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A “Virtual Third Chamber” for the European Union? National parliaments after the Treaty of Lisbon


  • Ian Cooper


The Treaty of Lisbon introduces an early warning mechanism (EWM) which empowers national parliaments to intervene directly at the EU-level; they may now raise objections to – and even play a role in blocking – EU legislation. The EWM represents a new model of parliamentary involvement in international relations: national parliaments now constitute a virtual third chamber for the EU. Though they do not meet together in the same physical space, national parliaments collectively form a body that can, at least to some degree, perform three key parliamentary functions – legislation, representation, and deliberation. First, it gives national parliaments the power to influence legislative outcomes at the EU level. Second, it provides a new channel of representation linking the citizen with the EU. Third, it creates a new forum for debating the substantive merits of proposed EU legislation, particularly regarding its compliance with the principle of subsidiarity.

Suggested Citation

  • Ian Cooper, 2011. "A “Virtual Third Chamber” for the European Union? National parliaments after the Treaty of Lisbon," ARENA Working Papers p0339, ARENA.
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:arenax:p0339

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