The bold, the rich, and the others? On power asymmetries between national parliaments under the ESM and beyond

The EU is founded upon the principle of representative democracy and it is uncontested that under this notion the powers of national parliaments in EU affairs can vary according to their respective domestic constitutional frameworks. The Eurocrisis and the measures adopted as a response thereto such as the ESM, however, considerably exacerbated the existing power imbalance between national parliaments, not lastly by transferring the source of this imbalance from the national onto the EU level. This paper argues that the asymmetric impact of the ESM and other crisis response measures on national parliamentary powers led to a situation of a divided democracy, in which some citizens are better represented at EU level than others. This in turn poses a challenge to the concept of representative democracy in the EU because it implies that democracy in the EU does not have the same meaning for all Union citizens but rather depends on the Member State that they are from.