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Posted: 12 March 2008

The constitutional challenge for EU member state legislatures

A considerable transfer of legislative and decision making powers from member states to European Union level in a broad range of policy fields has occurred since the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957. And the transfer of law-making power has generated a number of conundrums, for both the EU member states and for the European Union itself, according to Dr Gavin Barrett, UCD School of Law.

In a new book, National Parliaments and the European Union, edited by Dr Barrett, political, legal and state experts reflect on national parliaments and the European Union today, focusing on their success, or lack of success, in exercising control over national governments.

Placing emphasis on areas of increasing salience, such as security and defence policy, asylum and immigration and justice and home affairs generally, the expert contributors to the book also analyse the particular experience of Ireland and the Oireachtas.

In the final part of the book, contributors examine the experiences of a number of other member state parliaments (including the UK, France, the Nordic States, the Netherlands and Slovenia) in confronting the same challenge.

Focusing on these selected states, the book offers readers a clear comparison of the approachs taken by large, medium-sized and small states; states in which legislative scrutiny of European-level national executive action is perceived to have been relatively successful and those in which it has not; states which are relative newcomers to the European Union, and states which have been involved since the original treaties of Rome were signed.

The publication of National Parliaments and the European Union by Clarus Press was supported by the Communicating Europe Initiative of the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Seed Funding Scheme of University College Dublin.

Dr Gavin Barrett is a senior lecturer and a President’s Research Fellow at the UCD School of Law and a visiting scholar at the Institut des Hautes Études Européennes, Strasbourg.

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The constitutional challenge for EU member state legislatures