After Lisbon: National Parliaments in the European Union

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Series Details Vol.38, No.2, March 2015, p261-281
Publication Date March 2015
ISSN 0140-2382
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The role of national parliaments in EU matters has become an important subject in the debate over the democratic legitimacy of European Union decision-making. Strengthening parliamentary scrutiny and participation rights at both the domestic and the European level is often seen as an effective measure to address the perceived ‘democratic deficit’ of the EU – the reason for affording them a prominent place in the newly introduced ‘Provisions on Democratic Principles’ of the Union (in particular Article 12 TEU). Whether this aim can be met, however, depends crucially on the degree and the manner in which national parliaments actually make use of their institutional rights. This volume therefore aims at providing a comprehensive overview of the activities of national parliaments in the post-Lisbon era. This includes the ‘classic’ scrutiny of EU legislation, but also parliamentary involvement in EU foreign policy, the use of new parliamentary participation rights of the Lisbon Treaty (Early Warning System), their role regarding the EU’s response to the eurozone crisis and the, so far under-researched, role of parliamentary administrators in scrutiny processes. This introduction provides the guiding theoretical framework for the contributions. Based on neo-institutionalist approaches, it discusses institutional capacities and political motivation as the two key explanatory factors in the analysis of parliamentary involvement in EU affairs.

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