Acta Politica

, Volume 54, Issue 4, pp 564–583 | Cite as

Scrutiny by means of debate: the Dutch parliamentary debate about the Banking Union

  • Sandrino Smeets
  • Rik de RuiterEmail author
Original Article


This paper suggests a new approach to analyze the level of scrutiny of EU affairs provided by national parliaments. We develop a fine-grained measurement of how parliaments responded to the Eurozone crisis, by means of an in-depth analysis of the debate in the Dutch Lower House about the Banking Union. We use a mixed method design to determine whether parliament(arian)s succeeded in giving the government a hard time—by being informed on the topic, asking valid questions, knowing the state of play in Brussels, or by committing and confronting the government on their negotiation behavior. We uncover variation in the level of scrutiny that so far was neglected by the literature. Our analyses furthermore reveal a punctuated pattern of the level of scrutiny that is related to media attention, the varying sensitivity of different parts of the dossier and the proximity to relevant meetings in Brussels.


National parliaments European Union Economic crisis The Netherlands Banking Union 



This work is part of a research project supported by the Danish Council for Independent Research under Grant DFF-4003-00199.

Supplementary material

41269_2018_91_MOESM1_ESM.docx (41 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 41 kb)


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark
  2. 2.Institute for Management ResearchRadboud UniversityNijmegenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, Institute of Public AdministrationLeiden UniversityThe HagueThe Netherlands

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