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Legislation And The European Union Essay

2864 words - 11 pages

Certain dynamics emerge in the process of integration of specific policy areas in the European Union member countries: With increasing Europeanization of governing in the multilevel system of governance in the EU, more and more national competences are moved to the European level (vgl. Scharpf 2002, p. 71). During this transfer, an increasing loss of power held by the national parliaments, or rather a shift of power from the national parliaments to the national executives, can be identified (cf. Auel/Benz 2004, p. 2; cf. Hansen/Scholl 2002, p. 3).
Parliaments are considered to be the central organ in democracies. Parliaments, which represent the people, pass bills and the executive’s power is derived from the elected parliaments and is also kept in check by said parliaments (cf. Auel/Benz 2004, S. 2). Further, members of the execu-tive are generally the prominent representatives abroad, more specifically during international negotiations (cf. Moravcsik 1994, S. 7). So its not the national parliaments anymore deciding on the EU level, but the national executives. So this trend shifts the power relationship between leg-islative and executive.
After a general demonstration of these developments, they will also be illustrated with specific examples. The Danish Folketing is mainly serves this purpose. Also the British House of Com-mons and the German Bundestag are drawn upon to highlight different approaches to this issue.

2 National Parliaments’ loss of power
National parliaments experience a loss of power or a shift of power in favor of national execu-tives, because on the European level decisions are mainly made by the national executives – as they represent their respective nation states in foreign affairs – e.g. in the Council of Ministers (cf. Moravcsik 1994, p. 1; Hansen/Scholl 2002, p. 2-3).
Due to growing supranational nature of European decision-making more and more decision-making competences are moved from the national to the European level (cf. Auel/Benz 2004, p. 3; cf. Scharpf 2002, p. 75f.). Consequently, this means, that these competences are taken from the national parliaments and given to the national executives. Decisions made on the European level have to be implemented in the member states, regardless of the fact that they were made by the executive and not the legislative, which is usually responsible for that. The national legislative thus loses its ability to prevent European legislation. It can only exert limited, indirect influence on this legislation while it is implemented into national law (cf. Scharpf 2002, p. 75f.). As the executive is directly involved in the decision-making processes at the European level, its legisla-tive function is continuously strengthened, while – vice versa – the national parliaments are more and more sidelined (cf. Scharpf 2002, p. 75f.; cf. Hansen/Scholl 2002, p. 3).
The means the national legislatives can employ to keep their executives in check are continuously weakened (cf. Auel/Benz...

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