Fighting Back? And, If So, How? Measuring Parliamentary Strength and Activity in EU Affairs
In recent decades, national parliaments — formerly the ‘poor losers’ of European integration — have learned ‘to fight back’ and obtained greater participation rights in domestic European policymaking.1 Since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, national parliaments even have an explicit role in the European Union’s (EU) legislative process, in particular as the new guardians of the subsidiarity principle. However, despite these institutional changes — and a growing body of academic literature on the subject — the debate over whether national parliaments can and do play an effective role in EU policymaking continues. On the one hand, their expanded participation rights have provided national parliaments with greater institutional opportunities to control their governments in EU affairs. In addition, they can try to exert at least some, albeit mainly collective, influence at the EU level. On the other hand, the literature has consistently highlighted the challenges faced by national parliaments in making use of their participation rights, such as the highly technical character and complexity of EU issues, the lack of transparency in EU negotiations or the lack of electoral and party strategic incentives to get involved.
KeywordsEuropean Union National Parliament European Union Level Lisbon Treaty European Union Policy
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