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Types of national parliamentary control of EU affairs: conceptualization, cases, and explanations

Jan Karlas
Charles University
Jan Karlas
Charles University
Open Panel

Abstract

This paper seeks to make three main contributions. First, it conceptualizes a qualitative typology of national parliamentary control of EU affairs. In this respect, it proceeds from a recent turn to qualitative typologies in political science (e.g. Bennett and George, Collier, Elman, Ragin). We draw on the dimensions recognized in the previous research on national parliaments and the EU (in particular on the following dimensions: functions, centralization, and influence). However, this previous research was primarily concerned with the quantitative measurement of the parliaments’ involvement and sorted them according to their ''strength'', while we are more interested in the qualitative types following from the dimensions'' combinations. Second, the paper applies the constructed typology to the cases of all the current 27 EU member states. In doing so, it relies on national legal documents (primarily constitutions and parliaments’ standing orders), regular COSAC reports (which go beyond the mere rules), some available data on the parliaments'' behavior, and secondary literature. This part of the paper provides answers to the paper’s central research questions: a) whether all the constructed types of control have a solid empirical representation, or one or two types dominate; b) how are different types distributed across the member states (i.e. whether there is any convergence among particular member states based on geographic, historical, or political grounds). Finally, the paper also provides a preliminary reflection on the possible necessary and sufficient conditions of the various types of national parliamentary control of EU affairs in the enlarged EU.