.


Human rights organizations have alleged that since 2001, more than 100 people have been illegally abducted and detained by Western intelligence agencies and often sent to countries whose laws allow for great liberty with interrogation and detention techniques. That number includes Khaled el-Masri, a Lebanese-born German citizen allegedly abducted by Macedonian agents and held and beaten in Afghanistan for half a year before being proved innocent. It also includes Abu Omar, a radical Egyptian Islamic cleric captured by the CIA in Milan, Italy and sent to Egypt, where his wife claims he is being detained and tortured. In November 2005, the Washington Post followed these accusations with reports that the CIA was not simply arresting and rendering prisoners to human rights-flexible nations in the Middle East (a process known as “extraordinary rendition”), but was even running secret prisons inside Europe itself.[19] The press and alleged former detainees claimed that European foreign intelligence services cooperated with the CIA in these operations, often performing the abductions themselves. Even if EU nations were not complicit in the abductions, they allowed US military-operated aircraft transporting terrorist suspects overflights through EU airspace or stopovers at EU airfields.

The European Parliament launched the TDIP temporary committee of inquiry on 18 January 2005 to investigate these charges, prompted by the Washington Post articles, and investigations by NGOs such as Human Rights Watch and the Council of Europe (an older, smaller, human rights-focused cousin to the European Union). The “cross-party” committee was headed by Carlos Coelho, a conservative from Portugal, vice-chaired by Cem Özdemir, a German Green, and Sarah Ludford, a British Liberal Democrat. Italian Socialist Claudio Fava served as rapporteur. Fava described the “institutional purpose” of the TDIP as the “ascertain[ing of] whether any secret CIA detention centers were established in European territory, and whether any governments, of member or candidate states cooperated in the practice of ‘extraordinary renditions.’” Such cooperation would be in violation of a myriad of laws, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (guaranteed also by the European Court of Human Rights—Council of Europe) and Article 1 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. He also noted a “political objective… to reassert the pivotal role of human rights and give priority to their protection, also in the fight against international terrorism.”[20] The human rights and legal issues at hand straddle the various EU legal pillars and include foreign policy implications, involving transatlantic relations, foreign intelligence services and third-party countries such as Egypt and Afghanistan and non-EU European states. Indeed, Article 11 of the TEU proclaimed the goal of the CFSP to protect “democracy and the rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.”[21]

Once formed, the TDIP faced the daunting tasks of corroborating the stories of released prisoners, proving the existence of secret prisons, and demonstrating not only that overflights did take place, but also confirming their illegal human cargo. Over the next 12 months, the TDIP interviewed dozens of journalists, alleged victims, experts, representatives of NGOs conducting their own investigations, member state government officials and EU officials, although not as many as they would have liked. In June 2006, the TDIP released its interim report; the final report followed in January 2007. In its conclusions, the TDIP “denounce[d] the lack of cooperation of many member states, and of the Council of the European Union.” It “stresse[d] [that their behavior] has fallen far below the standard that Parliament is entitled to expect.”[22] Parliament flexed this sense of entitlement in the pages of its report. Annex III of the document summarizes the participation of member states and notes whether or not invited officials or governments met with the TDIP. Annex IV is simply a published list of officials who declined to testify and their given reasons—and comprises seven snarky pages of the 77-page document. High Representative Javier Solana, of the EU institutions, met with the TDIP on 2 May 2006, but declined to meet for a second time, due to objections to portions of the TDIP’s interim report he found “unjust and erroneous.”[23] Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja, President of the Council of the European Union for the latter half of 2006, declined to meet with the TDIP, while Gjies de Vrjies, the EU Counter Terrorism Coordinator, did. [24]

