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See detailRegional Parliaments in the EU Multilevel Parliamentary System
Bursens, Peter; Högenauer, Anna-Lena UL

in Journal of Legislative Studies (2017), 23(2),

European integration has created a multilevel political system that is dominated by executive actors. Despite the increasing competences of the European Parliament, a growing EU-awareness of national ... [more ▼]

European integration has created a multilevel political system that is dominated by executive actors. Despite the increasing competences of the European Parliament, a growing EU-awareness of national assemblies and an emerging attention of regional parliaments for EU affairs, the EU polity still lacks a sound parliamentary representation. As the EU presents itself as a representative democracy, the current set-up raises questions from the perspective of democratic legitimacy. The establishment of multilevel parliamentarianism may be part of the remedy. This introduction focuses on the position that regional parliaments take in such a European multilevel parliamentary system. The authors address three relevant questions: what roles do regional parliaments take up in terms of legislation, scrutiny and networking? To what extent are they empowered by the Lisbon Treaty? And what explains the variation in their activities? The authors develop hypotheses that are, to varying degree, addressed by the contributions in this special issue. [less ▲]

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See detailConclusion: regional parliaments – a distinct role in the EU?
Högenauer, Anna-Lena UL; Abels, Gabriele

in Journal of Legislative Studies (2017), 23(2),

Regional parliaments can shape EU policy-making via a range of domestic and European channels. In the context of a renewed interest in the subnational level, this article aims to address three core ... [more ▼]

Regional parliaments can shape EU policy-making via a range of domestic and European channels. In the context of a renewed interest in the subnational level, this article aims to address three core questions: have regional parliaments really been empowered by the early warning system provisions? Which factors explain differences in strength and mobilisation? Finally, what kind of a role do regional parliaments play in EU policy-making today, now that they have had several years to react to the trend towards multilevel parliamentarism? The authors argue that regional parliaments do indeed have the potential to contribute a distinct perspective to EU policy-making, even if their current level of activity is still low. Their distinctive territorial focus sets them apart from national parliaments. Their level of activity still varies greatly between parliaments depending on a number of factors. [less ▲]

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See detailRegional Parliaments: Effective Actors in EU Policy-Making?
Abels, Gabriele; Högenauer, Anna-Lena UL

in Journal of Legislative Studies (2017), 23(2),

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See detailRegional Parliaments Questioning EU Affairs
Högenauer, Anna-Lena UL

in Journal of Legislative Studies (2017), 23(2),

Since the Treaty of Lisbon, the desire of parliaments to adapt to their new powers has led to a new wave of Europeanization (Hefftler et al. 2015). However, the Early Warning System (EWS) and the ... [more ▼]

Since the Treaty of Lisbon, the desire of parliaments to adapt to their new powers has led to a new wave of Europeanization (Hefftler et al. 2015). However, the Early Warning System (EWS) and the Political Dialogue with the Commission only constitute one small part of parliamentary scrutiny for regional parliaments, which still largely rely on traditional tools such as mandates, debates and questions. Therefore, this paper studies a traditional mechanism of scrutiny, parliamentary questions, in order to understand the degree of Europeanization of regional parliaments and their interest in different parliamentary functions more fully. The study shows that the Europeanization of traditional scrutiny mechanisms is progressing slowly, but also that the proportion of MPs who ask EU-related questions is now relatively high. The vast majority of these MPs are not members of the European Affairs Committee. The main functions of parliamentary questions are a representative function and information function. Finally, the focus and content of parliamentary questions show that regional parliaments do indeed have a distinctive territorial approach to EU affairs. [less ▲]

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See detailAn information network of officials? Dissecting the role and nature of the network of parliamentary representatives in the European Parliament
Neuhold, Christine; Högenauer, Anna-Lena UL

in Journal of Legislative Studies (2016)

Enhancing the role of national parliaments in the European Union’s decision-making process has for some time been a popular way in which policy-makers have sought to address legitimacy problems in the ... [more ▼]

Enhancing the role of national parliaments in the European Union’s decision-making process has for some time been a popular way in which policy-makers have sought to address legitimacy problems in the European Union, the Early Warning Mechanism being only one example. In response to these developments, an increasing number of scholars have addressed the question of how parliaments make use of these powers in practice. An important dimension of the process – the role of parliamentary officials in parliamentary scrutiny and control – has so far been neglected in the literature. Against this background, this article examines the role of the representatives of national parliaments in the European Parliament with the aim of understanding the role and the nature of this ‘bureaucratic network’. While falling short of an epistemic community, these officials play an important role in enabling parliamentary scrutiny through the dissemination of information. [less ▲]

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