National Parliaments and EU Fiscal Integration
European Law Journal, Vol. 22, No. 2, 2016, pp. 225-249
21 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2017
Date Written: March 1, 2016
This article analyses the impact of the euro crisis on national parliaments and examines their response to the deepening of EU fiscal integration and the correspondent limitation of their budgetary autonomy. It argues that the sovereign debt crisis has resulted in the emergence of new channels of parliamentary involvement in EU economic governance. National parliaments have acquired various rights of approval in the European Semester, strengthened the accountability of national governments, reinforced their scrutiny over budgeting, improved their access to information, and created domestic and supranational avenues for debate and political contestation of European integration. In these respects, they have undergone further Europeanisation. Although these reforms do not outweigh the centralisation of fiscal powers at the EU level, they represent an embryonic step in the national parliamentary adaptation to the crisis-induced EU fiscal regime within the margins of the Treaties and domestic constitutions and in harmony with the underlying goals of the EMU. Yet while these reforms enhance the discursive and deliberative functions of national parliaments, they are unlikely to have a substantial impact on EMU policy-making processes because of the democratic disconnect inherent in the EU’s multilevel constitution.
Keywords: crisis, eurozone, democracy, parliaments, fiscal policy, budget, EMU
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