Duina, Francesco. (2001) "The autonomy of national legislatures in the European Union and MERCOSUR". In: UNSPECIFIED, Madison, Wisconsin. (Unpublished)
The impact of the common markets, and the European Union in particular, on the policy-making, administrative, judiciary, and territorial autonomy of nation states is to date fairly well explored. Less explored, by contrast, is the impact of common markets on the legislature of nation states. This paper proposes that common markets produce supranational law that displaces national legislatures as the traditional legislative bodies of the nation state. The displacement, however, varies in intensity across legislative arenas. An analysis of the legislative output of the EU and MERCOSUR for the years 1958-1999 and 1991-1999 respectively (a total of over 1,800 relevant laws were coded) reveals an interesting pattern to this displacement. Intense displacement occurs above all in arenas directly and, due to spillover, indirectly related to the trade of physical goods. These include the environment, transportation, and public health. But in other arenas, including labor, capital, and services, states retain significant substantive and institutional integrity. The protectionist tendencies of states in these arenas, along with the geopolitical and commercial nature of common markets, probably explain such limitations. The implications of these findings for state strength in spheres other then legislation are discussed.
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