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Real scrutiny or smoke and mirrors: the determinants and role of resolutions of national parliaments in European Union affairs

Hoerner, Julian (2017) Real scrutiny or smoke and mirrors: the determinants and role of resolutions of national parliaments in European Union affairs. European Union Politics, 18 (2). pp. 307-322. ISSN 1465-1165

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1465116516688803

Abstract

The role of national parliaments in scrutinising their governments in European Union affairs has been at the forefront of debates on democratic accountability in the European Union for the past two decades. Resolutions are the legislative instruments most clearly associated with government control. This article finds that party political strategies, and especially the different constraints and incentives for mainstream/government parties and issue entrepreneurs on Europe, are the most important factors determining the activity of national parliaments in the form of resolutions on European Union affairs. Issue entrepreneurs are parties which are Eurosceptic and for which Europe is salient. Motions initiated by issue entrepreneurs are numerous but limited to criticising the government and contain little technical detail, while the resolutions of mainstream government parties mostly support the government’s position. Resolutions and motions in European Union affairs are thus used rather as instruments of ‘position taking’ than as a form of government control, but could still help to foster accountability by bringing European Union issues and government policy to the citizens’ attention.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1465116516...
Additional Information: © 2017 The Author
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Sets: Departments > European Institute
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2017 15:46
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2020 02:24
Projects: 1096863
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/69464

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