No effect, weapon of the weak or reinforcing executive dominance?
Pieter de Wilde has published the article 'No effect, weapon of the weak or reinforcing executive dominance? How media coverage affects national parliaments’ involvement in EU policy-formulation' in Comparative European Politics 9(2).
This article empirically investigates how media coverage of European Union (EU) policy-formulation affects the involvement of national parliaments in these processes. The literature has variously argued that the involvement of national parliaments in EU policy-formulation is unrelated to media coverage, that media strengthen the hand of backbenchers and opposition or that media reinforce executive dominance.
Using a mixed methodology research design for a longitudinal case study of debates on the EU budget in the Netherlands between 1992 and 2005, this article presents evidence for all three hypotheses, but with clear variations over time. Although institutional arrangements clearly structure parliamentary involvement limiting media effects, its explanatory power decreases as the intensity of debate increases. Limited media coverage reinforces executive dominance whereas extensive media coverage provides a weapon of the weak and strengthens the involvement of parliaments in general, and opposition parties in particular.