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Opis

SUBNATIONAL OR REGIONAL PARLIAMENTS with legislative competences are increasingly active in EU affairs and are recognized as POTENTIAL ACTORS IN THE EU'S MULTI-LEVEL SYSTEM BY EU LAW. However, studies on the territorial effects of European integration and on the Europeanization of parliaments as well as parliamentarism have so far disregarded this group of parliaments. In the existing theoretical concepts of 'multi-level parliamentarism' subnational parliaments do not have a place until now. The book addresses this theoretical and empirical gap. Referring TO STUDIES ON PARLIAMENTARISM, FEDERALISM, AND EUROPEANIZATION the contributions discuss how to include subnational parliaments in the existing research. A total of 74 subnational parliaments from eight member states is affected by the new system, which allows them to participate in the so-called Early Warning Mechanism of subsidiarity control. The situation in six EU member states is analyzed in detail. The country chapters illustrate and analyze how subnational parliaments in the federal member states (Austria, Belgium, Germany) and in the decentralized/devolved ones (Great Britain, Italy, Spain) functionally adapt to the new opportunity structure and discuss the repercussions on legislative-executive relations as well as on interparliamentary relations. With contributions from Gabriele Abels; Katrin Auel and Martin Große Hüttman; Peter Bursens, Frederic Maes and Matthias Vileyn; Peter Bußjäger; Josep-María Castellà Andreu and Mario Kölling; Ben Crum, Annegret Eppler; John Erik Fossum; Anna-Lena Högenauer; Sabine Kropp; Robert Ladrech; Erik Miklin; Matteo Nicolini; Werner J. Patzelt; Tapio Raunio; Werner Reutter; Gerhard Stahl and Bert Kuby; Gracia Vara Arribas.

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Impressum

© 2016 by Studienverlag Ges.m.b.H., Erlerstraße 10, A-6020 Innsbruck

E-Mail: [email protected]

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ISBN ISBN 978-3-7065-5813-6

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This book can also be purchased as printed edition with high-quality equipment in your bookstore or directly via www.studienverlag.at.

Gabriele Abels /Annegret Eppler (Eds.)

