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Designing Politicization: How control mechanisms in national parliaments affect parliamentary debates in EU policy-formulation

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  • Pieter de Wilde

Abstract

This paper asks how ex ante and ex post control mechanisms structuring the involvement of national parliaments in EU policy-formulation affect the size and scope of conflict of parliamentary debates. The direct and indirect effects of control mechanisms are assessed in a comparative case study on plenary parliamentary debates in the Danish Folketing and Dutch Tweede Kamer on the EU multiannual budgets Delors II, Agenda 2000 and Financial Perspectives 2007-2013. It finds that control mechanisms have direct effects on the size of parliamentary debate and indirectly on the scope of conflict. As control mechanisms structure the timing of debates, different interactions with the policy-formulation process and media coverage are created leading to different scopes of conflict. It finds that ex ante mechanisms trigger smaller, more partisan debates at an early stage of the policy-formulation process, whereas ex post mechanisms stimulate larger, later and intergovern-mental debates. If, from a normative democratic point of view, we value large, partisan debates, these findings present a problem as there appears to be a trade-off between high quantity on the one hand, and partisan conflict on the other hand.

Suggested Citation

  • Pieter de Wilde, 2009. "Designing Politicization: How control mechanisms in national parliaments affect parliamentary debates in EU policy-formulation," RECON Online Working Papers Series 9, RECON.
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:reconx:p0048
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andreas Follesdal & Simon Hix, 2006. "Why There is a Democratic Deficit in the EU: A Response to Majone and Moravcsik," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44, pages 533-562, September.
    2. Sebastian Dullien & Daniela Schwarzer, 2009. "Bringing Macroeconomics into the EU Budget Debate: Why and How?," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47, pages 153-174, January.
    3. Pieter de Wilde, 2008. "Media Coverage and National Parliaments in EU Policy-Formulation. Debates on the EU Budget in the Netherlands 1992-2005," ARENA Working Papers 19, ARENA.
    4. Hooghe, Liesbet & Marks, Gary, 2009. "A Postfunctionalist Theory of European Integration: From Permissive Consensus to Constraining Dissensus," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(01), pages 1-23, January.
    5. Pieter de Wilde, 2008. "Media Coverage and National Parliaments in EU Policy-Formulation: Debates on the EU Budget in the Netherlands 1992-2005," RECON Online Working Papers Series 13, RECON.
    6. Pieter de Wilde, 2009. "Reasserting the Nation State: The Trajectory of Euroscepticism in the Netherlands 1992-2005," RECON Online Working Papers Series 1, RECON.
    7. Pollack, Mark A., 1997. "Delegation, agency, and agenda setting in the European Community," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(01), pages 99-134, December.
    8. Pieter de Wilde, 2007. "Politicisation of European Integration: Bringing the Process into Focus," ARENA Working Papers 18, ARENA.
    9. Erik Oddvar Eriksen & John Erik Fossum, 2002. "Democracy through Strong Publics in the European Union?," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 401-424, September.
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    Keywords

    agenda 2000; budget; Denmark; national parliaments; Netherlands;

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