The European Union in the Portuguese Assembly: Scrutinising Primary and Secondary EU Decision Making
in: Portugal e as Organizações Internacionais: Comportamentos, Mensagens e Impactos, by Alice Cunha et al. (eds), Lisbon: Coleção de Estudos Políticos do Observatório Político, 2014, pp. 175-210.
36 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2015
Date Written: October 1, 2013
Ever since Portugal’s EU accession, its Assembly has crafted juridico-political instruments to participate in EU decision making. Yet there is no scholarly insight into Parliament’s actual scrutiny activities, as most analyses have hitherto focused on the issue of democratic consolidation. After examining the post-Lisbon status of national parliaments and of the Portuguese parliamentary powers in EU affairs, this chapter proceeds with a qualitative empirical analysis of the Assembly’s scrutiny of both primary and secondary EU law. On the one hand, the paper examines how the Assembly scrutinised the Lisbon Treaty's key provisions on national parliaments in order to learn whether the Assembly accepts the role of a direct provider of democratic legitimacy and accountability of the Union and whether it has thus Europeanised. On the other hand, the chapter inquires about Parliament’s ex ante scrutiny of several salient dossiers of secondary EU law. In addition to the Services Directive and the European External Action Service Decision, we probe the Assembly’s reaction to the PNR Framework Decision and the Comitology Regulation, which were the object of the so-called Barroso Initiative. The chapter concludes on the Portuguese Assembly’s response to the EU’s constitutional evolution as a player within the Union's decision-making arena.
Keywords: Portugal, parliament, EU decision making, scrutiny, Lisbon Treaty, democracy
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