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The failure of national parliaments?

Judge, David (1995) The failure of national parliaments? West European Politics, 18 (3). pp. 79-100. ISSN 0140-2382

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Abstract

National parliaments are commonly held to have 'failed' in their dealings with European institutions and in their impact upon the Community's legislative process. This article provides a 'revisionist' analysis to challenge this 'orthodoxy'. First, national parliaments have provided the legitimating frame within which the development of the European Community has been able to take place. Second, there has been no absolute, inexorable decline in the influence exerted by national parliaments in the EC policy process. If anything, events since the signing of the Treaty on European Union in December 1991 suggest that national parliaments have bargained increased powers of scrutiny over EC legislation. Third, it needs to be noted that there is a 'dual democratic deficit' within the European Union. The problem of the 'democratic deficit' is evident not solely in the accretion of decision-making power at the European level, but also in the fact that national parliaments within their own states exert limited control over their own national executives.