The report also faults the Council for sending incomplete summaries of sensitive documents to the TDIP, omitting important parts of conversations that might have implicated the Council or member state governments. Parliamentary officials allege that the Council Presidency handed over to the TDIP only five pages of a 30-page document on a May 2006 meeting involving Solana, the EU Presidency, and the US State Department. Confidential copies of the document later procured through other means insinuate that the Austrian Council Presidency “supported by the Council Secretariat [Solana] … [suggested] to [to the Americans] develop[ing] a framework for renditions,” implying that the Council and Secretariat had knowledge of the practices.[25] The report continues chastising the Council, condemning “the failure by the Council and its Presidency to comply with their obligations to keep Parliament fully informed of the main aspects and basic choices of the CFSP and of work carried out in the field of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters pursuant to Articles 21 and 39 of the Treaty on European Union.”[26]

Why was the Council so uncooperative with this investigation? The TDIP has its own theory, arguing that the “shortcomings of the Council implicate all [m]ember [st]ate governments since they have collective responsibility as members of the Council.” [27] This paper is not an examination of the validity of the TDIP’s accusations and the rendition reports. The Council represents the interests of the member states, and if any of them were complicit with the CIA’s European programs, they would seek to block participation in any investigation into those actions. But even if no member state had violated human rights law, all still had good reason not to cooperate with the TDIP. Between 2004 and 2006, the member states and the Council faced greater global concerns than the disappearance of a few terrorism suspects—the foremost of which was patching up a transatlantic relationship damaged in the lead-up to the Iraq war. The TDIP’s work clouded a trip of reconciliation that President George W. Bush made to Brussels in February 2007, during which he notably addressed the institutions of the European Union (although he did not speak in front of the Parliament). The member states, and thus the Council, were sensitive to the diplomatic repercussions of the investigation. Also, the Council had the luxury of deferring to the member states, which still ultimately held the real foreign policy authority on the continent. Solana played dumb in response to one line of MEP questioning, arguing, “I don’t have the competence … to ask the countries how they handled these questions, and they don’t have the obligation to answer me.”[28]

In contrast to the Council, the European Parliament commended the European Commission for its cooperation in the investigation. Commission Vice-President and Home and Justice Affairs head Franco Frattini stood in front of the TDIP on two separate occasions. Reacting to the Council of Europe report, he called upon “[m]ember [s]tates of the Council of Europe to cooperate fully with the Council of Europe’s investigations as promptly and comprehensively as possible.” On 19 December 2006, Frattini proffered suggestions on how better to implement national controls on civil aviation to prevent further illegal overflights. Concerning intelligence oversight, he batted down proposals for an EU-wide intelligence service “code of conduct” as unenforceable, but joined the Parliament in its optimism that the European Union could further dialogue toward better practices.[29] Frattini has also been frank about the stakes of the investigation, noting that “if the allegations were true, that would amount to a violation of Article 6 of the EU Treaty,” which could lead to sanctions against member states.

Upon the TDIP’s request, Frattini also set the EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights, who answer to the Commission, to work on a study of the “Human Rights Responsibilities of the EU member states in the Context of the CIA Activities in Europe.” Perhaps because of the independent nature of this network, Frattini expended little political capital in honoring the Parliament’s wish to have them examine the rendition issue. Nonetheless, the panel’s conclusions were unmistakably harsh, favoring the Parliament’s position more than the member states’ or Council’s with such recommendations as allowing the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture access to foreign (US) military installations.[30] In Frattini, the TDIP had a Commission ally.

Why was the Commission’s relationship with the TDIP so laudable? One institutional answer might be that the Commission does not answer directly to the member states, and therefore is insulated from their concerns. Another is that the main official who participated was Frattini, who heads the Home and Justice Affairs Department, while the officials in charge of Relex, who must always think diplomatically and consider the international ramifications of the European Union’s actions, played little role in the TDIP investigation. However, this seems a poor reason, since Frattini as Vice Commissioner represents the Council’s interests broadly, and even his EU interior minister duties are heavily intertwined with foreign affairs. Instead, EU scholar Nathaniel Lalone suggests that the Commission, self-conscious about its lack of constituency, holds a special sensitivity to the need for public support for its actions. Lalone argues that recent history has shown it will heed and involve the European Parliament on a particular issue if it believes that its views represent the people.[31]

