THE OVERSIGHT FUNCTION OF THE SEJM IN RELATION TO EUROPEAN INTEGRATION
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The oversight function of the Sejm in matters of European integration should be understood widely as it covers both the stage of delegation to the European Union the powers typical of the sovereign authority of the State, as well as the exercise of those powers within a particular separate institutional structure. As concerns the first aspect, the Sejm (sometimes jointly with the Senate) takes part in the procedure of granting consent for ratification of the accession treaty itself, or ratification of possible modifications introduced to treaties establishing the European Union. Thereby, the Sejm, as part of Polish parliament participates in the oversight of the intensity and pace of integration, as well as its territorial extent. Moreover, the exercise of oversight on the way in which the Union uses the powers conferred on her, should take into account the specific nature of that organization, manifested in the exercise of the lawmaking function (in general) by an international organ - the Council of the European Union. For that reason, the influence of national parliaments on decisions taken within the Union is mainly determined by the degree to parliaments are able to oversee the activities of government within the framework of appropriate institutions. The Sejm exercise oversight over the government in a form specified in the Cooperation Act. The Sejm (its European Affairs Committee) may, in particular, be provided with information and documents, including legislative proposals of the EU and to express adequate opinions which, however, do not obligate the government to take any position within the EU organ. Additionally, the Sejm (its European Affairs Committee) gives its opinion about the candidates nominated by the government for certain posts in the EU. In the event that the Lisbon Treaty enters into force, the scope of oversight function of the Sejm (parliament) will be considerably extended, particularly in relation to the observance of the subsidiarity by the Union. The exercise by the Sejm (parliament) of the oversight function, within the above-said meaning, contributes to strengthening of the democratic basis of integration and legitimizes the process of making decisions in the European Union.
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