The Nordic Parliaments’ Approaches to the EU: Strategic Coordinator, Comprehensive Scrutinizer, Reluctant Cooperator and Outside-Insider
The Nordic parliaments are similar in that they all exercise a robust style of oversight of their respective governments' conduct of EU affairs; they exemplify a common "Nordic model" of parliamentary scrutiny. However, the Parliaments differ in how they engage directly with the EU. This paper does a comparative analysis of the Norwegian Parliaments' actions and responses to the controversial EU legislative proposal, the 2012 Monti II Regulation concerning the right to strike.
The parliaments of the Nordic EU member states are similar in that they all exercise a particularly robust style of oversight of their respective governments’ conduct of EU affairs: compared to other national parliaments in the EU, they exemplify a common “Nordic model” of parliamentary scrutiny. However, important differences emerge when one compares the parliaments of Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway (a non-EU-member) in how they engage directly with the EU, through direct interaction with EU-level institutions and with other national parliaments regarding EU affairs. These differences may be illustrated by comparing their actions in response to one controversial EU legislative proposal, the 2012 Monti II Regulation concerning the right to strike, which was widely seen as hurtful to the interests of workers in Nordic countries. The Monti II proposal was the first EU legislative proposal to be withdrawn, under a new “Early Warning Mechanism” procedure, after objections to it were raised by numerous national parliamentary chambers, including those of Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. This process revealed important differences in the approach of the Nordic parliaments to the EU: they may be characterized variously as strategic coordinator (Danish Folketing), comprehensive scrutinizer (Swedish Riksdag), reluctant cooperator (Finnish Eduskunta), and outside-insider (Norwegian Storting).