Institutional Adaptation: A Case of trompe-l’oeil?

  • Olivier RozenbergEmail author
Part of the French Politics, Society and Culture book series (FPSC)


The history of the institutional adaptation of the French Parliament to the EU has developed since the late 1970s. It shows that a recurrent and paradoxical convergence of pro-European and Eurosceptic forces contributed to those developments. The assessment of the prerogatives, structures and activities specialized in EU affairs is mixed. On the one hand, the rights obtained are far from negligible given the general weakness of the both assemblies in France. European activities in Parliament also reached a level which is significant, both compared to domestic activities and to other parliamentary assemblies in Europe. On the other hand, an in-depth investigation makes clear the superficiality of those developments. EU activities are left to a small club of parliamentary actors. They are in practice largely delegated to clerks and assistants. And they prove to be unable to weigh on domestic debates and European policies.


French Parliament European Union Institutional adaptation 


  1. Auel, K., Rozenberg, O., & Tacea, A. (2015). Fighting Back? And If Yes, How? Measuring Parliamentary Strength and Activity in EU Affairs. In C. Hefftler, C. Neuhold, O. Rozenberg, & J. Smith (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of National Parliaments and the European Union (pp. 60–93). London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  2. Bartolone, C., & Winock, M. (2016). Refaire la démocratie. Vincennes: Thierry Marchaisse.Google Scholar
  3. Bertoncini, Y. (2009). Les interventions de l’UE au niveau national: quel impact? Fondation Notre Europe, 28.Google Scholar
  4. Blanc, D. (2004). Les parlements européen et français face à la fonction législative communautaire: aspects du déficit démocratique. Paris: L’Harmattan.Google Scholar
  5. Brouard, S., Costa, O., & Kerrouche, E. (2012). Are French Laws Written in Brussels? The Limited Europeanization of Lawmaking in France and Its Implications. In S. Brouard, O. Costa, & T. König (Eds.), The Europeanization of Domestic Legislatures. The Empirical Implications of the Delors’ Myth in Nine Countries (pp. 75–94). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  6. Buzogany, A. (2013). Learning from the Best? Interparliamentary Networks and the Parliamentary Scrutiny of EU Decision-Making. In B. Crum & J. Jossum (Eds.), Practices of Interparliamentary Coordination in International Politics (pp. 17–32). Colchester: ECPR Press.Google Scholar
  7. Carcassonne, G. (1996). La Constitution. Paris: Seuil.Google Scholar
  8. Carcassonne, G., & Guillaume, M. (2014). La Constitution (12th ed.). Paris: Seuil.Google Scholar
  9. Fekl, M. (2010). Normes européennes, loi française: le mythe des 80%. Terra Nova.Google Scholar
  10. Finke, D., & Herbel, A. (2015). Beyond Rules and Resources: Parliamentary Scrutiny of EU Policy Proposals. European Union Politics, 16(4), 490–513.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fish, M., & Kroenig, M. (2009). The Handbook of National Legislatures: A Global Survey. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fromage, D. (2015). Les Parlements allemands, britanniques, espagnols, français et italiens dans l’Union Européenne après le Traité de Lisbonne. Participations nationale et européenne et contrôle de subsidiarité. Paris: L’Harmattan.Google Scholar
  13. Fromage, D. (2017). Executive Accountability to National Parliaments in Post-crisis EU Affairs. In D. Jancic (Ed.), National Parliaments after the Lisbon Treaty and the Euro Crisis (pp. 159–176). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fuchs-Cessot, A. (2004). Le Parlement à l’épreuve de l’Europe et de la Vème République. Paris: LGDJ.Google Scholar
  15. Hefftler, C., & Gattermann, K. (2015). Interparliamentary Cooperation in the European Union: Patterns, Problems and Potential. In C. Hefftler, C. Neuhold, O. Rozenberg, & J. Smith (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of National Parliaments and the European Union (pp. 94–115). London: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hochedez, D., & Patriarche, V. (1998). L’Assemblée nationale et l’Union européenne. Paris: Éditions de l’Assemblée nationale.Google Scholar
  17. Högenauer, A., & Neuhold, C. (2015). National Parliaments after Lisbon: Administrations on the Rise? West European Politics, 38(2), 335–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Irondelle, B. (2003). Europeanization without the European Union? French Military Reforms 1991–96. Journal of European Public Policy, 10(2), 208–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Karlas, J. (2012). National Parliamentary Control of EU Affairs: Institutional Design after Enlargement. West European Politics, 35(5), 1095–1113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kiiver, P. (2012). The Early Warning System for the Principle of Subsidiarity: Constitutional Theory and Empirical Reality. Abingdon: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lamassoure, A. (2004). Histoire Secrète de la Convention Européenne. Paris: Albin Michel.Google Scholar
  22. Lequesne, C. (1993). Comment se fait la politique européenne en France. Paris: Presses de Sciences Po.Google Scholar
  23. Mény, Y. (1993). Le cumul des mandats ou l’impossible séparation des pouvoirs. Pouvoirs, 64, 129–136.Google Scholar
  24. Navarro, J., & Brouard, S. (2014). Who Cares About the EU? French MPs and the Europeanisation of Parliamentary Questions. The Journal of Legislative Studies, 20(1), 93–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Norton, P. (1998). Conclusion: Do Parliaments Make a Difference? In P. Norton (Ed.), Parliaments and Governments in Western Europe (pp. 190–208). London: Frank Cass.Google Scholar
  26. Nuttens, J. D. (2001). Le Parlement français et l’Europe: l’article 88-4 de la Constitution. Paris: LGDJ.Google Scholar
  27. Nuttens, J., & Sicard, F. (2000). Assemblées parlementaires et organisations européennes. Paris: La Documentation française.Google Scholar
  28. Raunio, T. (2005). Holding Governments Accountable in European Affairs: Explaining Cross-National Variation. Journal of Legislative Studies, 11(3–4), 319–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Riaux, G. (2014). Les professionnels de la politique et la politique étrangère. Gouvernement et action publique, 1, 51–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Rozenberg, O., & Hefftler, C. (2015). Introduction. In C. Hefftler, C. Neuhold, O. Rozenberg, & J. Smith (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of National Parliaments and the European Union (pp. 1–39). London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  31. Saulnier, E. (2002). La participation des Parlements français et britannique aux communautés et à l’Union européennes. Paris: LGDJ.Google Scholar
  32. Thomas, A., & Tacea, A. (2015). The French Parliament and the European Union: “Shadow Control” Through the Government Majority. In O. Rozenberg, C. Hefftler, C. Neuhold, O. Rozenberg, & J. Smith (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of National Parliaments and the European Union (pp. 170–190). London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  33. Wessels, W., & Rozenberg, O. (2013). Democratic Control in the Member States of the European Council and the Euro zone summits. Report for European Parliament.Google Scholar
  34. Winzen, T. (2012). National Parliamentary Control of European Union Affairs: A Cross-National and Longitudinal Comparison. West European Politics, 35(3), 657–672.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Winzen, T. (2017). Constitutional Preferences and Parliamentary Reform: Explaining National Parliaments’ Adaptation to European Integration. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Woldendorp, J., Keman, H., & Budge, I. (2000). Party Government in 48 Democracies (1945–98). Dordrecht: Kluwer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for European Studies and Comparative PoliticsSciences PoParisFrance

Personalised recommendations