The Europeanisation of Parliaments in Central and Eastern Europe
The role and functioning of the upper chambers of Central and Eastern European (CEE) parliaments have for a long time been a minor topic on the research agenda of legislative specialists. This paper seeks to fill the gap in existing research by aiming to determine the main effects caused by the process of Europeanisation on the relationships between the upper and lower chambers of parliaments in four CEE countries; the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania and Slovenia. The paper identifies these changes on two levels – the institutional and the individual. The institutional level analysis examines changes in the formal and informal structures of CEE bicameral legislatures and their functioning. The individual level analysis focuses on changes within the recruitment and career patterns of parliamentarians within the expanded multilevel governance system. The aim of the paper is to determine whether the process of Europeanisation and EU accession establishes a common ground for formal and informal cooperation between the chambers (and their respective members) at the national level, or whether this process operates as a further constraint for the successful consolidation of parliaments in Central and Eastern Europe.
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