The Transatlantic Connection: Democratizing Euro-American Relations Through Parliamentary Liaison
In: The European Parliament and Its International Relations, by Stelios Stavridis and Daniela Irrera (eds), London: Routledge, 2015, pp. 178-196.
16 Pages Posted: 2 May 2015 Last revised: 12 Jan 2016
Date Written: 2015
This chapter analyses the interparliamentary relations between the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) as two key global strategic partners. It argues that the European Parliament (EP) engages in transatlantic parliamentary diplomacy in order to compensate for the deficiencies of its foreign affairs competences. After an overview of the political documents that underpin EU-US relations, the existing institutional frameworks for cooperation between the EP and the US Congress are examined with a view to providing insight into the internal arrangements established for this purpose in both legislatures as well as into the joint discussion forum called the Transatlantic Legislators’ Dialogue. On this basis, it is submitted that important mutual implications arise from divergent regulatory and legislative decisions made by the EU and the US. To illustrate this, the chapter conducts an in-depth investigation of parliamentary, executive and judicial reactions to the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme, aimed at forestalling global warming but repudiated by the US Congress. The goal is to assess the mutual positioning by the EP and the US Congress regarding this dossier so as to show their attitude to resolving transatlantic policy spillover and evaluate the current nature, scope and effect of transatlantic parliamentarism.
Keywords: European Parliament, Congress, Transatlantic Legislators' Dialogue, parliamentary diplomacy, interparliamentary relations, EU Emissions Trading Scheme
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