A New Form of Democratic Oversight in the EU: The Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group for Europol

Open access

Abstract

In 2017, a new Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group (JPSG) was created to enable members of the national parliaments of the EU and the European Parliament to exercise joint oversight of the EU agency for police cooperation (Europol). This paper chronicles and explains the lengthy legal and political process leading up to the first meeting of the Europol JPSG in October 2017, and the establishment of its Rules of Procedure at its second meeting in March 2018. In addition, the Europol JPSG is compared to the three EU inter-parliamentary conferences (IPCs) which meet twice-yearly to discuss EU affairs, foreign policy and economic governance. While there are many similarities, the JPSG differs from these others in that it has an explicit mandate to scrutinize, and the target of its scrutiny is a specific EU agency rather than a whole policy field. The JPSG is also distinctive in a number of key respects, including a stronger legal basis, more restrictive membership and participation rules, greater continuity of membership, stronger access to EU officials and documents, a seat on the Europol Management Board and an explicit right to ask oral and written questions. Taken together, these attributes indicate that the JPSG is designed to be an oversight body, rather than merely a discussion forum. Finally, the paper considers the likely future UK role in relation to the Europol JPSG after Brexit.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • • Brière Chloé 2018 ‘Cooperation of Europol and Eurojust with External Partners in the Fight Against Crime: What are the Challenges Ahead?’ DCU Brexit Institute Working Paper No. 1-2018.

  • • Casalena Pier Giorgio Lupo Nicola and Fasone Cristina 2013 ‘Commentary on the Protocol No 1 Annexed to the Treaty of Lisbon’ in Blanke Hermann-Josef and Mangiameli Stelio (eds) The Treaty on European Union (TEU). A Commentary Springer Heidelberg 1529-1633.

  • • Cooper Ian 2019 (forthcoming) ‘The Inter-Parliamentary Conferences of the European Union: Discussion Forums or Oversight Bodies?’ in Raube Kolja Müftüler-Baç Meltem and Wouters Jan (eds) Parliamentary Cooperation and Diplomacy in EU External Relations – An Essential Companion Edward Elgar Publishing Cheltenham.

  • • Cooper Ian 2017a ‘The Emerging Order of Interparliamentary Cooperation in the Post-Lisbon EU’ in Jancic Davor (ed) National Parliaments after the Lisbon Treaty and the Euro Crisis: Resilience or Resignation? Oxford University Press Oxford 227-246.

  • • Cooper Ian 2017b ‘Is the Early Warning Mechanism a legal or a political procedure? Three questions and a typology’ in Jonsson Cornell Anna and Goldoni Marco (eds) National and Regional Parliaments in the EU-Legislative Procedure Post-Lisbon: The Impact of the Early Warning Mechanism Hart Publishing Oxford 17-49.

  • • Cooper Ian 2017c ‘A Separate Parliament for the Eurozone? Differentiated Representation Brexit and the Quandary of Exclusion’ Parliamentary Affairs LXX(4): 655–672.

  • • Cooper Ian 2016a ‘The Politicization of Interparliamentary Relations in the EU: Constructing and Contesting the ‘Article 13 Conference’ on Economic Governance’ Comparative European Politics XIV(2): 196–214.

  • • Cooper Ian 2016b ‘The Interparliamentary Conference on Stability Economic Coordination and Governance (the “Article 13 Conference”)’ in Lupo Nicola and Fasone Cristina (eds) Interparliamentary Cooperation in the Composite European Constitution Hart Publishing Oxford 247-267.

  • • Cooper Ian 2015 ‘The Nordic Parliaments and the EU’ in Caroline Howard Grøn Peter Nedergaard and Anders Wivel (eds) Still the other European Community? The Nordic Countries and the European Union Routledge Abingdon 104-122.

  • • Cooper Ian 2013 ‘Bicameral or Tricameral? National Parliaments and Representative Democracy in the European Union’ Journal of European Integration XXXV(5): 531-546.

