National parliaments and European legislation: how scrutiny procedures have adapted and why

Bengtson, Christina (2006) National parliaments and European legislation: how scrutiny procedures have adapted and why. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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National parliaments have always been involved in the affairs of the European Union. They have debated and voted on joining the Community and have ratified the European treaties negotiated by their governments. On a more regular basis, national parliaments have also, to varying degrees, scrutinised European legislation and the European-level activities of their executives. Increasingly, it has been recognised that national parliaments underpin decisions taken at the European level by legitimising the actions of their executives.

As Europeanisation has progressed and the impact of European legislation has become more widely felt at the domestic level, national parliaments have found that their space to manoeuvre has shrunk. National parliaments have become part of a multi-level system of governance and can no longer, singularly, determine the parameters within which they operate.

The traditional model of undertaking scrutiny, with specialised European committees operating in isolation from the rest of parliament, is therefore no longer tenable. EU specialists are unable to provide the expertise on all areas covered by European integration and increasingly require the expertise found in other committees within national parliaments to perform their scrutiny adequately. Inter-parliamentary contacts have contributed to a better understanding of common parliamentary problems. Parliamentarians have become more aware of the challenges of Europeanisation and globalisation, but have also discovered ways to, collectively and individually, face these challenges.

National parliaments are likely to remain firmly anchored in the domestic level, maintaining their roles as legitimisers of national executives as well as expressions of national sovereignty. They can therefore also be expected to remain independent and autonomous institutions, determining their own activities and procedures. As a consequence, the impetus behind any move by national parliaments to further develop their influence over European (or global) decision-making and activities must come from within national parliaments themselves.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Supervisor's Name: Peterson, Dr. John
Date of Award: 2006
Depositing User: Geraldine Coyle
Unique ID: glathesis:2006-1041
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2009
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:31

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