Parliamentary Cooperation and Diplomacy in EU External Relations
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Parliamentary Cooperation and Diplomacy in EU External Relations

An Essential Companion

Edited by Kolja Raube, Meltem Müftüler-Baç and Jan Wouters

In today’s increasingly complex and interdependent world, the role of parliaments in external affairs remains a relatively under explored topic of research. The multiple patterns of global governance are mostly dominated by the executive branches of government, with parliaments relegated to the sidelines. This insightful book aims to challenge this dominant perspective and demonstrate the increased networking of parliaments both within the EU and with external actors outside the EU. It not only sheds light on EU parliamentary cooperation and networking, but also reveals the growing scope and role of parliamentary scrutiny, control and conflict mediation.
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Chapter 6: How can interparliamentary cooperation contribute to the legitimacy of the EU as an international actor?

Christopher Lord


This chapter discusses interparliamentary cooperation among European Union member states’ parliaments as a means to coordinate and justify the Union’s external actions by allowing for debate between the European Parliament and national parliaments. The Treaty of Lisbon calls for EU institutions to facilitate the organization of national parliaments in interparliamentary conferences on specific topics, with particular attention to the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and areas of security and defence. The chapter argues that these conferences can justify EU external action as a means of securing rights, core values and solutions to collective action problems, all in ways that are, in turn, subject to procedural standards of public control with political equality and justification. It also shows where interparliamentary cooperation can improve on other forms of parliamentary participation in the Union’s external actions, and, indeed, on forms of policy coordination limited to executive actors.

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