  • • Cooper Ian 2012 ‘A ‘Virtual Third Chamber’ for the European Union? National Parliaments After the Treaty of Lisbon West European Politics XXXV(3): 441-465.

  • • Corbett Richard Jacobs Francis and Shackleton Michael 2011 The European Parliament 8th ed. John Harper Publishing London.

  • • Curtin Deirdre 2017 ‘Brexit and the EU Area of Freedom Security and Justice: Bespoke Bits and Pieces’ in Fabbrini Federico (ed) The Law and Politics of Brexit OUP Oxford 182-200.

  • • Esposito Antonio 2016 ‘The Role of COSAC in EU Interparliamentary Cooperation: An (Endless) Quest for an Identity’ in Lupo Nicola and Fasone Cristina (eds) Interparliamentary Cooperation in the Composite European Constitution Hart Publishing Oxford 325-333.

  • • Fijnaut C.J.C.F. 2002 ‘Europol and the parliaments of the member states of the European Union’ in Dutch Parliament (ed) From Europol to Parlopol; interparliamentary conference on democratic control of Europol Boom Amsterdam 15-19.

  • • Fromage Diane 2017 ‘The New Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group for Europol: Old Wine in New Bottles?’ blog post available at: <http://eutarn.blogactiv.eu/2017/06/17/the-new-joint-parliamentary-scrutiny-group-for-europol-old-wine-in-new-bottles>.

  • • Gless Sabine and Wahl Thomas 2017 ‘A Comparison of the Evolution and Pace of Police and Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters: A Race Between Europol and Eurojust?’ in Brière Chloé and Weyembergh Anne (eds) The Needed Balances in EU Criminal Law: Past Present and Future Hart Publishing Oxford 339-354.

  • • Herranz-Surrallés Anna 2014 ‘The EU’s multilevel parliamentary (battle) field: Inter-parliamentary cooperation and conflict in foreign and security policy’ West European Politics XXXVII(5): 957–975.

  • • Kreilinger Valentin 2017 ‘A Watchdog for Europe’s Policemen: The Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group for Europol’ (Policy Paper / Jacques Delors Institute) Jacques Delors Institute Berlin. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.33360.10244

  • • Pelizzo Riccardo and Stapenhurst Frederick 2012 Parliamentary Oversight Tools: A Comparative Analysis Routledge London.

  • • Rasmussen Mette Buskjær and Dionigi Maja Kluger 2018 ‘National parliaments’ use of the political dialogue: Institutional lobbyists traditionalists or communicators?’ Journal of Common Market Studies LVI(5): 1108-1126.

  • • Rijpma Jorrit 2014 ‘Institutions and Agencies: Government and Governance after Lisbon’ in Acosta Arcarazo Diego and Murphy Cian (eds) EU Security and Justice Law Hart Publishing Oxford 54-76.

  • • Ruiz de Garibay Daniel 2013 ‘Coordination Practices in the Parliamentary Control of Justice and Home Affairs: The Case of Europol’ in Crum Ben and Fossum John Erik (eds) Practices of Inter-Parliamentary Coordination in International Politics: The European Union and Beyond European Consortium for Political Research Press Colchester 87-103.

  • • Van Keulen Mendeltje 2014 ‘New Parliamentary Practices in Justice and Home Affairs: Some Observations’ in Holzhacker Ronald L and Luif Paul (eds) Freedom Security and Justice in the European Union Springer Verlag New York 18-19.

  • • Wouters Jan & Raube Kolja 2012 ‘Seeking CSDP Accountability Through Interparliamentary Scrutiny’ The International Spectator XLVII(4): 149-163.

Search
Journal information
Impact Factor


CiteScore 2018: 0.04

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.105
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.03

Target audience: researchers, academics, practitioners interested in the field of political, economic and legal issues in federal states, regional organizations, and international organizations at global level
Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 72 72 7
PDF Downloads 46 46 9