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Nationell EU-parlamentatism : Riksdagens arbete med EU-frågorna


  • Hans Hegeland

Summary, in English

The increasing internationalization puts new demands on national democracy and national parliamentarism. The questions posed in this dissertation are if the parliamentary model for domestic policy or the parliamentary model for foreign policy is the most relevant when describing the role of the Swedish Riksdag (parliament) in European Union (EU) matters, and whether there have been any changes during the first ten years of Swedish EU membership. The models can be described as ideal types. National parliaments are strong in domestic policy but weak in foreign policy. Seven dimensions are studied: constitutional regulation, information, participation, influence, accountability, consensus, and time rhythm.

The work of the Riksdag on EU matters can be described as follows. The constitutional regulation gives the Riksdag a stronger role than in foreign policy, but the work in the Riksdag is not regulated in the same detail as in domestic policy. The Riksdag receives regular information, and plenty of material is published on the website of the Riksdag, although there are flaws in the information flow which are not part of the domestic policy model. Many sectoral committees deal with EU matters and the Committee on EU Affairs has consisted of a broad parliamentary elite. The Riksdag follows all EU matters mainly through the Committee on EU Affairs, resulting in conditions which give the Riksdag opportunities to exercise influence. However, the sectoral committees and the chamber do not cover all EU matters, and it is unusual that the Riksdag rejects the position of the government. The government is held accountable through scrutiny by the Committee on the Constitution, oral and written reports after the Council meetings, as well as by questions and interpellations. However, the government is the main source of the information used when it is held accountable. The level of conflict is not particularly high. The Riksdag can not influence the time rhythm of the EU but the Committee on EU Affairs, and to some extent the chamber, have adjusted their schedules to the EU rhythm.

Empirically, the role of the Riksdag could have been closer to either model or ideal type than is actually the case. Since EU matters are neither dealt with as foreign nor domestic policy, we can say that we have a new kind of parliamentarism for EU matters, a national EU-parliamentarism. In general terms, this EU parliamentarism is characterized by a stronger role of the Riksdag than in traditional foreign policy but not as strong as in domestic policy. Over time, from 1995 to 2005, there has been a change in all seven dimensions. The Riksdag's work with EU matters has moved closer to the domestic model, i.e. it has strengthened its role. Comparisons with Finland and Denmark show that there are both similarities and differences between the three parliaments. Matters in the EU's second and third pillars are also covered in the study.

Publishing year





Lund Political Studies



Document type



Santérus förlag


  • Political Science


  • ideal types
  • domestic policy
  • foreign policy
  • democracy
  • European Union (EU)
  • National parliaments
  • the Swedish parliament
  • Political and administrative sciences
  • Statsvetenskap
  • förvaltningskunskap




  • Lennart Lundquist


  • ISSN: 0460-0037
  • ISBN: 91-7335-004-4
  • ISBN: 978-91-7335-004-4

Defence date

14 December 2006

Defence time


Defence place

Edens hörsal, Statsvetenskapliga institutionen.


  • Sverker Gustavsson (Professor)