The Treaty of Lisbon, the National Parliaments and the Principle of Subsidiarity
Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law, Vol. 15, pp. 77-83, 2008
8 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2009 Last revised: 20 Aug 2009
Date Written: January 10, 2008
This article critically analyses the provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon that are designed to enhance the involvement of national parliaments in the European Union. It compares the rights offered to national parliaments with what the parliaments already enjoy by virtue of existing treaty law and of domestic constitutional law. In that light, most of the Lisbon provisions are purely symbolic. However, the article also offers a more positive perspective. Instead of focusing on the rights that the treaty provisions actually confer upon national parliaments (constitutive value), it is suggested to consider their capacity to raise European awareness among national parliamentarians and to prompt them to make use of the powers they already have (catalyst value). In that perspective, the Treaty of Lisbon has had a remarkable effect already, even before having entered into force.
Keywords: National Parliaments, European Union, Treaty of Lisbon, Subsidiarity
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