Subnational Parliaments in the EU Multi-Level Parliamentary System12

Taking Stock of the Post-Lisbon Era

Inhaltsverzeichnis
Cover
Impressum
Titel
Prefaces
Subnational Parliaments and EU Integration
Opening Up a New Research Field – Preface
Engaging in ‘Subnational Parliaments in the EU System’ – Starting Point and Formation of this Book
List of Abbreviations
Introduction
Gabriele Abels
Subnational Parliaments as ‘Latecomers’ in the EU Multi-Level Parliamentary System – Introduction
1. Introduction1
2. Subnational parliaments in the Post-Lisbon Era: empirical observations
2.1 The new instrument of subsidiarity monitoring
2.2 Subsidiarity monitoring – an incentive for subnational parliaments
3. Analysing subnational parliaments in the EU polity: theoretical challenges
3.1 Studies on parliaments and parliamentarization of the EU polity15
3.2 Europeanization studies
3.3 Studies on federalism and regionalisation
4. Building a federal European polity bottom-up: Democratizing effects of the subnational level?
5. Contributions in this volume19
References
Subnational Parliaments in the Multi-Level System of the EU: Conceptual Issues and Research Perspectives
Ben Crum
The Emergence of an EU ‘Multilevel Parliamentary Field’ – Is there a Role for Subnational Parliaments?
1. Introduction
2. What is the ‘Multilevel Parliamentary Field’ in the EU and what purpose does it serve?
2.1 The fragmentation of parliamentary sovereignty in the EU
2.2 The ‘Multilevel Parliamentary Field’ in the European Union
2.3 Parliamentary field versus democratic federalism
3. Can the ‘Multilevel Parliamentary Field’ be extended to regional parliaments?
3.1 Pro’s and con’s of extending the ‘Multilevel Parliamentary Field’
3.2 Applying the ‘demos-test’
4. Conclusion
References
Robert Ladrech
Europeanization and Subnational Parliaments – A Research Perspective
1. Introduction
2. What explains the absence of comparative Europeanization research on subnational parliaments?
3. Comparative Europeanization research and subnational parliaments: some basic elements of an approach
3.1 Institutional change and subnational parliaments
3.2 Regional executive and subnational parliament relations
3.3 Subnational parliamentary relations, within member states, across member states, and with the EU
3.4 Party politics and subnational parliaments
4. Conclusion
References
Sabine Kropp
Federalism and Subnational Parliaments – A Delicate Relationship?
1. Federalism and democracy – corresponding or conflicting principles?
2. Subnational parliaments in federations: fighting their last stand?
3. Remedies and their limits
4. Conclusions
References
Subnational Parliaments and their National and European Environment
Tapio Raunio
National Parliaments – Gatekeepers for Subnational Parliaments?
1. Introduction
2. The friends and foes of subnational parliaments
3. Data and analysis
3.1 European Convention
3.2 COSAC
4. Conclusion
References
Gracia Vara Arribas
The Early Warning System in Motion – Comparing Different Practices in Subnational Parliaments
1. Introduction
2. Regional demands during the design of the Early Warning System
3. The operational conditions of the Early Warning System from a regional perspective
4. Four years of institutional positioning and parliamentary adaptation
4.1 Subsidiarity control by the European Commission is a long standing practice, well developed by its services38
4.2 The scope of the EWS is limited to subsidiarity scrutiny (and not proportionality) and to legislative acts (excluding the non-legislative acts)
4.3 The time limit for the analysis is very short, and therefore it is necessarily shorter for the majority of the regional parliaments
4.4 Consultation of regional parliaments is being done only if the national parliament considers it ‘appropriate’. If consulted, it would be for the national parliaments to decide whether or not to finally issue a reasoned opinion, and how to present (or not) the contributions from the regional parliaments
4.5 If issued, the thresholds to reach the necessary majorities are very high. If the threshold would be reached, it would be for the European Commission to decide whether to maintain the proposal or not
5. Centralization vs. decentralization of the European scrutiny within regional parliaments and networks for cooperation
6. Methods of scrutiny – relations with the executives, access to information and time limits
7. Conclusions
References
Gerhard Stahl and Bert Kuby
The Growing Role and Responsibility of Parliaments in European Integration and Economic Governance – A View from the Committee of the Regions
1. Introduction
2. The increasing role of national parliaments and the Subsidiarity Early Warning Mechanism
3. The evolving role of regional parliaments after Lisbon and the mandate of the Committee of the Regions
4. The involvement of national and regional parliaments in European economic and fiscal policy coordination and in the Europe 2020 Strategy
5. Conclusions and perspectives
References
Subnational Parliaments as Political Actors in EU Affairs: Case Studies of Federal States
Eric Miklin
Towards a More Active Role in EU Affairs – Austrian State Parliaments after Lisbon
1. Introduction
2. Regional parliaments in the Austrian federal system
2.1 Federalism in Austria
2.2 Federalism and the Austrian ‘Landtage’
3. State parliaments and EU affairs before Lisbon
3.1 Powerful state governments
3.2 Weak state parliaments
4. Austrian state parliaments after Lisbon
4.1 Institutional adaptations
4.2 More active state parliaments?
5. State parliaments as actors in the multi-level system
6. Conclusion
References
Interviews
Peter Bursens, Frederic Maes and Matthias Vileyn
Belgian Regional Assemblies in EU Policy-making – The More Parliaments, the Less Participation in EU Affairs?
1. Introduction: Democratic legitimacy through multi-level parliamentarism
2. Opportunities and constraints for regional parliaments in the EU
3. The position of Belgian subnational parliaments as representative bodies
4. Belgian subnational parliaments scrutinizing EU affairs
4.1 Scrutiny of EU policies by EU Affairs Committees
4.2 The Early Warning Mechanism
5. Belgian subnational parliaments as actors in a multi-level system
5.1 Cooperation among Belgian regional parliaments
5.2 Belgian regional parliaments and the Belgian federal parliament
