National Parliaments in the European Union: Conceptual Choices in the European Union’s Constitutional Debate

  • Afke Groen
  • Thomas Christiansen


There has been much debate about the impact of the Lisbon Treaty on the role of national parliaments in the European Union (EU) integration process. The introduction of the Early Warning Mechanism (EWM) provided the first opportunity for national parliaments to become actively involved in the EU decision-making process. However, while much attention since then has — quite rightly — focused on the application of this process, on the effectiveness of the mechanism for subsidiarity control and on the impact that this has had both at the EU level and on domestic institutions, it is also important to study the history of this reform in order to understand precisely how and why this type of involvement was chosen. The EWM was neither the only possible nor the ‘natural’ outcome of a reform seeking to involve national parliaments more directly. Indeed, at earlier stages of the EU’s constitutional debate there had been calls for a second chamber for the European Parliament (EP) — or indeed a ‘third chamber’,1 the creation of a new institution at the EU level composed of representatives from national parliaments.


European Union European Convention European Parliament National Parliament European Union Level 
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  1. 12.
    Brady, H. (2013) The EU’s ‘yellow card’ Comes of Age: Subsidiarity Unbound? London: Centre for European Reform,, accessed 14 March 2013.Google Scholar

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© Afke Groen and Thomas Christiansen 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Afke Groen
  • Thomas Christiansen

There are no affiliations available

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