Interparliamentary Cooperation in the European Union: Patterns, Problems and Potential
The Treaty of Lisbon has strengthened the rights of both the European Parliament (EP) and national parliaments in the European Union (EU) decision-making process. The EP has benefited from greater legislative rights and extended veto powers, which ultimately has implications for EU citizens, since most legislative decisions affect them directly. EU citizens are also represented by their national parliaments. The Lisbon Treaty acknowledges for the first time that national parliaments ‘contribute actively to the good functioning of the Union’ (Article 12, TEU). The Treaty provides them with the right to information directly from EU institutions and has established the Early Warning Mechanism (EWM) through which national parliaments can formally raise their concerns over subsidiarity infringements. Another important stipulation is that the Lisbon Treaty formally recognizes interparliamentary cooperation ‘between national Parliaments and with the European Parliament, in accordance with the Protocol on the role of national Parliaments in the European Union’ (Article 12 TEU), which allows them to determine ‘the organisation and promotion of effective and regular inter-parliamentary cooperation within the Union’ (Article 9 of Protocol 1 on the Role of National Parliaments in the European Union).
KeywordsEuropean Union European Union Member State European Parliament National Parliament European Union Level
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