5.3 Belgian regional parliaments and the EU level
5.4 Belgian regional parliaments and other European regional parliaments
5.5 Belgian regional parliaments and national parliaments from other EU member states
6. Conclusion
References
Gabriele Abels
No Longer Losers – Reforming the German Länder Parliaments in EU Affairs
1. Introduction76
2. German-style federalism in EU affairs
2.1 The Bundesrat – a strong ‘second chamber’ in EU affairs…
2.2 … and weak parliaments in the Länder
3. The development of Länder parliamentary functions in EU affairs
3.1 The development until the Lisbon Treaty
3.2 Reforms of the post-Lisbon era
3.2.1 Reforms of legal and other regulations
3.2.2 Reforms of parliamentary administrations
3.2.3 Growing awareness of MPs for EU affairs
4. Subnational parliaments as actors in a multi-level system
5. Conclusions
References
Werner Reutter
The Quandary of Representation in Multilevel Systems and German Land Parliaments
1. Introduction
2. Land parliaments, democracy, and representation in multilevel systems
3. ‘Standing for’ – German Land parliaments and ‘descriptive representation’
4. ‘Acting for’ – Land parliaments, representing citizens, and European integration
5. Land parliaments and intertwined parliamentarism
References
Subnational Parliaments as Political Actors in EU Affairs: Case Studies of Devolved and Regionalized States
Matteo Nicolini
The New Italian Framework for Regional Involvement in EU Affairs – Much Ado and Little Outcomes
1. EU and Regions: a brief sketch of the Italian constitutional regional framework
2. Italian subnational legislatures: national and European perspectives
2.1 Shaping legislative councils’ participation: the distribution of governmental powers
2.2 ‘Competences’ and ‘participation’: the provisions affecting regional involvement
3. Italian regional legislatures: actors in European affairs?
3.1 Participation and national constitution: The ‘Europeanization’ of regional powers
3.2 Preserving regional powers: making subsidiarity justiciable?
4. Reforming regional participatory mechanisms in the aftermath of the Lisbon Treaty
4.1 How Italian regional legislatures participate in the Early Warning Mechanism
4.2 Regional frame of government and EU decision-making process
4.3 Constitutional foundations of regional involvement in EU affairs
5. Are regional legislatures actors in the EU multi-level system?
5.1 Much ado (and participatory mechanisms)…
5.2 … and little outcomes (and some concluding remarks)
References
Anna-Lena Högenauer
The Scottish Parliament – Active Player in a Multilevel European Union?
1. Introduction: A new impetus for regional parliaments?
2. Scotland and the EU after devolution
2.1 Scotland’s role in EU affairs
2.2 The competences of the Scottish parliament in EU affairs
3. EU scrutiny after Lisbon
3.1 The impact of the Lisbon Treaty
3.2 EU affairs beyond the Early Warning Mechanism
4. The Scottish parliament in the multi-level system
5. Conclusion: The Scottish parliament – active player in EU affairs?
References
Josep-Maria Castellà Andreu and Mario Kölling
Asymmetrical Involvement of Spanish Autonomous Parliaments in EU Affairs
1. Introduction93
2. The role of the Autonomous Communities in European affairs
3. The role of regional parliaments in the Early Warning Mechanism
3.1 The national parliament as gatekeeper
3.2 Heterogeneous subnational parliamentarian procedures
3.3 Asymmetries in subnational parliamentary participation: between hyperactivity and apathy
4. Critical discussion of the involvement of autonomous parliaments in EU affairs
5. Conclusions
References
Legal sources
National and Transnational Cooperation of Subnational Parliaments
Annegret Eppler
Interparliamentary Relations of Subnational Parliaments – Delayed or Different?
1. Introduction
2. The juridical perspective
3. The theoretical framework
3.1 National parliaments in EU ‘multi-level governance’ (Benz and Auel)
3.2 ‘Multi-level parliamentarism’ (Maurer)
3.3 ‘Multilevel Parliamentary Field’ (Crum and Fossum)
3.4 ‘Multilevel Representative Democracy’ (Benz)
3.5 Interim conclusion
4. Empirical findings in Germany
4.1 Speakers and presidents
4.2 Committees
4.3 Individual Members of Parliament
4.4 Parliamentary administrations
4.5 Electronic networks
4.6 Interim conclusion
5. Conclusion: latecomers or different?
References
Peter Bußjäger
The Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies – An Effective Network for Regional Parliaments?
1. Introduction
2. The structural weakness of subnational parliaments in the EU system
3. Existing organisations relating to regional issues on European level and organisations representing regions
3.1 European level
3.2 Organisations of regions
4. What is CALRE?
4.1 History
4.2 Objectives, structure and organisation
4.3 CALRE declarations
5. Structural problems of CALRE
6. Outlook
References
Assessing the Role of Subnational Parliaments in the EU Multi-Level Parliamentary System
Werner J. Patzelt
Changing Parliamentary Roles – What Does this Mean for Subnational Parliaments and European Integration?
1. Some sceptical questions
2. Roles and institutional evolution
3. Avenues of European influence for subnational parliaments
3.1 The ‘Early Warning System’ of subsidiarity control
3.2 The Committee of the Regions
3.3 Policy-making in a ‘multi-level parliamentary field’
3.4 Exerting issue-specific influence on one’s government
4. Why have (sub-)national parliaments so little influence on EU decision-making?
5. The role of subnational parliaments in the EU
References
Katrin Auel and Martin Große Hüttmann
A Life in the Shadow? Regional Parliaments in the EU
1. Introduction116
2. A role in EU politics?
3. Subnational parliaments in the Multilevel Parliamentary Field
4. Conclusion and avenues for further research
References
John Erik Fossum
Reflections on the Role of Subnational Parliaments in the European Multilevel Parliamentary Field
1. Introduction
2. Subnational regions and parliaments in Europe
3. Hallmarks of the European regional level: Status differences, huge patterns of differentiation, and different regional strategies
4. Sub-national parliaments and the EU’s multilevel parliamentary field
5. Concluding reflections on democratic implications
References
List of Contributors
Fußnoten

