Leicester Law Professor To Share Expertise With House of Lords Select Committee
Published by University of Leicester Press Office for University of Leicester in Central Government and also in Education, Local Government
A University of Leicester European Law expert has been invited to give evidence to a Parliamentary Select Committee as part of an inquiry into the Role of National Parliaments in the European Union.
Professor Adam Cygan, of the University of Leicester’s School of Law, has been invited by the House of Lords EU Scrutiny Select Committee to give oral evidence on 22 October 2013. Professor Cygan will be discussing his research and expertise on the subject of the role of national parliaments in EU affairs which he has been researching for 20 years.
The inquiry by the Select Committee examines how national parliaments may contribute in the future to making the European Union more democratic and accountable. It focusses on what role national parliaments can play in addressing the economic and political challenges that face the European Union, especially in the light of the financial crisis.
Professor Cygan said: “Through my participation I am making a contribution to the debate on the future role of national parliaments in the EU.
“As national parliaments are repositories of democracy they must have a prominent role in EU affairs to ensure that legislation is considered legitimate by EU citizens.
“The main point I will be highlighting and which arises from my research is that national parliaments must become proactive actors in EU affairs and make better use of the procedures available to them to pursue more effective accountability of both national governments and EU Institutions within the EU legislative process.”
The inquiry coincides with a wider debate in Government and the general public concerning the United Kingdom’s future relationship with the EU and how the EU could be made more democratic and more accountable for the legislation it makes. The Select Committee and its Sub-Committees scrutinise proposals, conduct inquiries, and prepare reports which are regularly read by parliamentarians within other Member States and by members of the EU Commission.
With a recent increase in support for ‘Eurosceptic’ policies at elections across the EU the Terms of Reference for the inquiry consider whether national parliaments can help to form a bridge between EU citizens and the EU Institutions which are considered by many citizens as irrelevant to their daily lives.
Professor Cygan has published numerous articles and three monographs on the subject and regularly participates in the training of civil servants and parliamentary officials across the EU Member States. This training provides best practice guidance of how to apply the provisions within the EU Treaty, which give national parliaments an opportunity to review legislative proposals for their compliance with the principle of subsidiarity.
Professor Cygan’s most recent monograph, ‘Accountability, Parliamentarism and Transparency in the EU: The Role of National Parliaments’ was published in August 2013 by Edward Elgar Publishers and examines the role of national parliaments in EU affairs after the Treaty of Lisbon 2007 and challenges the premise that, under the current Treaty arrangements, national parliaments can be considered as strong and influential actors in EU affairs.