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Home / Andean Parliament

Andean Parliament


History: The question of of universal direct elections

The Andean Parliament is one of the key institutions of the Andean Integrated System and was created by the Treaty of La Paz on October, 25th 1979, ten years after the signature of the Cartagena Agreement. The Treaty came into force in 1984. The Parliament is meant to represent the peoples of the Community.
It established an original system as regards the election of the Members of Parliament with a transitory period which lasted from 1979 till 2003 and for two member states until now.
According to the provision of the Article 3  of the La Paz Treaty (also codified in the Decision 563  by the Andean Commission in 2003) the Members of Parliament were by then elected in an indirect way:  

 “ Up to the moment when the Adicional Protocol the previous Article refers to comes into force, the Andean Parliament will be constituted by five representantives elected by the respective legislative organs of the Contracting Parties in between its members, according to the procedure that each of them adopts with that scope.”

Until the 2003 reform, the Andean Parliament was constituted by five national MPs of each of the member states elected according to their own national regulations. So there were 25 MPs from 1979 to 2003 and 20 since Venezuela left the Community in 2006.
However, in 1997, the adoption of the “Additional Protocol to the Treaty establishing the Andean Parliament” changed the deal. Indeed, this protocol set up the new rules for MPs election using the derogatory process provided, since 1979, in the Treaty of La Paz, Article 2:

“The Andean Parliament wil be constituted by Representatives of the people of each one of the Cotracting Parties, chosen by universal and direct suffrage, according to the procedure that the Member States will adopt by an Aditional Protocol that will include the correct criteria of national represetation the Parties agree”.

To sum up, in 1979, Article 2 provides for an election regime much more binding for the states (universal and direct election) which will be organized later through the signature of a Protocol. Meanwhile, the regular system (selection by the legislative bodies amongst their MPs ) will be implemented.
In 1996, the Andean countries decided that the Andean Parliament will be elected, from 2001, through direct and universal elections. In two countries, Peru and Ecuador, they have already taken place. In the remaining countries, direct elections are either planned for the near future (Colombia) or subject to a previous constitutional review (Bolivia).


Power and competences

The Articles 12 and 13 of the La Paz Treaty of 1979 as well as the articles 11 and 12 of the additional protocol of 1996 deal with objectives and functions of the Parliament.
Basically, it is only a deliberative organ, it can examine strategies and policies (i.e: the progress of integration), promote action of cooperation, suggest actions, formulate recommendations on the Draft Annual budget, etc.
 Even if, in some cases and since the 1996 reform, a Parliament decision is adopted with a simple majority of votes , in other cases (the majority of them) the Parliament's decisions required the absolute majority to be approved. The binding force of these decisions is considerably limited by the fact that the Parliament's decisions are only “recommendations”.
As for legislative initiative, the Parliament has a totally under estimated role: it does not even share the initiative with the Commission or the Secretariat.
Finally, the Andean Parliament is not comparable to a national Parliament, since the transfer of powers and competences are extremely limited and its mode of election is not direct and is heterogeneous, depending on each country´s internal institutions.

©2001 - 2020 - Centro Studi sul Federalismo - Codice Fiscale 94067130016