Diane Fromage, National parliaments fighting back? Institutional engineering as a successful means to become active actors in EU affairs, Perspectives on Federalism, 3/2016
The European integration process has long been characterised by the predominance of national executive powers. National parliaments were recognised as European actors after several decades only, in the Maastricht Treaty first and to an even larger extent in the Lisbon Treay. Parliaments were hence long dependent on national constitutional, legal and administrative arrangements to be able to participate in EU affairs. This paper analyses how national parliaments (and their members) have reacted to the challenge the European integration process has represented for them while it also takes due account of the role other institutions, such as constitutional courts, have played in this field. It is argued that while these arrangements may have been successful in allowing national parliaments to play a greater role in this field, they should remain temporary for they are characterised by uncertainty and instability and make it generally difficult for citizens to follow up on national parliaments’ actions and to be fully informed.