Political institutions under stress? Assessing the impact of European Integration on French political institutions
Journal of European Public Policy
GB : Routledge
1117 - 1134 p.
This article examines the impact of European integration on French political institutions. In particular, it assesses the way in which the scrutiny of European affairs has affected and changed relations between the legislative and the executive. Contrary to previous work, we show that simple principal-agent models are difficult to apply to the French case, provided there are two directly elected institutions. Together with the relatively low salience of European issues in French public opinion, this explains why the scrutiny of European affairs has not given way to any substantial renegotiation of legislative-executive relations in France. The overall weakness of the French Parliament has finally been demonstrated with regard to European affairs, despite a substantial formal increase in powers of scrutiny since the Maastricht Treaty.