Doing Good, but Reluctant to Talk About It: The Swedish Riksdag and EU Affairs

Författare: Auel Katrin

The Swedish Riksdag is one of the most powerful parliaments in terms of engagement in EU affairs. It could however do better – by prioritising the most important issues and debating them publicly.

The Swedish Riksdag is considered one of the most active and powerful parliaments in terms of engagement in EU affairs.

This is confirmed in a new comparative analysis: the Riksdag performs very well in monitoring the government, examining EU proposals and organizing its political control.

However, rather than focusing on the most important issues, the Riksdag is examining virtually everything with regard to the subsidiarity principle.

This effort, the author argues, does not seem to have a clear impact on EU policy and is largely ignored by the media and the public.

In conclusion, the Swedish parliament could enhance both its influence in EU affairs and its democratic function by being more selective, concentrating on the content of the proposals and performing better as a public forum for debate.

Katrin Auel is Associate Professor and Head of the Research Group 'European Governance and Public Finance' at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna, Austria.