This is exactly the influence the TDIP hoped to achieve. Council and member state participation proved abysmal, and although the temporary committee lambasted those institutions in its report, committee members had always been realistic about their own powers. During the committee’s visit to Washington, Özdemir admitted they had no subpoena power and were instead working toward “findings without teeth.” However, he argued that the TDIP drew its influence from public opinion through “the soapbox.” Vice Chairwoman Sarah Ludford cited TDIP’s progress thus far in encouraging “whistleblowers … to come forward,” citing an Italian carabiniere who had just admitted to participating in one rendition. Özdemir agreed, contending that it was “crucial to get critical mass… in democracy you need the pressure of ordinary citizens.”[32] In a later interview, when asked how the European Union could make the US government close its “illegal” prisons, he argued that the power and importance of European public opinion to Americans had been made “very clear” to him on his trip, suggesting his ultimate audience was not only European governments but also American officials. Özdemir and his committee, with a noisemaking strategy, were out to change policy.

The Parliament has done a commendable job of claiming ownership of a highly controversial and visible issue and keeping it in the public’s eye, all the while increasing its own visibility and therefore influence among other institutions and governments. CIA renditions, among other contentious American intelligence practices, were an issue in the recent US midterm congressional elections. Many American news articles cited the Parliament’s investigation, and after their electoral victory, Senate Democrats promised their own investigation in 2007 and held a closed hearing in February with another hearing planned for April on CIA extraordinary rendition and detention practices.

Since the formation of the TDIP committee, European governments have stepped up their own investigations, and German courts recently issued arrest warrants for several CIA operatives in the el-Masri case.[33] The European Parliament is likely not directly responsible for these events, but one should not underestimate the influence the TDIP held in the court of public opinion, having become the authority on this subject. The TDIP investigation inspired Commission cooperation and created a political climate that fostered investigations in the member states and affected the politics of Washington. Through the democratic “soapbox” of the TDIP, whose report the Parliament adopted in February, but whose recommendations still carry absolutely no legal weight, the European Parliament has made foreign relations waves.

Conclusion: The Implications of a More Democratic Foreign Policy

Among the ramifications of this parliamentary foray into foreign affairs is the bestowing of a democratic legitimacy onto an area of EU policy that is especially lacking. The attention given by the Commission, the least democratically-accountable of the European institutions, to the TDIP suggests some Eurocrats agree. However, some argue the democratically-elected European Parliament is not necessarily representative of the population of Europe. In addition to abysmal voter turnout in many districts (such as 17 percent in Slovakia in 2004), legislative scholars Esther Herranz and Anna Barbé suggest that the European Parliament “falls short of being a true parliament” because MEPs often represent their national interests, rather than representing the people of Europe through the pan-European party groupings.[34] However, this argument is akin to suggesting that the US Congress is illegitimate because Democrats and Republicans representatives from Texas vote together on some issues. Also, the scholars note that MEPs achieve higher “intra-group cohesion” on foreign policy issues than any other.[35] Voter turnout will rise as the European Union and Parliament acquire more influence and people further understand and respect the power of the institutions and thus want a stake in them.

Even if including the Parliament in foreign policy would reduce the democratic deficit, would that necessarily be a positive development? Many scholars contend that the European Parliament has little diplomatic common sense. Certainly few would trust the foreign policy instincts of the MEPs of the new far-right-wing Identity, Tradition and Sovereignty party. Jørgensen notes that the “EP has demonstrated its lack of skill in foreign affairs, frequently promulgating moral principles or absolutes which are divorced from political reality.”[36] The TDIP case seems to confirm this tendency toward an idealistic, human rights-centric European Parliament foreign policy agenda. The fragmented nature of Parliament means that common positions can only be reached on the most universal of issues, a short list which includes human rights (to which media attention is also instinctively drawn).[37] While the European Parliament has made few friends for Europe in the Bush administration since adopting the TDIP report, it did not completely exacerbate strains in transatlantic relations, since the MEPs found allies in the Democrat-controlled Congress. In this case, the TDIP helped beget Congressional investigations into CIA activities in Europe. Establishing further contacts between the European Parliament and foreign legislatures would build on the influence the Parliament has garnered through the TDIP and set up the possibility of influencing foreign relations through future Parliamentary committees and activities, all the while circumventing the Commission and Council.[38]

