How democratic are treaties? The Europeanisation of the treaty-making power and its consequences on the democratic credentials of the executive prerogative in foreign affairs

The presentation offers an overview of the executive’s treaty-making power in Dutch and Belgian law. This classical topic will be revisited in light of the EU multi-level framework, based on the assumption that treaty making is no more the exclusive competence of national governments. As external competences have been devolved to the EU, it is now able to conclude international agreements, either alone (EU-only agreements) or with member states (mixed agreements). Consequently, new paths – as well as new challenges – have been created for the parliament to check the treaty-making powers of the government. What does this mean for the democratic legitimacy of the executive's treaty-making power? Is that an opportunity to develop new legal tools and practices to overcome one of the deepest paradox of constitutional law, which is that the executive might impose from outside what would be forbidden from inside?