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Öl in die Flammen gießen? Politisierung von EU-Policy-Evaluation in nationalen Parlamenten

Hoerner, Julian (2019) Öl in die Flammen gießen? Politisierung von EU-Policy-Evaluation in nationalen Parlamenten. Politische Vierteljahresschrift, 60 (4). pp. 805-821. ISSN 0032-3470

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s11615-019-00213-6


Under which conditions does national parliamentary discourse politicise European Union (EU) policy evaluation? In times of multiple crises and uncertainty, the alleged ‘democratic deficitʼ of the EU, defined as an apparent lack of legitimacy, has regained scholarly and popular attention. The European Commission and academic commentators consider policy evaluation a specialised and targeted tool to improve the ‘output legitimacyʼ of the EU by assessing policy effectiveness and efficiency. While evaluation can strengthen output legitimacy directly via learning, evaluation can be particularly effective when it becomes part of the national communicative discourse on the EU. This discourse is most likely to take place in national parliaments, as they are the forums in which the government can be held to account. This paper relies on an automated content analysis of the share of keywords related to EU policy evaluation in debates in six national parliaments, covering a period of 20 years. The findings show that the combination of popular and party Euroscepticism is crucial in determining parliamentary debate on EU policy evaluation. Pro-European parties generally do not refer to policy evaluation. However, if political parties are critical of European integration, EU policy evaluation is mentioned more frequently. Under these conditions, members of parliaments also refer more frequently to EU policy evaluation as the public becomes more Eurosceptic. These findings suggest that EU policy evaluation is used as a tool for domestic political contestation, with potential negative normative implications for the output legitimacy of the EU and for evaluation as a tool for learning.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2019 The Author(s)
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2019 11:57
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:59

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