ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Back to Paper Details

Differential Control: Role conceptions and the parliamentary scrutiny of EU policies in Germany, Sweden and Hungary

Jonas Buche
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
Jonas Buche
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
Aron Buzogany
Freie Universität Berlin
Sabine Kropp
Freie Universität Berlin
Open Panel

Abstract

Despite some innovations in the Lisbon Treaty allegedly strengthening the rights of parliaments, legislative control of national executives in the multi-level system of the EU remains difficult to achieve. Many studies have highlighted the weakening of national parliaments and the rising importance of bureaucratic actors. At the same time there is also ample evidence of regional, national and sectoral differences in how legislatives and executives cope with the challenges of EU integration domestically and make their voices heard on the European level. Studies focusing on formal and informal strategies employed by parliamentary actors in order to scrutinize their executive highlight the strengthening of formal control mechanisms of parliaments but also the behind-the-scenes usage of (party) political interference over the bureaucracy. Using a different perspective, research on national bureaucracies in multi-level governance has pointed to the institutional needs to enhance coordination of national and EU-level policy-making and defend bureaucratic autonomy. Using both perspectives, our paper presents findings from a comparative study of executive-legislative relations in Germany, Sweden and Hungary. Thus, while most studies dealing with parliamentary control focus on strategies employed by legislative actors, the main added value of the paper is that it systematically includes also the views of the ministerial bureaucracy. Based on qualitative interviews with national-level MPs and their counterparts in ministerial bureaucracy, the paper tests several hypotheses regarding the Europeanization of domestic level policy-making. We find that differences in role conceptions of parliamentarians and bureaucrats as well as sectoral differences are important factors explaining variance in controlling and influencing EU policy-making.