Regional Parliaments Questioning EU Affairs

Anna-Lena Högenauer

The Lisbon Treaty has strengthened the role of regional parliaments in EU politics, but in a modest way. National parliaments may consult regional parliaments with legislative powers in the Early Warning System, but such consultation is not mandatory. Regional parliaments have only made use of their new powers to a limited extent. Overall, these developments highlight the continued importance of traditional scrutiny methods and the control of the regional executive. The aim of this paper is to analyse the Europeanization of regional parliaments through written questions. Written questions have a number of advantages as the object of research: They exist in all parliaments and are thus relatively comparable across countries and legislatures. They tend to be well-documented. And they can be used by individual MPs irrespective of party or committee membership. This is of particular interest if we seek to understand to what kind of a role regional parliaments play in EU affairs, and whether they focus on their control function, legislative function or representative function. The paper thus seeks to address two interrelated questions: To what extent is the work of regional parliaments Europeanized? What kind of a role do regional parliamentary questions on EU affairs play? In this paper, the cases of Scotland, Bavaria and Flanders are analysed on the basis of data on written questions for the years 2012-2014.

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