The Role of National Parliaments in European Decision-Making

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Series Details No.1, 2009, p19-26
Publication Date 2009
ISSN 1025-6253
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National parliaments can be considered as victims of the European integration process. National parliaments ceded legislative powers to the EU and often lost leverage over their national executive branch, which continued to play a central role in EU decision-making. Different domestic parliamentary scrutiny systems have been established to enhance parliamentary involvement and control over EU affairs.

In 2006 the Barroso Commission provided an additional impetus for parliaments to get involved, by offering to transmit its policy proposals directly to
national parliaments with an open invitation to comment on them.

The Lisbon Treaty foresees the possibility that national parliaments carry out subsidiarity checks on policy proposals. This paper argues that the different national and European provisions for parliamentary involvement
do not amount to much. However, if we consider the combined effect of the different avenues in a dynamic perspective, they might jointly trigger a reassertion of national parliamentary influence in the European policy process.

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