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The Europeanization of Domestic Legislatures

by Olivier Costa Thomas König Sylvain Brouard

In ten years 80 per cent of the legislation related to economics, maybe also to taxes and social aff airs, will be of Community origin." This declaration has been largely quoted, paraphrased and deformed by different authors, creating a persistent myth according to which 80% of the legislative activity of the national legislatures would soon be reduced to the simple transposition of European norms". This book addresses the topic of the scope and impact of Europeanization on national legislation, as a part of the Europeanization debate which raises normative concerns linked to the "democratic deficit" debate. The state of the art shows that there are many assumptions and claims on how European integration may affect national legislation and, more generally, domestic governance but that there is a lack of solid and comparative data to test them. The aim of the book is to give a solid and comparative insight into Europeanization focusing on effective outcomes in a systematic way. This book analyzes the period 1986-2008 and includes an introduction, a global overview of European legislative activities which set the background for Europeanization of national legislatures, 9 country contributions (8 EU member states + Switzerland) including systematic, comparative and standardized data, tables and figures, and a conclusion with a comparative analysis of the European and domestic reasons for Europeanization. All national contributions conclude that Europeanization of national legislation is much more limited than assumed in the literature and public debate. It is limited to 10 to 30% of laws (depending on the country), far less than the 80% predicted by Jacques Delors and mentioned daily by medias and public opinion leaders to demonstrate EU domination on member states. Beside that general statement, the various chapters propose a deep insight on EU constraint over national legislation, providing much information on the kind of laws and policies that are Europeanized, the evolution of this process through time, the impact of Europeanization on the balance of powers and the relations between majority and opposition at national level, the strategies developed by national institutions in that context, and many other issues, making the book of interest to academics and policy-makers concerned with Europeanization and national legislation.

Reform Processes and Policy Change

by Thomas König Marc Debus George Tsebelis

George Tsebelis' veto players approach has become a prominent theory to analyze various research questions in political science. Studies that apply veto player theory deal with the impact of institutions and partisan preferences of legislative activity and policy outcomes. It is used to measure the degree of policy change and, thus, reform capacity in national and international political systems. This volume contains the analysis of leading scholars in the field on these topics and more recent developments regarding theoretical and empirical progress in the area of political reform-making. The contributions come from research areas of political science where veto player theory plays a significant role, including, positive political theory, legislative behavior and legislative decision-making in national and supra-national political systems, policy making and government formation. The contributors to this book add to the current scholarly and public debate on the role of veto players, making it of interest to scholars in political science and policy studies as well as policymakers worldwide.

Reforming the European Union

by Thomas König Daniel Finke Sven-Oliver Proksch George Tsebelis

For decades the European Union tried changing its institutions, but achieved only unsatisfying political compromises and modest, incremental treaty revisions. In late 2009, however, the EU was successfully reformed through the Treaty of Lisbon. Reforming the European Union examines how political leaders ratified this treaty against all odds and shows how this victory involved all stages of treaty reform negotiations--from the initial proposal to referendums in several European countries. The authors emphasize the strategic role of political leadership and domestic politics, and they use state-of-the-art methodology, applying a comprehensive data set for actors' reform preferences. They look at how political leaders reacted to apparent failures of the process by recreating or changing the rules of the game. While domestic actors played a significant role in the process, their influence over the outcome was limited as leaders ignored negative referendums and plowed ahead with intended reforms. The book's empirical analyses shed light on critical episodes: strategic agenda setting during the European Convention, the choice of ratification instrument, intergovernmental bargaining dynamics, and the reaction of the German Council presidency to the negative referendums in France, the Netherlands, and Ireland.

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