The fact remains that neither the European Commission nor the Council of the European Union is Europe’s main foreign policy actor. Even with the advances in the CFSP and ESDP, the 27 member state governments retain foreign policy-making power. As evidenced through the case of the TDIP, the Parliament has found its niche as Europe’s foreign policy conscience. Although statecraft requires Realpolitik, the European Union is a political experiment, a new archetype of state organization, and one without yet the total responsibilities of a state. As such, it should and can subscribe to higher moral standards and goals. The European Parliament has found a voice to remind the European Union, Europe and the world at large of these principles. As the European Union is endowed with greater power on the world stage, the Parliament must be reformed and enhanced alongside it to lend it further democratic legitimacy. The Constitutional Treaty recognized that fact and would have strengthened further many of the powers that the Parliament enjoys from past treaties. What remains to be seen is if, when the European Union and then European Parliament acquire further responsibilities for external relations, the Parliament stays true to its high principles or decides it can no longer afford them. By focusing on human rights, the Parliament now increases its visibility both among its constituents and abroad. If a day comes when the Parliament no longer requires such issues to get the attention of others, will those moral matters still command the Parliament’s own agenda?

Notes & References

  1. For the purposes of this paper, the “Council” will refer to the Council of Ministers, also known as the Council of the European Union or Council of the European Union, which is the most powerful decision-making body of the European Union, composed of national ministers and representing the interests of the member states directly. This body is distinct from the European Council (the meeting of EU heads of state) and the Council of Europe (a non-EU human rights monitoring institution). “Parliament” refers to the European Parliament and “Commission” refers to the European Commission.
  2. “EU Gets Little Help in U.S. on CIA Renditions Inquiry,” International Herald Tribune, 11 May 2006.
  3. “MEPs in Washington DC to Investigate CIA Allegations,” available at news/expert/infopress_page/017-8015-129-05-19-902-20060510IPR08014-09-05-2006- 2006-false/default_en.htm, accessed 8 February 2007.
  4. Knud Erik Jørgensen, “Making the CFSP Work,” in John Peterson and Michael Shackleton, eds., The Institutions of the European Union (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 216– 17; “The Common Foreign and Security Policy: Introduction,” available at, accessed 7 February 2007.
  5. Michael Smith, “CFSP and ESDP: From Idea to Institution to Policy?” in Martin Holland, ed., Common Foreign and Security Policy: The First Ten Years, 2nd ed. (London: Continuum, 2004), 5; Jørgensen, 217.
  6. Jørgensen, 218.
  7. “The Common Foreign and Security Policy: Introduction.”
  8. Ibid.
  9. Jørgensen, 220 and 225.
  10. Grace Annan, “The European Parliament in EU Foreign Policy: A Plea for More Authority,” available at, accessed 7 February 2007.
  11. Udo Diedrichs, “The European Parliament in CFSP: More than a Marginal Player?,” International Spectator 34, no. 2 (2004): 2. See specifically Article 21, Maastricht Treaty of the European Union; “European Parliament resolution on the annual report from the Council to the European Parliament on the main aspects and basic choices of CFSP, including the financial implications for the general budget of the European Union—2002 (7038/2003 - C5-0423/2003 - 2003/2141(INI)),” available at sides/ +DOC+XML+V0//EN, accessed 8 February 2007.
  12. “Europa Glossary: Assent Procedure,” available at, accessed 9 February 2007.
  13. Mark A. Pollack, Helen Wallace and William Wallace, Policy-Making in the European Union, 5th ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 65; Diedrichs, 2–5.
