National parliaments in an integrated Europe. An Anglo-German perspective

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Publication Date 2001
ISBN 90-411-1629-X
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Book abstract:

Will the European Parliament smother the national parliaments? Does the direct route to European law offer new opportunities for regionalism or an increased threat as state parliaments seek to protect their sovereignty? Only if the parliaments of Member States lack the political will to prevent an erosion of democracy, argues Adam Jan Cygan.

This volume seeks to provide an analysis of the participation by domestic legislatures in the policy making and legislative processes of the European Union. Organised in four parts, part one addresses the position of national parliaments in the European Union and analyses the operation of the principle of subsidiarity and its role in determining the most appropriate level of governance for legislation. Part Two compares the procedures in the United Kingdom Parliament and the German Bundestag in promoting accountability of government ministers for decisions taken in the Council of Ministers as part of an overall scrutiny strategy. The development of regionalism in the United Kingdom and the federalist system employed in Germany is explored in part three which highlights the strengths gained in Germany for the Lander through the written constitution. How the two systems play out their role in European matters illustrates these differences further. What future role national parliaments have in the European Union and the extent to which regionalism has become increasingly important in European Union policy making are considered in the concluding Part Four, which also addresses the opportunities for the two systems to learn from each other and improve scrutiny procedures at all levels of governance.

The work will interest researchers, legislators, policy makers, government officials, scholars and students of international law, comparative politics and European Studies.

Adam Jan Cygan is with the University of Leicester.

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