The EU’s political system comes very close to a semi-presidential system which represents a combination of presidential power and parliamentary accountability.

The contours of semi-presidentialism have become accentuated both through the deepening and extension of parliamentary rule and through the simultaneous reinforcement of the European Council. 

For the time being the lack of party government forms a special characteristic of the Union’s parliamentary dimension. 

Two main options dominate what comes to the future development of the Union’s political system: either the Union will deepen its semi-presidential rule by moving into a real party government. Development towards a true presidential regime represents the second option, with the subordination of the Commission to one single head of executive, the president. This model would merge the current presidencies of the Commission and the European Council into one single EU presidency.

Teija Tiilikainen
Director; Editor in chief, Ulkopolitiikka (Finnish Journal of Foreign Affairs)