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A Renewal of Vows? Old and New Modes of Governance, National Parliaments and the European Union

Rik de Ruiter

Since the 1990s scholars are interested in the ways how national parliaments deal with EU legislation, for example in European Affairs Committees. More recently theEU witnessed a 'governance' turn, with more emphasis on non-binding policy instruments such as the Open Method of Coordination (OMC), and new ways of involvingmembers of national parliaments in the EU decision making process (i.e. through the direct dialogue and early warning mechanism). It is unclear how these 'new modesof governance' relate to 'old style' scrutiny instruments of national parliaments. In this paper a framework for analyzing different modes of EU governance in relation tonational parliaments is constructed. The framework is applied to the Netherlands and the United Kingdom and the use by its parliamentarians of the OMC, directdialogue, and early warning mechanism (i.e. COSAC tests). In the remaining part of the paper, the identified patterns of parliamentary involvement in these new modesof governance are discussed in light of the literature on the old style scrutiny exercised by national parliaments over EU legislation.



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