In this article, we examine the reasons behind national parliamentary engagement in the political dialogue with the Commission. We do so through a qualitative content analysis of over 200 national parliamentary opinions submitted to the Commission in recent years and interviews with national parliamentary representatives and Commission officials. We demonstrate that national parliaments’ engagement with the Commission is not simply a story about venue shopping in which parliaments seek to compensate for their domestic weaknesses. Their activity is driven by a rich repertoire of institutional actions, where parliaments simultaneously act as institutional lobbyists, traditionalists and communicators. They follow three main strategies, including attempts to control their government, influencing EU legislation directly, and engaging in parliamentary branding. Direct parliamentary lobbying of the Commission does not, however, render parliaments’ traditional role of controlling their government redundant as it improves domestic scrutiny methods.
Bibliographical notePublished online: 30 April 2018
- Political dialogue
- National parliaments
- Legislative activism