n Journal of African Union Studies - Towards a people friendly Pan-African Parliament : lessons from the European parliament

Volume 5, Issue 2-3
  • ISSN : 2050-4292
  • E-ISSN: 2050-4306


The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) is an institution of the African Union (AU) modeled after the European Union's (EU's) European Parliament (EP). Both were established to promote principles of democracy and to ensure the active involvement of Union citizens in the integration process. However, the approach and commitment of the AU and the EU to the full operationalization and functioning of the two differ. Using the constructivist theory, a content analysis of relevant constitutive documents of the two parliaments is done. The paper delves into the identities and interests informing the PAP's establishment and how far it has traveled to achieve its goals. A major finding of the paper is that although on the surface, the PAP appears to take after the EP, a number of challenges hinder it from functioning optimally. The result is a lack of commitment to a redefinition and enhancement of the functions and powers of the PAP.

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