OPAL Online Paper No. 15/2013

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Political Motivation and Institutional Capacity: Assessing National Parliaments’ Incentives to Participate in the Early Warning System


Katjana Gattermann & Claudia Hefftler


Abstract: The Early Warning System gives national parliaments the right to intervene in European Union policy-making. This paper systematically investigates their incentives to submit reasoned opinions on subsidiarity infringements. To do so, it analyses the reactions of 40 parliamentary chambers to 342 draft legislative acts between 1 January 2010 and 31 May 2013 by ReLogit models (King and Zeng 1999a, 1999b). The paper finds that their political motivation rather than their institutional capacity explains cross-chamber and inter-temporal variation. Higher levels of party political contestation over EU integration and the salience of a draft legislative act have a positive effect on the odds of submitting reasoned opinions. Furthermore, economic recession has a negative effect, while chambers under a minority government are more active. However, the paper also finds that sectoral committees play an important role in the review process. The findings are discussed with reference to the role of national parliaments in EU democracy.


OPAL Online Paper No. 15/2013
ISBN: 978-94-91704-05-5


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