Catalysts for reform of the Oireachtas role in European Union affairs
The LisbonTreaty and economic
crisis: catalysts for reform of
the Oireachtas role in European
Introduction: the impact of the LisbonTreaty and
the 2008–2013 economic crises
The Oireachtas role in European policy is evolving. If the rate of change is slow,
powerful forces are, nonetheless, over time producing an altered landscape.
Chapter 5 offers a perspective on the present-day Oireachtas role. The focus of
this chapter is on the process of change. Two of the greatest recent catalysts for
change have been (a) the evolution and entry
The LisbonTreaty and the
constitutionalisation of the European Union
When final result showed 67.1 per
cent of Irish voters in favour of the LisbonTreaty, with 32.9 per cent
voting against, Irish political elites were visibly relieved. Irish
Taoiseach Brian Cowen celebrated that ‘today we have done the
right thing for our own future and the future of our children
The European Commission had become one of the more contentious actors during both Irish referenda on the Lisbon Treaty. This book discusses the role of the European Commission and institutions more generally, as well as the policy area of justice and home affairs. It argues that it is important to evaluate the role of EU institutions for the process of European integration. The book suggests a reconceptualisation of the framework of supranational policy entrepreneurs (SPEs), which is often referred to by the academic literature that discusses the role of agency in European integration. It focuses on the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) at the policy and treaty levels; primarily on four grounds: academic literature, SPE behaviour, EU's policymaking, and the interplay between treaty negotiations and policy-making. To analyse the role of the European institutions, the book combines an analysis of the Lisbon Treaty in relation to the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice with an analysis of the policy-making in the same area. The public policy model by John Kingdon with constructivist international relations literature is also outlined. The external dimension of counter-terrorism in the EU; the role of the EU institutions in EU asylum and migration; and the role of he Common European Asylum System (CEAS) is discussed. The book also analyses the role of the EU institutions in the communitarisation of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, in the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, and thus subsequently in the Lisbon Treaty.
Reflections on how the role of the Irish parliament in European affairs might be improved
entitled “Enhancing the Role of the Oireachtas in EU
A second Oireachtas Sub-Committee, chaired by then-Opposition TD Lucinda
Creighton produced the Report of the Joint Sub-Committee on the Review of the Role
National parliaments in the European Union
of the Oireachtas in European Affairs5 (entirely concerned with the Oireachtas’ EU-
related role) in July 2010.
Both reports derived from the LisbonTreaty’s ratification debate. The political impact of this Treaty for the Oireachtas thus rivalled its direct legal consequences. As Jacobs has
European Union to make themselves visible in the conclusions of intergovernmental conferences (IGCs). The temporal peaks (or perhaps plateaus) in the
debate have been the negotiation and ratification of the Treaty of Maastricht in
1990–93, the negotiation and ratification of the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1995–
99, and the lengthy process of Treaty reform that began with the Convention on
National parliaments in the European Union
the Future of Europe in 2001 and finally played itself out with the coming into
force of the LisbonTreaty in late 2009.
In this chapter
Zeitgeist , which Habermas had thought of since the 1970s as characterised by
‘cultural pessimism’ (McCarthy, 1997 : vii). The goal was to
take the project of modernity further forward. The ‘prolonged depression’ in
Europe anticipated by Habermas ( 2005 : 4) in the event of a French ‘No’ vote would form part of
a deeper civilisation malaise, not just be a recurrence of Europessimism.
Even after the rejection of the LisbonTreaty by Irish voters in 2008,
Habermas ( 2008a ) continued to campaign for the legitimation of
The role of national parliaments in the European Union (EU) has developed considerably over time. This book focuses on one parliament as a case study in this regard: the national parliament of Ireland, the Oireachtas. The basic structure of that parliament is modelled on that of the United Kingdom. Like the United Kingdom, Ireland joined the then European Communities on 1 January 1973. Within a relatively short period from the date of Ireland's joining the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973, it became clear that major structural change to the Communities would be needed if the EEC were ever to fulfil its potential. The book examines the initial adaptations of its parliament to European integration and how Ireland's domestic parliamentary accommodation of membership slowly changed over time. It focuses on the considerable impact on domestic parliamentary arrangements of the recent banking and foreign debt crises and of the Treaty of Lisbon. An assessment of the role of the Oireachtas in European law and policy during the lifetimes of the 30th Dail (2007-11) and the 31st Dail (2011-16) follows. The book discusses the formation of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Union Affairs, which held its first meeting in private on 19 July 2016, and its first public meeting on 7 September. However, Ireland's position as a "slow adaptor" to European integration has meant that the Oireachtas has had more ground to make up than many other legislatures.
solidarity [with a] lack of strong institutions’ which made it increasingly unsustainable during the migration crisis (Scipioni 2017: 1365 ).
Whilst the LisbonTreaty has empowered supranational institutions on the issue of migration, the policies in this area retained a high degree of continuity, especially since the European Parliament used its new-found responsibility differently than some analysts had expected, rather supporting and reinforcing the more restrictive policies of the European Council. ‘In fact, informal negotiations [in this policy
one side, and Colombia and Peru, on the other, could then indeed be initialled at said summit. Whilst the ratification of the agreement in the Council then proceeded largely without incident, the newly emboldened EP after the LisbonTreaty nonetheless briefly threatened to block it. This had much to do with concerns over the human rights situation in Colombia, as MEPs were lobbied by Colombian NGOs and unions over the matter (Fritz 2010 : 7). Ultimately this was resolved by the Commission applying some pressure on MEPs to ratify the agreement
Contemporary dynamics of EU–LAC inter-parliamentary relations
Bruno Theodoro Luciano
process of trade deals, but also due to the lack of transparency with regard to the terms of the inter-regional negotiations. It is worth mentioning that, especially since the entry into force of the LisbonTreaty, the EP has been regularly informed of progress and has acquired more access to negotiated texts. Besides, within the Civil Society Dialogue parliamentarians may also contribute to the negotiations. None the less, although the EP has more competences than Latin American regional parliaments, when it comes to trade policies the EP continues to push for further