Foster Europe – International Studies Series

Volume 3

Series Editor: Stefan August Lütgenau

Foster Europe, Foundation for strong European Regions is an independent, non partisan, private, and charitable Austrian foundation to further regional decentralization, federalism and rural development in Europe. While working in a pan-­European framework, Foster Europe has its main emphasis in the area of Central and Eastern Europe.

Founded in 2009 in Eisenstadt, Austria, by a group of dedicated people Foster Europe’s purpose is to enhance knowledge, debate and research on regionalism, federalism and rural development, to broach new topics of European relevance and to forge international and interdisciplinary exchange among scholars, intellectuals, practitioners, and institutions.

Foster Europe offers its International Studies Series, continued in irregular intervals, as a token of its aim to launch a new culture of dialogue and discussion in Europe on key questions of importance for the European regions and rural areas.

Prefaces

Subnational Parliaments and EU Integration

Foster Europe, Foundation for strong European Regions was inaugurated in 2009 to ‘further regional decentralisation, rural development and federalism in Europe [and] to enhance knowledge, debate and research on regionalism, [and] federalism [in Europe]’.

This is why Foster Europe was delighted when the idea arose to hold a conference on Subnational Parliaments in the EU Multi-level Parliamentary System: Taking Stock of the Post-Lisbon Era in the Esterházy Palace in Eisenstadt.

Gabriele Abels and Annegret Eppler developed an impressing programme reaching out to encompass the issue in question in the widest possible way. While the academic steering was in the hands of Ms. Abels and Ms. Eppler, the conference in Eisenstadt was embedded in a network of cooperation with partners from Spain, Italy, Austria and Germany that proved to be highly efficient and capable to push European research on the topic ahead.

Foster Europe was pleased to host the conference in the Esterházy Palace in Eisenstadt and we are pleased to see the impressive conference volume comprising European excellence in scholarship published as volume 3 of the Foster Europe International Studies Series.

This volume is contributing to close a gap in the discourse on European integration and its actors that has for too long underestimated the role and the contribution of parliaments on subnational level in the EU processes. An element of increasing importance in the multi-level governance structure of the European Union will be added to the discourses in federal and integration and parliamentarism studies in Europe.

While parliaments and governments on the national level as well as governments on the subnational level are well researched, this conference volume may spearhead the discourse on subnational parliaments in their role as EU actor. The thorough theoretical discussion of the topic as well as a self-critical research analysis will be extremely valuable for research and teaching federal and regional studies.

All countries analysed in this volume are representative democracies embedded in the multi-level system of the European Union. An intense internal debate on developing the national democratic system within the EU-framework is common to most of the countries case-studied here. Therefore the question if subnational parliaments qualify to improve the democratic legitimacy of the EU multi-level system is a key question to further develop a democratic integrative vison in the European Union.

I would like to thank Gabriele Abels and Annegret Eppler for conceptualisation of the project, and making the conference in Eisenstadt possible. The editors guided the publication to a fruitful result. This was only possible by investing enormous personal resources, a continuous dedication to the topic and providing support from the Jean-Monet-Chair funds available to Gabriele Abels.

Scholarly debate and research on European topics can be fruitful only if pursed in a pan-European framework of cooperation. Therefore I have to thank the partners mentioned that contributed to the conference, the volume and who supported the entire process with endurance and confidence. I owe thanks to the Institute for Studies on Federalism and Regionalism at the European Academy of Bozen/Bolzano, Italy, the Fundación Manuel Giménez Abad de Estudios Parlamentarios y del Estado Autonómico, Zaragoza, Spain, the Institut für Föderalismus in Innsbruck, Austria, and the European Centre for Research on Federalism (ECRF) from Tübingen, Germany.

