Parliament and the European Union
The European Union (EU) is the result of a continuous integration process that commenced after the Second World War to ensure peace and prosperity throughout Europe. Today, the EU has 28 member states. When Austria joined the European Union in 1995, it relinquished certain legislative competences to the Union. However, the Austrian Federal Constitutional Law and the Treaty of Lisbon grant the Austrian Parliament considerable rights to participate in the legislative process of the European Union. Directly elected Austrian Members of the European Parliament contribute to European legislation.
The right of the Austrian Parliament to take an active part in EU legislation is for the most part exercised by the EU Main Committee and the EU Sub Committee of the National Council and by the EU Committee of the Federal Council. These committees are empowered to instruct government members as to the position to adopt in respect of substantive negotiations at EU level. National parliaments may join forces to raise objections to EU projects within the scope of the subsidiarity control mechanism.
The EU and Parliaments‘ Participation
The legal framework for participation of the Austrian Parliament is to be found in the Federal Constitution, the EU Treaties and the Rules of Procedure of the National and the Federal Council. Aside from that, there exists an EU Information Act. More
In the course of Austria’s accession to the EU and after the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon the Federal Constitutional Law was adapted to the changed circumstances. Both chambers of the Austrian Parliament, the National and the Federal Council, possess manifold rights of participation. More
Who exercises which rights of participation in EU matters in the National Council is determined by the Federal Constitutional Law and the Rules of Procedure of the National Council. The EU Committees play an extraordinary role in this. More
Also for the Federal Council the Federal Constitutional Law and the Rules of Procedure of the Federal Council determine who exercises which rights of participation in EU matters. Important duties were vested in the Federal Council’s EU Committee. More
Members of the National and Federal Council as well as the general public find manifold ways to inform themselves about EU matters. More
Contacts between the Austrian and the European Parliaments Members of the National and Federal Council regularly participate in Conferences of Members of Parliaments at EU level to which the European Parliament invites representatives of national parliaments. More
IPEX stands for “Interparliamentary EU Information Exchange”. It is an internet platform for the rapid exchange of information in EU matters between national parliaments. More
How many Members of the European Parliament is Austria allowed to delegate and what is their status amongst other Austrian parliamentarians? More