European parliament adopts report on its relation with national parliaments

The parliamentary component of the EU institutional system needs to be strengthened through better cooperation between the national parliaments and the EP. This was the conclusion of a report by Giorgio Napoletano, the EP’s Constitutional Affairs Comittee chairman, on the relationship of the EP with the national parliaments, which was adopted by the Committee in preparation for the Convention on the future of Europe.

The report argues that the democratic deficit in the EU is likely to become more acute because of lack of progress on democratic scrutiny. Strengthening the parliamentary component of the EU institutional system should be done in three ways:

  • strengthening their power vis-à-vis their respective governments;
  • closer and more effective cooperation between the national parliaments and the European Parliament;
  • conferring on the parliaments a new power in constitutional matters.

Concrete actions that could be taken are:

  • advance information of the national parliaments;
  • dissemination of information on best practices used in the national parliaments;
  • full exploitation the Conference of Community and European Affairs Committees (COSAC) as a vehicle for exchanges and convergence between the national parliaments and the EP;
  • cooperation between the parliamentary committees of the national parliaments and the EP should become systematic in all European integration-related sectors, through an interparliamentary agreement.

Moreover, the report indicates that most Member States do not support the creation of a chamber composed of representatives of national parliaments. It stresses the importance of not making the decision-making process more cumbersome, and puts its faith in the Convention on EU reform to give European integration efforts greater legitimacy. An amendment presented by the EPP deputies, calling for the end of double mandates (in the EP as well as in a national parliament), was also adopted.

 

The Declaration on the future of the EU annexed to the Nice Treaty cited the role of the European Parliament as one of the four issues to be addressed in the debate on the future of the Union. This debate will formally start on 1 March 2002, at the Convention on the reform of the EU treaties.

 

The motion for a resolution will be put to the vote in the European Parliament in February.

 

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