As always this volume has benefited from the competent patient and restless care given by Petra Möderle and the Studienverlag in Innsbruck. The entire team of contributors and editors is very thankful for this.

Foster Europe regards its collaboration in as well as its contribution to this joint European research and publication project as a token and pledge for its sustained effort to further and develop federalism in Europe.

Eisenstadt, April 2015

Stefan August Lütgenau

Director, Foster Europe

Opening Up a New Research Field – Preface

From 6 to 9 November 2012 the editors of this volume organized a four-day workshop in the beautiful Esterházy Palace in Eisenstadt, Austria. The objective of this international workshop was to analyze and assess the role subnational parliaments play in the EU multi-level parliamentary system. Thereby, this workshop aimed to continue previous work by the editors on the development of multi-level parliamentarism and to round this work off by focusing on the widely neglected regional dimension. The workshop was a vivid intellectual exchange between outstanding experts and also practitioners from the fields of federalism, parliamentarism and Europeanization studies. The majority of contributions to this very fruitful workshop are presented in this volume. The paper by Tapio Raunio, which he presented at the University of Tübingen in February 2013, was added to this collection. We are deeply grateful to all workshop presenters and authors for their contributions – and for their patience with this book project, which took (as always) longer than expected.

Furthermore, we are most grateful to Foster Europe, Foundation for Strong European Regions and especially to its director Mag. Stefan August Lütgenau for the munificent support of the Foundation. He and his foundation provided us with a very inspiring environment, with the famous Austrian hospitality that certainly contributed to the great success of the workshop and to a very warm and enjoyable atmosphere, and with generous support for this book project.

We also want to extend our deep gratitude to the co-organizers of this workshop, all of them outstanding organizations and experts in the field of federalism and/or parliaments, i.e., the Institute for Research on Federalism Innsbruck, Austria; the Institute for Studies on Federalism and Regionalism at the European Academy of Bolzen/Bolzano, Italy; the Fundación Manuel Giménez Abad de Estudios Parlamentarios y del Estado Autonómico, Zaragoza, Spain; and the European Centre for Research on Federalism (ECRF) from Tübingen, Germany.

We also wish to thank the European Commission for its support. The workshop funding was made possible by the Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme as part of my Jean Monnet Chair work programme (Grant No. 2011–3041).

Finally, a big note of thanks goes to my ‘backup team’ of research assistants, especially Simone Mittl and Frieder Oesterle as well as Larissa Rohr for their copy-editing support, as well as to Alexander Kobusch for his technical support.

Tübingen, March 2015

Gabriele Abels

Engaging in ‘Subnational Parliaments in the EU System’ – Starting Point and Formation of this Book

The theoretical site of European integration research often follows upon the empirical puzzles created by the European integration. List’s (1999) statement about the theories of European integration also applies for this publication: Essential for the first interaction with the topic ‘subnational parliaments in the EU system’ were questions raised by several German state parliaments (Landtage) to the editors of this volume. Specifically, the question which political and legal conditions after the commencement of the Lisbon Treaty and the Lisbon verdict of the German Constitutional Court, that strengthened the role of the Bundestag in EU matters, spoke for or against a greater involvement of the German Landtage in EU affairs.

Whatever answers came up in the practical work, it became apparent that within the field of political science, the European role of the German Landtage has only very rarely been covered. Similarly, only little information and even less scientific studies about the European role of subnational parliaments in other European states has been available. The editors decided to try to close that gap and now the authors of this volume suggest possible theoretical frameworks for the political scientific research on subnational parliaments and draw upon empirical studies about the European work of subnational parliaments in six EU member states. The empirical studies were developed on the basis of an identical catalogue of central questions.

Important preparatory groundwork for the book was done at a conference in Eisenstadt, Austria, where proven experts in the research of Parliamentarism, Federalism and Europeanization were brought together to discuss their contributions. Distinguished experts on national parliaments and specific federal and regional systems respectively, kindly engaged themselves in the uncharted territory of the topic ‘subnational parliaments in EU matters’. In the course of the discussion, that was, thanks to the engagement of the ‘Foster Europe’ foundation, held in a very pleasant and stimulating atmosphere, it became apparent that the political role of subnational parliaments in the European context differs widely across EU states. Moreover, the opinions about whether a strengthening of subnational parliaments in the European Union is possible and desirable were similarly diverse, which is why ‘subnational parliaments in the European Union’ developed into a quite controversial topic during the conference.

