This article makes a two-fold contribution to the European Parliament (EP) literature. First, it challenges the dominant assumption that post-Amsterdam the EP has experienced an increase in its powers. Through analysis of the Socrates case the article shows that the EP is now potentially weaker under the post-Amsterdam co-decision procedure (co-decision II), than it was under the earlier variant, co-decision I. Second, the article uncovers a hitherto overlooked aspect of internal divisions within the parliament, by revealing that there is scope for inter-committee conflict in the EP over budgetary allocations for multi-annual programmes. It is argued that such conflict can weaken the parliament in co-decision negotiations with the council, and that the negotiation of the EU's new multi-annual budgetary framework provides the perfect conditions for such internecine conflict to occur once more.