Browsing by Subject "national parliament"

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  • Salo, Mikko (2002)
    This study evaluates the participation of the Finnish Parliament, Eduskunta, in the national policy formulation of the European Union Justice and Home Affairs. The aim is to analyse to what extent Eduskunta’s control on government led EU policies covers the critical policy formulation phases of EU level policy making. Eduskunta’s strong institutional framework for parliamentary scrutiny in EU matters is tested in a complex policy domain suffering parliamentary deficit at the EU level. As the study deals with the relationship between the parliament and the government from the point of view of democratic policy making, it adopts the principal-agent framework. The framework helps to conceptualise the parliament - executive relationship for a systematic institutional analysis. This theoretical framework also focuses on observing the information flow between the two parties. The empirical study will then analyse Eduskunta’s participation in the light of the information it receives as the principal from its governmental agents. Degrees of information asymmetry and agency losses are used as indicators of Eduskunta’s participation. The empirical data includes both government’s and Eduskunta’s documents and handling information on the 114 Justice and Home Affairs proposals known also as the Tampere scoreboard. This mostly quantitative data is supplemented by interviews in order to build an overall picture of the scope and timing of the information Eduskunta receives. Finally both Eduskunta’s potential and real participation to Justice and Home Affairs can be estimated. The study revealed that Eduskunta’s decentralised scrutiny model allowed a selected participation to the policy formulation phase. Because of the amount and technicality of the government’s documents and their late arrival to Eduskunta, parliament’s real chances to participate were many times limited. On the other hand, also due to Eduskunta’s own limited resources the scrutiny was focused but to some key issues. All in all, as Eduskunta revealed to be rather supportive co-legislator to government, few serious agency losses were identified. In the light of this study, Eduskunta appears to trust on government’s ability to promote Finnish interests in the EU level negotiations.