The resounding popular rejection in France and the Netherlands of the proposed
EU Constitutional Treaty has focused attention on the role played by national
parliaments in the process of European integration. Recognizing the need for
an in-depth critical analysis of the complex interrelations between national
parliaments and the European Union, this book draws on political science
research findings as well as concepts from European and comparative
constitutional law to bring the relevant issues and problems into bold relief.
Among the perspectives along which the presentation approaches the subject are
how the heterogeneous group of 25 national parliaments can be sensibly
addressed at EU level;
the ways in which the various parliaments are currently dealing with European
the idea of a third chamber of national parliamentarians at EU level;
accountability of the EU Commission to national parliaments; and
national parliaments as guardians of the principle of subsidiarity.
Although these perspectives clearly overlap, the author shows that it is
nonetheless helpful to consider them one by one, because individual assessment
of each element allows us to better evaluate what they eventually add up to.
As a result, the reader gains a much more grounded sense of how far we can
generalize about national parliaments, and of whether they can live up to the
expectations of those who believe they deserve a greater role in the European
This book is a landmark in the crucial endeavour that seeks to further the
legitimacy and transparency of EU action and the efficiency of EU
decisionmaking. As such it will be of immeasurable value to policymakers at
every level throughout Europe, as well as to academics.
Summary. Introduction. 1. National Parliaments in a European
Constitutional Perspective. 2. European Scrutiny in a Comparative
Perspective. 3. The Call for Sharper European Scrutiny. 4. The
Call for More Inter-Parliamentary Co-Operation. 5. The Call for a
Congress of Parliaments. 6. The Call for Commission Accountability to
the National Parliaments. 7. The National Parliaments as Guardians of
Subsidiarity. 8. The National Parliaments and the Locus of European
Parliamentarism. Conclusions. Bibliography. Index.