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The Treaty of Lisbon and the Future of European Law and Policy

The Treaty of Lisbon and the Future of European Law and Policy

Edited by Martin Trybus and Luca Rubini

This comprehensive and insightful book discusses in detail the many innovations and shortcomings of the historic Lisbon version of the Treaty on European Union and what is now called the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Chapter 3: ‘Collective’ Subsidiarity Monitoring by National Parliaments after Lisbon: The Operation of the Early Warning Mechanism

Adam Cygan

Subjects: law - academic, european law


Adam Cygan 1. INTRODUCTION The Treaty of Lisbon has included a number of substantive amendments designed to improve the participation of national parliaments in EU decision-making, the most important of which is the allocation of the task of subsidiarity monitoring. This development is intended to address concerns within national parliaments that they have hitherto been peripheral to EU decision-making and that EU legislation often lacks legitimacy amongst its citizens. Though national parliaments have been recognised within previous Treaties this recognition was limited to guaranteeing a minimum period within which they could individually review the Council’s draft common position within the ordinary legislative procedure. This domestic scrutiny was aimed at the national minister with the primary objective of influencing the minister prior to the final vote in Council which agreed the Council’s formal common position towards a legislative proposal. One weakness of these scrutiny arrangements was that because the activities of each national parliament were individual there was scope for inconsistency. Scrutiny activities varied across the Member States which lead to national parliaments being characterised as either ‘strong’ or ‘weak’ actors in respect to their EU oversight activities.1 Working Group IV of the 1 See, further, Goetz, K. and H. Meyer-Sahling (2008), ‘The Europeanisation of National Political Systems: Parliaments and Executives, Living Reviews in European Governance, 3 (2), available at–2 (accessed 15 February 2010). They suggest that ‘weak’ parliaments are those where there is a 55 Columns Design XML Ltd / Job: Trybus-Treaty_Lisbon_and_Future_of...

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