The role of National Parliaments in EU law-making: “efficiency” and “legitimacy” approaches

When negotiating EU draft legislation within the EU Council of Ministers, Member States are represented by the members of the national executives. In some cases, Parliaments vent opinions on EU draft legislation and, in some cases, these opinions bind the government during the negotiations. These different positions can be situated in a spectrum ranging from “efficiency” to “legitimacy”, referring by contrast to those systems that are more concerned with providing the supranational legal order with a strengthened democratic legitimacy. However, both legal and political science literature actually suggest that the difference between theory and practice can be important, with Parliaments with theoretically weak oversight powers “de facto” playing a strong role in EU affairs. The proposed paper intends to provide an overview of the solutions adopted and to interpret them in the light of the above-mentioned theoretical framework