Obstacles to a strengthened role for national parliaments in the EU
Calls for greater involvement of national parliaments in the European Union are growing in several European capitals. In The Hague, Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans recently argued that national parliaments are the most pertinent place in which the democratic deficit of the EU could be reduced. There is considerable support for strengthening the accountability of ‘Brussels’ at the national level. In the context of deepened integration national parliaments will increasingly find themselves side-lined. We question whether they — and in particular the Dutch parliament — can exercise much influence from such a position. Or are national parliaments to far removed from supranational European issues to be able to democratically monitor European decision-making effectively?