The politics of adaptation: The Europeanisation of national parliamentary systems

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Parliamentary systems can be characterised by particular patterns of interaction between the executive, the majority parties and the opposition parties in parliament. The basic argument outlined in this paper is that in order to understand the impact of European integration on national parliamentary democracies we have to find out how these patterns are adjusted. The article starts by identifying the basic social mechanisms that drive the interaction of the mentioned groups of actors and by describing how they are modified in European multi-level governance. In this context, members of national parliaments are faced with a dilemma: Successful scrutiny can undermine the effectiveness of European governance whereas a permissive parliament causes a legitimacy deficit. Through case studies on the Europeanisation of the parliamentary systems in the UK, in Denmark and in Germany, the authors show how members of parliaments cope with this challenge and which strategies they apply to avoid the dilemma.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Political Science, University of Hagen

Publication date: October 1, 2005

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