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“The European Parliament and National Parliaments: Irreconcilable Rivals, Possible Partners, or Just Dinosaurs?”

Neunreither, Karlheinz. (1999) “The European Parliament and National Parliaments: Irreconcilable Rivals, Possible Partners, or Just Dinosaurs?”. In: UNSPECIFIED, Pittsburgh, PA. (Unpublished)

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    This paper discusses the evolution of the European Parliament (EP) and the national parliaments (NPs) of the European Union during the last ten years. In this decade, the EP has achieved a substantial role in legislation and partially in influencing composition and policy formation of the Commission. Its constitutional role understood as launching far reaching ideas on the future of European integration has, in contrast, lost its profile. The NPs, on the other hand, went through a learning process which resulted in an increased awareness of the importance of the EU. They reacted via institutional adaptations in each parliament and an enhanced cooperation on EU level, now formally acknowledged by the Amsterdam Treaty. Both the EP and NPs concentrated on specific changes: the EP emerges as an institution which has come close to a role perception which it developed since the late eighties, that of a co-player in the present setup, somewhat trading in ideas and possible illusions against power-sharing in a real world. The NPs, by contrast, are still in search of their role; on their side the process remains more open. Cooperation between the two levels did, alas, not progress at an adequate rhythm. The paper uses categories of parliamentary functions as a heuristic tool. This results in the assessment that important functions are inadequately taken care of, including the relations with the citizens. Finally, looking at some critical research perspectives, one could ask the question whether parliaments, especially in governance beyond the nation state, still matter, or whether they are not just dinosaurs left over from another age.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > governance: EU & national level
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > institutional development/policy > general
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > European Parliament
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 1999 (6th), June 2-5, 1999
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2006
    Page Range: p. 24
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:22

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