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The parliamentary model at the heart of European civic cultures has deeply influenced ‘Constitutional reforms’ in the European Community. But the EC is not a Parliamentary state and the transplant of national institutions in its own political context gives rise to hybrid practices.

 This paper examines this process of hybridation, and shows that new practices of appointment and censure are emerging in the Community, mixing classic parliamentary institutions with the crucial features of the EC itself. Focusing on recent tensions between the Council, the Commission, and the European Parliament, it shows that they are governed by national divisions, technocratic and legal reasoning rather than by classic majoritarian attitudes.

 It concludes that, while this new model of accountability might prove efficient in terms of inter-institutional controls, it remains symbolically inefficient, because it does not help citizens understand and accept the Community institutional model.