The role of personal parliamentary assistants in the European Parliament

Andreja Pegan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The article scrutinises the behaviour of the personal staff of MEPs, using newly collected survey data. The personal staff known as accredited parliamentary assistants (APAs) have long been in the shadow of staff in parliamentary groups and staff in the European Parliament’s (EP) central Secretariat. In the 2010s, MEPs’ allowance for personal staff increased and a statute for APAs was adopted. Against the background of these reforms, this article hypothesises that APAs are a frequent source of assistance for MEPs in comparison to the other EP staff. It assumes that the significance of APAs’ involvement depends on their characteristics as direct employees of MEPs. Results show that APAs frequently assist MEPs in activities relevant for the internal life of the EP, but that they are less frequently involved in inter-institutional relations. The article shows that MEPs seek support which is political, but also that is tailored towards them personally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-315
Number of pages21
JournalWest European Politics
Issue number2
Early online date20 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2017


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