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The Early Warning System: an evaluation study

Breukers, Romy (2013) The Early Warning System: an evaluation study.

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Abstract:The Early Warning System is introduced by the Lisbon Treaty in 2009 and focuses on the control of subsidiarity. The aim of the Early Warning System is to generate more influence for national parliaments of EU member states in EU decision-making processes. When parliaments think a legislative proposal of the European Commission breaches the principle of subsidiarity, they can accomplish a subsidiarity check and can submit a reasoned opinion within eight weeks after publication. In these eight weeks, it is important to convince other parliaments to submit a reasoned opinion as well. Every member state has 2 votes. If a proposal receives more than 18 votes, a yellow card will be drawn to the Commission and it has to review its legislative proposal. If a proposal receives more than 27 votes, an orange card will be drawn to the Commission and it has to send its proposal and the submitted reasoned opinions to the European Parliament and the European Council. When these institutions agree with the parliaments, the proposal of the Commission will be rejected. This study is commissioned by Pieter Omtzigt, member of the Dutch Parliament and pension rapporteur in the EU on behalf of the Dutch Parliament. 16 February 2012 the Commission published the 'White Paper on pensions', which contains several policy initiatives for 'adequate and sustainable pension systems' in Europe. The Dutch parliament is concerned about the subsidiarity principle of some initiatives in this white paper. On behalf of the Dutch parliament, first Omtzigt will try to convince the Commission to change the draft proposal. If the Commission does not change these initiatives for the final proposal, the Dutch parliament will start a yellow card or orange card procedure after the Commission published the proposal. This study tries to identify factors which influence the support of national parliaments for issuing a yellow or orange card. Based on scientific literature, with the focus on decision-making costs and benefits, seven factors are identified which could influence the frequency of submitting reasoned opinions. Factors related to decision-making costs are the parliamentary system, the size of the parliament, the effective number of parties and polarization. Factors related to benefits are population size, net position and trust. To test the relation between these seven factors and the frequency of submitting reasoned opinions, eight hypotheses are formulated, based on scientific literature and documentation study. The hypotheses reflect the expected relation between the identified factors and the frequency of submitting reasoned opinions. These hypotheses are tested by accomplishing a nonparametric correlation test and crosstabs, between the number of submitted reasoned opinions in 2010 and 2011, and the seven factors. The study shows that polarization, population size and net position have a moderated influence. Parliaments with a high rate of polarization, a high population size and a weak net position will submit reasoned opinions more frequently than parliaments with a low rate of polarization, a low population size and a high net position. The parliamentary system and the number of seats in the parliament have a weak influence on the frequency of submitting reasoned opinions. Parliaments with a bicameral parliamentary system and with a high number of seats submit reasoned opinions more frequently than parliaments with an unicameral system and with a small number of seats. The factors effective parties and trust have no influence on the frequency of submitting reasoned opinions. For practitioners like Pieter Omtzigt, this study is relevant. This study identified seven factors which influence the support of national parliaments for issuing a yellow or orange card. With this new perspective and knowledge, practitioners can use this in case of selecting relevant parliaments for making a coalition with, which increases the chance of drawing a yellow or orange card to the Commission. For scientists this study is relevant as well. This study gives new perspectives about the Early Warning System, including the yellow and orange card procedure, coalition-making processes and decision-making processes. Therefore, this study can be a start of more scientific research.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Public Administration MSc (60020)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/63412
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