Muiris MacCarthaigh

As national parliaments emerged in the context of national states rather than international organisations, fulfilling functions demanded by virtue of European Union membership challenges their traditional modus operandi, especially in the field of legislative oversight. Considerable attention has been given as to how best national parliaments might adapt and expand their oversight capacity in order to examine EU legislation and policy, thus underwriting the legitimacy of the expanding Union’s work. This debate raises fundamental questions concerning the responsibilities not only of national parliaments, but also of the various other institutions employed by the Union. As well as considering this issue, this article also interrogates how best we can conceptualise the role of national parliaments within the new modes of governance inspired by the demands of EU membership. To begin, the paper considers how the contemporary analysis of European legislatures has developed.

Keywords: Parliaments, EU, Accountability, Committees, Legislation

PhD. Muiris MacCarthaigh is a Research Officer at the Institute of Public Administration in
Dublin, Ireland. An earlier version of this paper appeared in Administration Vol. 54 (3),
2006, pp. 69-94

Cite this article:
MacCarthaigh Muiris. The consolidation of national parliaments within an enlarging EU. Innovative Issues and Approaches in Social Sciences, vol.1, no.1:5-31, DOI:

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