Explaining the evolving role of national parliaments under the European Semester

<p>This contribution examines and explains the role of national parliaments in the European Semester process. It builds on original survey-based evidence and traces whether national parliaments discuss and vote on Stability/Convergence and on National Reform Programmes; how their involvement changed over time; and what might condition national varieties of parliamentary scrutiny over European Union (EU) affairs. We find significant cross-country variation in whether the debate is taking place at the parliamentary level; whether it is European Affairs or finance committees that are involved; and whether there is involvement <i>ex ante</i> (before submission) and/or <i>ex post</i> (after country-specific recommendations). From 2012 to 2015, finance committees played an increasingly prominent role. Traditional measures of the strength of parliament do not explain what we observe. We do find that non-euro area member states were most likely to monitor EU recommendations under the European Semester and that this effect increased over time.</p>