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OPAL - Observatory of Parliaments after the Lisbon Treaty

The Focus of the Research Team at Cambridge University PDF Print E-mail

Parliamentary involvement in non-legislative EU policy processes

The Cambridge branch of the OPAL project focuses on the role of national parliaments in overseeing non-legislative policy areas, with a particular interest in the Common Security and Defence Policy. The Treaty of Lisbon theoretically eliminated the ‘pillar structure’ that insulated CSDP from normal oversight procedures, but in practice also reinforced the intergovernmental decision-making procedures that keep many EU institutions at arm’s length. National parliaments are thus best placed to scrutinise their governments’ actions in this field, but their ability to do so is complicated by their general lack of formal power (relative to legislative policy areas) and by many countries’ traditional treatment of foreign and security policy as a matter to be directed primarily by the executive. The Cambridge team are thus asking how national parliaments have managed these competing imperatives since Lisbon, with a special focus on the issue case study of Operation Atalanta. Cambridge’s two major qualitative case study countries are the United Kingdom and Poland.

 

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