The conference, as well as the book, would not have been possible without the exceptional and ongoing commitment and the Jean-Monnet-Funds provided by Gabriele Abels and her team, as well as the financial and personal support for the project by Stefan Lütgenau and ‘Foster Europe’. I also want to thank the authors of the volume for their profound work, who, with their individual contributions, created the first comparative analysis of the role of subnational parliaments in EU matters. Every author did not only apply the highest scientific standards in their contributions, but also demonstrated great patience and humour, making it a great pleasure to work together. For help during the last phase of the project, I want to thank Bernhard Schneider for his support concerning the layout and the “Vize­rektorat für Forschung” of the University of Innsbruck for a part of the additional layout costs.

Innsbruck, June 2015

Annegret Eppler

List of Abbreviations

AER

Assembly of European Regions

AGS

Annual Growth Survey

CA

Cooperation Agreement

CALRE

Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies

CLRE

Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe of the Council of Europe

CoR

Committee of Regions

COSAC

Conference of European Affairs Committees

EAFRD

European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development

ECJ

European Court of Justice

ECPRD

European Center for Parliamentary Research and Documentation

EFSF

European Financial Stability Facility

EIPA

European Institute of Public Administration

ESM

European Stability Mechanism

EWM

Early Warning Mechanism

EWS

Early Warning System

FCC

Federal Constitutional Court, Germany

IPEX

Interparliamentary Platform for the Exchange of Information

IPU

Inter-Parliamentary Union

MLPF

Multilevel Parliamentary Field

NORPEC

Network of Regional Parliamentary European Committees

OPAL

Observatory of Parliaments after Lisbon

REGLEG

Conference of European Regions with Legislative Competences

REGPEX

Regional Parliamentary Exchange

SMN

Subsidiarity Monitoring Network

TEU

Treaty on European Union

TFEU

Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

TSCG

Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance

Introduction

Gabriele Abels

Subnational Parliaments as ‘Latecomers’ in the EU Multi-Level Parliamentary System – Introduction

1. Introduction1

‘(I)t is for each national Parliament or each chamber of a national parliament to consult, where appropriate, regional parliaments with legislative powers.’ This specific stipulation of Article 6 of Protocol No. 2 on Subsidiarity and Proportionality of the Lisbon Treaty lies at the heart of this book. With this provision the 2009 Lisbon Treaty opened a ‘window of opportunity’ for a specific subtype of regional or subnational assemblies, i.e. for those endowed with autonomous legislative powers, powers, seeking involvement in the subsidiarity monitoring process. This process, often called the Early Warning System (EWM), has become an integral part of EU policy-making. But what is the reality ‘behind’ it? How does it really affect these regional parliaments? What are its broader implications for the EU polity? This book addresses these questions from various perspectives.

First, it is important to consider what regions are and what regional parliaments are. In the EU context, the term region is quite ambiguous. It refers here to the meso-level in an EU member state, i.e., a sub-state polity positioned between the local/municipal and the national level. Some regions, however, consider themselves to be nations (e.g., Catalonia, Scotland). For this reason in this book the term ‘subnational’ is used to distinguish it from the local, national and supranational levels. Accordingly, regional parliaments serve as legislative assemblies located at this meso-level. Thus, we speak of ‘subnational parliaments’ in this book.

Regions have been interested in participation in EU affairs, dating back to the early 1990s and the Maastricht Treaty. These early activities were dominated by subnational governments. More recent activities do not come out of the blue; rather they have a longer history which established a ‘path’ of regional participatory practices. The Lisbon Treaty has brought significant changes. Based on insights from historical and sociological institutionalism, one can argue that the Protocol No. 2 stipulation opened a ‘window of opportunity’ in the sense that regions, especially subnational parliaments, now possess an instrument that they may choose to use, reinforced by a new norm favouring pro-active parliamentary behaviour. How subnational parliaments opt to respond to new incentives, e.g., by undertaking diverse reform processes and behavioural changes, varies. By and large, the reforms focus primarily on involvement in the EWM, but they also go beyond this mechanism. The aim is to adapt their institutional and cognitive structures in order to develop ‘regional EU capacity’ (Carter and Pasquier 2010: 297). This is important for all subnational parliaments. This capacity, however, does not include the ability to establish direct relations with EU institutions or to become an actor at EU level. It will affect the vertical territorial relations in the domestic political arena, i.e., the role of subnational parliaments vis-à-vis their subnational governments, their national parliament and the national government. Given the diversity of constitutional orders in the eight member states immediately affected by Article 6, the reform processes and their consequences will differ among a total of 74 subnational parliaments.2 The first thing to bear in mind when analysing these changes is the policy dimension, focusing on the policy sectors in which the subnational level has legislative competences; this differs among the eight member states based on their respective constitutional orders. Secondly, participation rights, i.e., access to European policy-making arenas, should not be confused with real impact. Impact assessment is still in its infancy; this book therefore concentrates on the institutional framework; it addresses some elements of behavioural-cognitive change but does not systematically investigate the actual impacts on policy.

