Routine or Rare Activity? A Quantitative Assessment of Parliamentary Scrutiny in the European Semester
Salzburg Centre for European Union Studies, University of Salzburg, Austria / Research Group European Governance, Public Finance and Labor Markets, Institute for Advanced Studies, Austria
Abstract: The European Semester is an EU procedure, designed to facilitate coordination between national and EU actors in planning and implementing economic and fiscal policies and contribute to sustained economic convergence and employment in the EU. Scholars have highlighted this procedure as a crucial area of EU politics for national parliaments since its introduction in 2011. However, national parliaments participate differently in the European Semester. This article investigates which factors (institutional, political, economic) are more likely to intensify parliamentary engagement at the national stage of the procedure, based on a comparative quantitative analysis of parliamentary scrutiny activities across 35 parliaments/chambers in the EU over the 2014–2017 period. The article offers new insights about prospects for greater parliamentary accountability in the European Semester in practice.
Keywords: European Semester; national parliaments; parliamentary accountability; parliamentary scrutiny