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Constitutional Preferences and Parliamentary ReformExplaining National Parliaments' Adaptation to European Integration$
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Thomas Winzen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198793397

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198793397.001.0001

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Analysing Domestic Adaptation to European Integration Empirically

Analysing Domestic Adaptation to European Integration Empirically

(p.72) 4 Analysing Domestic Adaptation to European Integration Empirically
Constitutional Preferences and Parliamentary Reform

Thomas Winzen

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses variation in the strength of national parliaments’ oversight institutions across countries, and in the likelihood of reforms of oversight institutions in response to reform opportunities arising from the process of European integration. It contrasts an explanation based on constitutional preferences with an alternative view stressing strategic partisan exigencies arising from minority and coalition government. The empirical results support the first account. Most importantly, where partisan configurations in national parliaments strongly favour European integration, and can thus be said to tend towards federal constitutional preferences, reforms that strengthen EU-related oversight institutions at ‘home’ are highly unlikely, whereas they become almost certain otherwise. In contrast, oversight institutions appear to be unrelated to the occurrence of minority government, and are affected by coalition conflicts only in exceptional circumstances.

Keywords:   European integration, national parliaments, empirical results, constitutional preferences, reforms of oversight institutions, minority government, coalition government

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