The number of ‘regional parliaments with legislative powers’, 74 at present, is almost double the number of national parliaments and/or the number of chambers in national parliaments across all 28 EU member states.3 The literature on national parliaments and their role in European integration has flourished since the mid-1990s, especially in the wake of the Lisbon Treaty; there is now a vast array of Europeanization-inspired studies on national parliaments.4 The large group of subnational parliaments has not attracted wide attention thus far, however, while the literature on regionalization and the territorial impact of European integration on subnational parliaments comprises, at best, a footnote. This book attempts to overcome the prevailing ‘governmental fixation’ in the literature to date, by attending to such imbalances and locating subnational parliaments in the EU multi-level polity.

The investigation of their role in multi-level governance is linked to the intense debate about the democratic or legitimacy deficit afflicting international politics, in general, and the European Union, in particular. The need for full parliamentarization of the EU polity is a well-established strand in the deficit-oriented literature. Parliaments clearly lie at the heart of complex systems for securing democratic legitimacy through national representation since they function as the institutional embodiment of popular sovereignty. Yet, in politics beyond the nation state parliaments face new challenges, having lost they role as key actors. Contemporary government-parliament relations reflect an imbalance in favour of executive dominance; the EU itself offers a good example of this power shift. The decline in national parliamentary powers has not been compensated at the EU level by increasing powers for the European Parliament, resulting in a parliamentary legitimacy gap there. In response, national parliaments especially are widely perceived as ‘losers’ or, at best, as ‘latecomers’ to European integration (see Maurer and Wessels 2001). While national executives have adapted to Europeanized policy-making in ways that increase their influence on supranational policies, parliaments have faced greater difficulties in responding to Europeanization effects.

Overcoming this gap will require a solution that goes beyond a simple ‘either-or-model’; the Union needs to develop a more complex model of representative politics which strengthens the role of the European Parliament and national parliaments, thereby enhancing both representative pillars of democratic legitimacy upon which the EU as a polity sui generis must rest (cf. Benz 2003; Hurrelmann and Debardeleben 2009).

Recent empirical research attests that it is simplistic to fixate on a clear trend towards deparliamentarization. While the 1992 Maastricht Treaty offered non-binding declarations regarding national parliamentary involvement in EU affairs, the 1997 Amsterdam Treaty transformed these into a binding protocol. The unsuccessful Constitutional Treaty of 2005 likewise foresaw an enhanced role for parliaments at all levels, from the supranational down to the regional level. The 2009 Lisbon Treaty turned these into a legally binding stipulation, highlighting the principle of representative democracy in Art. 10 TEU. Placing stronger emphasis on parliamentarization at the supranational level via the European Parliament and at national level via national parliaments, it also calls for stronger interparliamentary cooperation (Art. 5 and 12 TEU, and Protocol No. 1 on the role of national parliaments). One thus observes paradoxical trends, deparliamentarization and parliamentarization occurring within EU politics, which call for a more nuanced analysis a multiple levels that captures this complex phenomenon. So far, most empirical studies have either focused on the amazing evolution of the European Parliament or on disempowered national parliaments. The former has emerged as the clear winner of all treaty reforms since 1992 (Maastricht Treaty) in terms of gaining greater legislative control. The 2014 elections tell a story about the European Parliament’s own Leitbild intent on fostering a full-blown system of parliamentary rule under which even the selection of the European Commission president depends on the support of EP political party groups. A Commission candidate now participates in EP election campaign, serving as Spitzen­kandidat (lead candidate), for his or her European party family (see Hobolt 2014).

