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National parliaments and the European Union: part of the problem or part of the solution to the democratic deficit in the European constitutional settlement?

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European integration is as much an opportunity as a threat to national parliaments. The view that national parliaments have been the main losers in the process is not substantiated by empirical evidence. National parliaments have adapted their structures and procedures to keep pace with the increasing scope of integration. This process has included strengthening the constitutional powers of parliaments in some of the member states. The recognition in the Nice and Laeken declarations that national parliaments have an important role in enhancing the democratic legitimacy of the Union and the key provisions of the draft protocols on the role of national parliaments and subsidiarity adopted by the Convention on the Future of Europe will ensure that national parliaments have the opportunity and the means, if they so choose, to be closely involved in Union affairs. Constitutional change at the Union level is likely to trigger normative and procedural change in the member states.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2003


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