OPAL Online Paper No. 8/2012

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Out of time? – National parliaments and early decision making in the European Union


Mads Dagnis Jensen & Dorte Sindbjerg Martinsen


Abstract: Co-decisions between the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament are increasingly adopted as early agreements. Recent EU studies have pinpointed how this informal turn in EU governance has altered the existing balance of power between EU actors and within EU institutions. However, the implications of accelerated EU decision-making are expected to have repercussions beyond the EU system and among other institutions impinge on the role of national parliaments. This study examines the implications of an alteration of EU political time on national parliaments’ ability to scrutinize their executives in EU affairs. A mixed method approach has been applied. This strategy combines survey data on national parliaments’ scrutiny process and response to early agreements for EU-261 with case study examination of national parliaments in Denmark, United Kingdom and Germany. Theoretically, the burgeoning research agenda on EU time-scapes is applied. This study finds that the clock of national parliaments are out of time with the EU decision mode of early agreements which severely hampers their ability to scrutinize national governments.


OPAL Online Paper No. 8/2012
ISBN: 978-90-818813-7-1


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