Parliaments and the European Union

  • Juan A. Mayoral
  • Ana Carillo-López
  • Jean-Baptiste Harguindéguy


This chapter investigates the relationship Spanish members of national and regional parliaments have with the European Union (EU). Initially the main hypothesis relied on the “ever-closer union” approach. As Spain is one of the European countries that benefits most from European financial transfers, one would expect the Spanish parliamentary to be very EU-oriented. The final results, however, suggests a very different picture. Although Spanish parliamentarians’ opinion of the EU is generally positive, the data also demonstrated that the EU is virtually absent from their daily concerns. Indeed, the analysis shows that the relationship between the EU and Spanish parliamentarians is based on a so-called “permissive consensus”: Spanish parliamentarians are aware of the benefits and relevance of the EU, but the dynamics of Spanish politics remain clearly national and regional.


Permissive consensus European integration Inter-parliamentary relations 


  1. Abélès, M. (1992). La vie quotidienne au Parlement européen. Paris: Hachette.Google Scholar
  2. Ares Castro-Conde, C. (2007). El sistema de alerta temprana para el control del principio de subsidiariedad en la Unión Europea y los parlamentos autonómicos: diagnosis y prognosis. Revista de Estudios Políticos, 136, 213–250.Google Scholar
  3. Biezen, I., & Hopkin, J. (2005). The Presidentizalization of Spanish Democracy: Sources of Prime Ministerial Power in Post-Franco Spain. In T. Poguntke & P. Webb (Eds.), The Presidentialization of Politics: A Comparative Study of Modern Democracies (pp. 106–127). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Börzel, T., & Risse, T. (2003). Conceptualizing the Domestic Impact of Europe. In K. Featherstone & C. Radaelli (Eds.), The Politics of Europeanization (pp. 57–80). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bruter, M. (2003). On What Citizens Mean by Feeling ‘European’: Perceptions of News, Symbols and Borderless-Ness. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 30(1), 21–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cienfuegos Mateo, M. (2001). Las Cortes Españolas ante la integración española. In C. Closa (Ed.), La Europeanización del sistema político español (pp. 359–384). Madrid: Istmo.Google Scholar
  7. CIS. (2010). Barómetro de junio. Estudio 2838. Madrid: CIS.Google Scholar
  8. Costa, O., & Saint-Martin, F. (2009). Le Parlement européen. Paris: La Documentation Française.Google Scholar
  9. Delanty, G., & Rumford, C. (2005). Is there a European Identity? European Self-Understanding Beyond Unity and Diversity. In G. Delanty & C. Rumford (Eds.), Rethinking Europe: Social Theory and the Implications of Europeanization (pp. 50–68). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Dirección General de los Fondos Comunitarios. (2007). Marco Nacional Estratégico de Referencia. Madrid: Ministerio de Economía y Hacienda.Google Scholar
  11. Etherington, J. (2012). Las comunidades autónomas y la UE desde una perspectiva teórica: ¿superando los enfoques existentes? Revista CIDOB d’Afers Internacionals, 99, 75–91.Google Scholar
  12. European Commission. (2011). Eurobarometer-Report 66. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  13. Favell, A., & Guiraudon, V. (2009). The Sociology of the European Union: An Agenda. European Union Politics, 10(4), 550–576.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. GOBEX. (2013). Conferencia para Asuntos Relacionados con la Unión Europea (CARUE). Madrid: GOBEX.Google Scholar
  15. Harguindéguy, J. B., & Bray, Z. (2009). Does Cross-Border Co-operation Empower European Regions? The Case of INTERREG III-A France-Spain. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 27(4), 747–760.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Marks, G., Nielsen, F., Ray, L., & Salk, J. (1996). Competencies, Cracks and Conflicts. Regional Mobilization in the European Union. Comparative Political Studies, 29(2), 164–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mayoral, J. (2011). Democratic Improvements in the European Union Under the Lisbon Treaty. Institutional Changes Regarding Democratic Government in the EU, EUDO Institutions, 2011, 1–10.Google Scholar
