Executive-legislative relations and inter-parliamentary relations in federal systems: lessons for the European Union
Journal of European Public Policy
Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Reason for embargo
Publisher policy; 18 month embargo
This paper examines the claim that the fusion between executive and parliamentary majority (that marks parliamentary regimes and thus most EU member states) makes the development of a proactive collective role of national parliaments as a political force in the European multilevel system unlikely – irrespective of growing attempts to formally empower national parliaments. Conditions for inter-parliamentary activism – defined as joint parliamentary activities that aim at enhancing parliaments’ political influence or interests in a multilevel polity – are critically examined by a comparative study of the nature of inter-parliamentary activities in three federal systems whose constituent units are characterized by most different executive-legislative relations. In line with theoretical expectations, inter-parliamentary activism is strongest in the US (separation of powers) and non-existent in Canada (parliamentarism), with Switzerland located in between (separation of powers bridged by party ties). With the EU being most similar to Canada when it comes to executive- legislative relations, the findings support those skeptical towards national parliaments’ potential to jointly become a politically active player in the EU.
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