The publication you are about to open is an output of a project called New role of the national parliaments in the EU decision-making processes: previous experience and new challenges pursuant to the Lisbon Treaty, undertaken by EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy together with the Institute of Public Affairs in Warsaw and Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik in Berlin with the financial support of Heinrich Böll Foundation.
The aim of the project was to map the standing practice of dealing with the EU agenda in four parliaments of EU member states: the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Germany, and to analyse to what extent the legislative bodies of these countries are prepared for the changes in their position brought about by the Lisbon Treaty.
The role of national parliaments is enhanced by the last treaty amendment especially by the introduction of the preliminary control of the subsidiarity principle, enabling to a group of parliamentary chambers in the EU to push the European Commission to reconsider its legislative proposals, and opening a possibility of direct access to the Court of Justice of the EU by initiating the annulment procedure. At the same time, however, the Lisbon Treaty introduces a possibility of using a simplified procedure of the founding treaties revision by using the so-called dynamic clauses, which have a potential of limiting the national parliaments’ say in this process. Thus part of the project was the examination of how far the parliaments of the respective countries have prepared themselves for these specific changes.
This publication contains papers analysing the situation in two countries under examination – the Czech Republic and Slovakia, which were elaborated by EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy. We believe that these two papers will provide for a very interesting comparison from the point of view of different practice of both parliaments, arising from the different characteristics of monocameral Slovak parliament as opposed to its bicameral Czech counterpart.Both studies also serve as an input into a more extensive comparative study which will be published by the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels in 2011.