Online Papers on Parliamentary Democracy VI/2016

Parliamentary Oversight of European Security and Defence Policy:
A Matter of Formal Competences or the Will of Parliamentarians?


Aleksandra Maatsch and Patricio Galella



Are parliaments with strong formal powers for the deployment of troops likely to conduct more intensive oversight than their counterparts with weak or no powers? The literature suggests that strong formal powers delineate boundaries of parliamentary oversight. However, this article demonstrates that strong formal powers are not necessary for parliaments in order to conduct oversight. If parliaments with weak formal powers had strong incentives to carry out oversight of the EU NAVFOR Operation Atalanta, they did so by means of weakly-regulated forms of oversight. The article demonstrates that  oversight beyond mandatory procedures coincides with domestic politicisation of Operation Atalanta (national framing). However, if European or international frames were dominant, parliaments were more likely to limit their oversight to mandatory procedures. Cases selected for the analysis, namely Germany, UK, France, Spain and Luxembourg, vary on the two explanatory factors (strength of formal powers and domestic politicisation of the Operation).



Online Papers on Parliamentary Democracy VI/2016

ISBN: 978-94-91704-13-0



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