The 2014 elections—which begin on Thursday in the UK and the Netherlands—may be different. For one thing, the 2009 Libson Treaty extended the European Parliament’s power to approve, amend, or block legislation to 40 additional areas of policy. It also gave the European Parliament a greater say on the EU budget, as well as a range of international agreements (including, for example, the proposed U.S.–E.U. trade deal). Legislators have not been shy about exercising their new powers: The Financial Times notes that they now wield more influence than their limited constitutional role would suggest.