European Integration and the French Parliament: From Ineffectual Watchdog to Constitutional Rehabilitation and an Enhanced Political Role

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Abstract

The development of the European Union is as much an opportunity as a threat to national parliaments. Our case study of the French Parliament suggests that as the process of integration has quickened in pace and broadened in scope, parliament has on successive occasions used the opportunity to strengthen its constitutional position with the introduction of Article 88‐4 and improve its capacity to scrutinise government through the adoption of a series of laws. Parliament now has the power to delay if not block the adoption of measures at European Union level by refusing to lift its scrutiny reserve. It is difficult to determine if parliament has significantly increased its influence over the government on European affairs, but it is now able to adopt potentially politically significant resolutions on all European Union issues which the government takes into account when negotiating in Union institutions. European integration has been a significant factor in the rehabilitation of the French Parliament.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-149
JournalJournal of Legislative Studies
Volume10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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