New article in Res Publica
Ben Crum (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) and ARENA's John Erik Fossum has published the article "Het 'Meerlaags Parlementair Veld' in de Europese Unie: naar een reconstructie van parlementaire soevereiniteit in meerlaags bestuur" in the Belgian journal Res Publica. The article is based on their previous collaboration "The Multilevel Parliamentary Field: A Framework for Theorizing Representative Democracy in the EU", published in the European Political Science Review 1,2 (2009).
The twin articles introduce the concept of the ‘Multilevel Parliamentary Field’ as a means for analysing the structure of democratic representation in the European Union (EU). This concept is warranted for several reasons. First, the multilevel configuration that makes up the EU contains two channels of democratic representation: one directly through the European Parliament, the other indirectly through the national parliaments and governments. These two channels are likely to persist side by side; hence, both the European and the national parliaments can claim to represent ‘the people’ in EU decision-making. Second, this structure of representation is in many respects without precedent; it does not fit established concepts of democratic representation derived from the nation-state or from international relations, such as a federal two-channel system or a parliamentary network. Third, the representative bodies in the EU are interlinked, also across levels. Up until now, no proper conceptual apparatus has been devised that can capture the distinctive traits of this EU multilevel representative system, and help to assess its democratic quality. The concept of the Multilevel Parliamentary Field fills both these tasks.