2010 | 5(100) | 157-174
Article title

THE ROLE OF NATIONAL PARLIAMENTS IN THE CONTEXT OF THE TREATY OF LISBON (Rola parlamentow narodowych w swietle Traktatu z Lizbony)

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The Treaty of Lisbon specifically deals with the role of national parliament in the functioning of the European Union. The main novelty in the Treaty is enabling national parliaments to examine the application of the principle of subsidiarity, by the use of the so-called early warning mechanism (monitoring of the legislative proposals of the European Union) and the right to clain violation of that principle in the Court of Justice. For an effective exercise of oversight not only activeness of parliaments but also coordination of their actions, provided by COSAC, is required. In the context of both the systemic principles and their practical application (tests of observation of the subsidiarity principle carried out under COSAC) the early warning mechanism does not seem to provide a permanent guarantee of compliance with the principle of subsidiarity, but rather be a “safety valve”. This is obvious in the situation of political consensus between governments and parliaments on the natioanl level (according to Artcile 10(2) of the TEU establishing democratic accountability of governments to their national parliaments or citizens). The Treaty of Lisbon confers on national parliaments the power having the nature of a veto in relation to decsion reducing sovereign prights of the member states and provides that they must be informed about any intent of making substantial changes in the Union. The above-mentioned power does not restrict a general and permanent feature of the Union, i.e. supremacy of the representatives of member-states' governments in the decision-making process. Therefore, national level is the still the main sphere of influence of parliaments on the EU policy. The key novelty of the power conferred by the Treaty on national parliaments in the European Union is to enable them to act in a two-track approach, concentrated (or coordinated) and dispersed approach.
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  • Ewa Poplawska, Uniwersytet im. Kardynala Stefana Wyszynskiego, Wydzial Prawa i Administracji, ul. Woycickiego 1/3, 01-938 Warszawa, Poland
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