Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2463

Editorial | Open Access

Introduction to “Out of the Shadows, Into the Limelight: Parliaments and Politicisation”

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Abstract:  The Lisbon Treaty gave the European Parliament extensive new powers and its consent is now required for the vast majority of EU international agreements. At the same time, national parliaments—and even regional ones—are increasingly asserting their powers over areas of European governance that were traditionally dominated by the executive. Exerting influence and conducting oversight is time-consuming, however. Particularly at the EU-level parliaments cannot influence or scrutinise every policy dossier with equal rigour. A key factor directing parliamentary attention seems to be the ‘politicisation’ of an issue. In other words, the amount of contestation and attention given to a particular issue seems to affect parliamentary activity. This thematic issue seeks to assess how politicisation affects the role parliaments play within the system of EU governance. In particular, the contributions aim to answer the over-arching question of whether politicisation has an impact on how parliaments seek to influence policy-making and hold the EU executives to account. Furthermore, we raise the question of whether and how politicisation affects the role of parliaments as arenas for contestation and communication of different political interests. Jointly, the findings provide the empirical foundations for a more comprehensive debate regarding the democratic implications of politicisation. Politicisation puts pressure on parliaments to act, but parliamentarians themselves may also find it in their interest to instigate contestation. This thematic issue addresses these questions by shedding light on both the European Parliament and national parliaments and examines different policy-fields reaching from climate change and trade, to financial affairs and the Common Fisheries Policy.

Keywords:  democracy; European Central Bank; European Parliament; national parliaments; politicisation; Common Fisheries Policy



© Christine Neuhold, Guri Rosén. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.