The French and the Italian Parliaments in EU Affairs Post-Lisbon: True Empowerment or Cosmetic Change?

Diane Fromage, Cristina Fasone


The role of national parliaments in EU decision-making has generally been considered marginal since national parliaments participate indirectly through national executives. The Lisbon Treaty, however, triggered important developments in this regard. Direct involvement of national parliaments through the Early Warning System and Political Dialogue has prompted internal reforms. This article argues that, because of the new procedures provided for by the Lisbon Treaty and the direct relationship between the Commission and national parliaments, certain legislatures such as the French and Italian have become stronger in their involvement in EU affairs. However, seven years of practice post-Lisbon show that the innovations brought about by the new Treaty have fallen short of fully satisfying national parliaments’ thirst for active engagement. We also observe that changes at the national level have only been implemented progressively and have not yet been exploited to their full potential. 


National parliaments; Lisbon Treaty; Scrutiny of EU affairs; Political dialogue.

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