There is moreover a growing body of literature on national parliaments in the 28 member states, addressing their involvement in EU affairs at the national and supranational levels.5 The question is how parliaments might best respond to changes induced by European integration, what Auel and Benz (2005) called ‘the politics of adaption’. New challenges centre on exercising parliamentary functions vis-à-vis national governments, the Europeanization of law-making, and the need to intensify interparliamentary cooperation at the EU level. The broader implications of these developments for parliamentary rule in the EU are widely discussed either in numerous single case or small-n comparative studies.

Empirical studies have had a profound effect on conceptual developments regarding parliamentary legitimacy. Conceptualized as a ‘multi-level system’ of governance since the 1990s, the multi-level paradigm has infiltrated different strands of EU research on parliaments. The terms ‘multi-level parliamentarism’ (Maurer 2002, 2009, 2011, 2012) and ‘multi-level parliamentary field’ (Crum and Fossum 2009, 2012, 2013b) call for deeper reflections on what parliamentarism, parliamentary rule, and parliamentary legitimacy mean in the light of ever more complex EU structures (see section 3.1). Although these works claim to be ‘multi’, they limit themselves, by and large, to two-level analyses. The third level of EU governance involving regional developments has been widely neglected thus far.

Wide disparities in the conceptualization of regions and their parliaments are the starting point for this book. Its objectives are threefold: First, on an empirical level our contributions will enrich the literature on parliaments across the European Union and their role in EU politics by adding the third level. Our comparative analysis is restricted to ‘regional parliaments with legislative powers’. Six detailed case studies outline the complex processes of adaptation, ultimately pinpointing several similarities and differences among these parliaments.

Secondly, on a theoretical level this book pulls together different strands of research, beginning with studies on parliaments and parliamentarization but also incorporating Europeanization, federalism and regionalisation studies. The adaptation strategies of subnational parliaments to EU governance occurs at this three-way intersection. All three fields, their specific research questions and core concepts are essential for analysing subnational parliaments as evolving EU actors.

Finally, this book investigates the democratic question. While the debate over the role of national parliaments in EU politics is directly related to the EU democratic deficit debate, this is less clear for subnational parliaments. Whether or not extending multi-level parliamentary participation down to the subnational level hold implications for the democratic nature of the EU polity, remains a contested question. The authors in this volume offer different answers to this important question. While some argue more in favour of a normative and empirical linkage between regionalization, subnational parliaments and democracy, others argue that subnational parliaments can and should not play a role in the multi-level parliamentary EU polity.

The following section discusses these three objectives in detail. Next I elaborate on empirical developments in six of the eight member states where regional parliaments with legislative competences exist. Section 3 then attends to the theoretical discussion of the EU polity as a multi-level parliamentary system. Section 4 sheds light on the relationship between parliamentarization and democratization with a focus on subnational parliaments. The final section then introduces the individual contributions to this volume.

2. Subnational parliaments in the Post-Lisbon Era: empirical observations

As noted above, most current research on parliaments and the EU has widely ignored the subnational level, regional parliaments and their role in EU affairs. This stands in stark contrast to the Lisbon Treaty’s stipulation (Protocol No. 2) that outlines the process of subsidiarity monitoring. Assuming that not all interested readers are familiar with this complicated mechanism, I will outline this process before addressing the implications of the Lisbon Treaty for subnational parliaments.

2.1 The new instrument of subsidiarity monitoring

The subsidiarity principle defined in Art. 5 of the EU Treaty is an ambivalent instrument. On the one hand, it has always been used as a principle competences on the European level, especially the Commission. Hence, it constitutes a norm outlining the execution of competences. On the other hand, the subsidiarity principle is applied as a norm the Union’s competence to legislate. Introduced in the 1992 Maastricht Treaty, the principle was further codified in the ‘Proto­col on the application of the principles of subsidiarity’ in the 1997 Amsterdam Treaty; this rendered it legally binding and subject to judicial review. Its relevance was further strengthened during the debate over the Constitutional Treaty in the early 2000s. The convention developed a process to include national parliaments in the process of subsidiarity monitoring. Even though ratification efforts failed in 2005, the subsidiarity monitoring instrument was nonetheless tested out ‘on an informal basis and without a contractual basis’ (Buzogány and Stuchlik 2012: 349). It was further codified and refined in the Lisbon Treaty by way of Art. 5 (3) TEU (retaining the original wording) and Protocol No. 2 (Subsidiarity Protocol).

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