Accountability Revisited: Parliamentary Perspectives on the Inter-Parliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination, and Governance
This article aims to verify whether, and to what extent, the Inter-Parliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance (IPC SECG) has become an accountability enhancing arena through which domestic legislatures can better scrutinize the process of the European Semester. While there is a broad scholarship on the difficult institutionalization of the IPC SECG and controversies related to its operation, little has been said about its actual performance as an accountability enhancing platform, especially in the context of domestic interactions between parliaments and executives in the area of economic governance. Despite it being operational for several years, the scholarship lacks focus on the national parliaments’ perspective with regard to this Conference’s effectiveness. Against this background, drawing from comparative data obtained from questionnaires and interviews, this article addresses the above-mentioned aspects from an actor-oriented approach and delves deeper into parliamentary perceptions of the SECG Conference. Findings indicate that attendance at the SECG Conference by MPs has neither significantly affected their domestic parliamentary activity in the area of economic governance and budgetary policy, nor improved the existing domestic legislative-executive relationship in this context. The Conference’s procedural weaknesses are only one part of the problem, another being the marginalized domestic position of parliaments in the European Semester procedure.
© Karolina Borońska-Hryniewiecka. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.