Problems and Patterns in Parliamentary Scrutiny of the CFSP and CSDP
Abstract: The EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) occupy a unique space in EU governance. Both policies have some Brussels-based, supranational elements, yet their formally intergovernmental status shields them from the mechanisms that national parliaments can use to scrutinise EU legislation, especially after Lisbon. For this reason, parliamentary scrutiny of these policy areas has often received little attention, from both MPs and academic scholars. Drawing on qualitative research and semi-structured interviews conducted as part of the OPAL project, this paper provides an empirical overview of the state of CFSP/CSDP scrutiny in seven national parliaments, applying a three-pronged framework of ‘authority, ability and attitude’ in order to compare across diverse chambers with different practices and institutional cultures. The paper demonstrates the extent of variation across parliaments in terms of both formal powers and the informal practices of scrutiny, and suggests potential modifications to the ‘authority, ability, attitude’ triad that may enable future researchers to explain why this variation occurs.
OPAL Online Paper No. 14/2013