  14. Diedrichs, 3.
  15. Nathaniel Lalone, “Accountability in the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy: Lessons from the Common Commercial Policy,” in Esther Barbé and Anna Herranz, eds., The Role of Parliaments in European Foreign Policy: Debating on Accountability and Legitimacy (Barcelona: Office of the European Parliament in Barcelona, 2005), 13.
  16. “Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament—Legislative, Budgetary, and Other Procedures—Procedure in Committee,” available at pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+RULES-EP+20070101+RULE-045+DOC+XML+V0// EN&language=EN&navigationBar=YES, accessed 9 February 2007.
  17. “Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament—ANNEX VIII: Detailed Provisions Governing the Exercise of the European Parliament’s Right of Inquiry,” available at sides/, accessed 9 February 2007. The treaties grant the temporary committees the power to “invite” another EU institution or member state government to “take part in its proceedings.” However, the member states in developing these treaties hobbled the temporary committees, preventing their access to testimony protected on the “grounds of secrecy or public or national security” by national or community law. Also, no EU institution can hand over documents that originated from a member state without first informing the member state involved.
  18. Ibid.
  19. Dana Priest, “CIA Hold Terror Suspects in Secret Prisons,” Washington Post (2 November 2005), A01.
  20. “Parliament Probes Alleged CIA Activities in Europe,” available at public/story_page/015-5903-065-03-10-902-20060308STO05902-2006-06-03-2006/default_en.htm, accessed 7 February 2007.
  21. “The EU’s Human Rights and Democratization Policy,” available at, accessed 9 February 2007.
  22. TDIP, “Report on the Alleged Use of European Countries by the CIA for the Transportation and Illegal Detention of Prisoners,” available at, accessed 8 February 2007.
  23. Ibid.
  24. Ibid. For his troubles, the final report “question[ed] the real substance of the post of EU Counter-terrorism Coordinator.”
  25. CIA, “CIA Investigation: Report Throws Spotlight on EU Institutions’ Cooperation with US on Renditions,” available at, accessed 8 February 2007.
  26. TDIP.
  27. TDIP.
  28. “Javier Solana: ‘No Information’ on CIA Renditions or Detention Centers,” available at 017-7794-122-05-18-902-20060502IPR07751-02-05-2006-2006-false/default_en.htm, accessed 8 February 2007.
  29. “MEPs Discuss Legal Measures to Prevent Future CIA Extraordinary Renditions in Europe,” available at 017-1614-352-12-51-902-20061218IPR01606-18-12-2006-2006-false/default_en.htm, accessed 8 February 2007.
  30. “EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights: Human Rights Responsibilities of the EU member states in the Context of the CIA Activities in Europe,” available at, accessed 8 February 2007.
  31. Lalone, 13.
  32. Cem Özdemir, “Investigating European Complicity in Secret CIA Detention Centers and Rendition Activities,” address to the New America Foundation, Washington, DC (10 May 2006).
  33. “German Court Challenges CIA Over Abduction,” International Herald Tribune, 31 January 2007.
  34. “Leaders Rue Euro Poll Disaster,” available at, accessed 9 February 2007.
  35. Barbé, 7–9.
  36. Jørgensen, 226.
  37. Flavia Zanon, “The European Parliament: An Autonomous Foreign Policy Identity?,” in Barbé and Herranz, eds., 14.
  38. The impetus for fostering such a relationship would fall probably on the MEPs, considering the already overfilled schedules of US congressmen and the new restrictions on travel and junkets.
ALTON V. BULAND is an M.A. candidate at the Bologna Center, where he concentrates in strategic studies. Prior to attending SAIS, he worked for the Program on West European Studies and the Program on Science, Technology, America, and the Global Economy at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. He holds an A.B. in history from Harvard College.