National Parliaments’ Political Dialogue with the European Commission

Författare: Kreilinger Valentin

The role of national parliaments in the work of the EU has increased over time. Through the ‘Political dialogue’ they have the opportunity to interact directly with the European Commission. In this European Policy Analysis, SIEPS Senior Researcher Valentin Kreilinger examines how national parliaments use the dialogue and proposes some ways in which it could be enhanced. (2023:6epa)

The ‘Political dialogue’ process, launched in 2005, allows national parliaments to submit written contributions (opinions) to the European Commission on any kind of official document prepared by the Commission. But to what extent do they avail themselves of this opportunity? When they do speak, what do they say? And does anybody listen?

In this comprehensive study Kreilinger examines how the participation of national parliaments in the Political dialogue has changed since it was introduced and how it varies across the member states, reflecting preferences for certain instruments for influencing and scrutinising EU affairs over others. Among the findings are that:

  • The Portuguese Assembleia is by far the most active national parliament in the Political dialogue since the procedure was launched in 2005.

  • Legislatures from Central and Eastern Europe issued many more opinions under the Juncker Commission than during the previous mandate (Barroso II).

  • In the case of bicameral systems, upper chambers are generally more active than lower chambers.

The paper also puts forward concrete proposals on how to make the Political dialogue more focused and give it more ‘teeth’.

The author of the study, Dr Valentin Kreilinger, is Senior Researcher in Political Science at the Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies (SIEPS). His research focuses on national parliaments’ involvement in EU policy-making as well as their scrutiny of European affairs, the evolution of interparliamentary cooperation and the role of the European Parliament. He holds a PhD from the Hertie School in Berlin on the role of national parliaments in the EU’s economic governance.

The paper will be presented and discussed at a SIEPS roundtable on 16 May 2023 (by invitation only).