  18. Mazey, S. (1995). Regional Lobbying in the New Europe. In M. Rhodes (Ed.), The Regions and the New Europe (pp. 78–104). Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Mazey, S., & Mitchell, J. (1993). Europe of the Regions? Territorial Interests and European Integration: The Scottish Experience. In S. Mazey & J. Richardson (Eds.), Lobbying in the European Community (pp. 95–121). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  20. McGowan, L. (2008). Permitive Consensus. In L. McGowan (Ed.), A Dictionary of the European Union (p. 389). London: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  21. Meehan, E. (2000). Europeanization and Citizenship in the European Union. In R. Harmsen & T. Wilson (Eds.), Europeanization: Institution, Identities and Citizenship (pp. 157–177). Atlanta: Rodopi.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Morata, F. (2010). Decentralization and the Spanish Territorial State. In R. Scully & R. Wyn-Jones (Eds.), Europe, Regions and European Regionalism (pp. 134–154). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Norris, P. (1997). Representation and the Democratic Deficit. European Journal of Political Research, 32(2), 273–282.Google Scholar
  24. Ocaña, F., & Oñate, P. (2006). Las arenas electorales en España y la normalidad de la convocatoria de marzo de 2004. In J. Molins & P. Oñate (Eds.), Elecciones y comportamiento electoral en la España multinivel (pp. 23–76). Madrid: Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas.Google Scholar
  25. Olsen, J. (2002). The Many Faces of Europeanisation. ARENA Working Papers, 1–2.Google Scholar
  26. Palau, A. (2013). La europeización de la agenda legislativa estatal y autonómica (1986–2007). Revista de Estudios Políticos, 160(3), 69–102.Google Scholar
  27. Picarella, L. (2009). Presidencialización y personalización en el sistema político español, 1975–2008. Revista Enfoques, 7(11), 517–546.Google Scholar
  28. Poguntke, T., & Webb, P. (2005). The Presidentialization of Politics in Democratic Societies. In T. Poguntke & P. Webb (Eds.), The Presidentialization of Politics. A Comparative Study of Modern Democracies (pp. 1–25). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Powell, C., Torreblanca, J. I., & Sorroza, A. (2005). Construir Europa desde España: los nuevos desafíos de la política europea. Informe del Real Instituto Elcano, 2, 3–129.Google Scholar
  30. Putnam, R. (1988). Diplomacy and Domestic Politics: The Logic of Two-Level Games. International Organization, 42(3), 427–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Risse, T., Green Cowles, M., & Caporaso, J. (2001). Europeanisation and Domestic Change: Introduction. In M. Green Cowles, J. Caporaso, & T. Risse (Eds.), Transforming Europe: Europeanisation and Domestic Change (pp. 1–21). Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Scharpf, F. (1999). Governing in Europe. Effective and Democratic? Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Shore, C. (2000). Building Europe: The Cultural Politics of European Integration. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  34. Strath, B., & Triandafyllidou, A. (2003). Representations of Europe and the Nation in Current and Prospective Member-States: Media, Elites and Civil Society – The Collective State of the Art and Historical Reports. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the EC.Google Scholar
  35. Szmolka Vida, I. (2008). El apoyo de los españoles al proceso de integración europea: factores afectivos, utilitaristas y políticos. Revista Española de Investigaciones Sociológicas, 122(2), 55–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Weiler, J., & Wessels, W. (1997). An Ever-Closer Fusion? A Dynamic Macropolitical View on Integration Process. Journal of Common Market Studies, 35(2), 267–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Wessels, W. (1996). Verwaltung im EG-Mehrebenensystem: Auf Dem Weg in die Megabürokratie? In M. Jachtenfuchs & B. Kohler-Koch (Eds.), Europaïsche Integration (pp. 15–46). Opladen: Leske und Buderich.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan A. Mayoral
    • 1
  • Ana Carillo-López
    • 2
  • Jean-Baptiste Harguindéguy
    • 3
  1. 1.iCourtsUniversity of CopenhagenKøbenhavnDenmark
  2. 2.University of LeicesterLeicesterUK
  3. 3.University of Pablo de OlavideSevillaSpain

Personalised recommendations