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Croatian Political Science Review, Vol.45 No.5 July 2009.

Conference paper

Europeanization and Democracy: Negotiating the Prüm Treaty and the Schengen III Agreement

Christopher Walsch ; Eszterházy Károly College, Eger, Hungary

Fulltext: pdf (84 KB), English, Pages 81 - 90 , downloads: 470 *

Abstracts
Europeanization and the so-called “democracy-deficit” are two of the major issues dividing European publics and national executives. The following analysis intends to elaborate on these two subjects as they relate to the Prüm Treaty of 2005, an agreement between Schengen member states to enhance cross-border security cooperation, which later formed the basis of a 2007 amendment to the EU’s acquis communautaire. Participating states agreed to implement data exchange capabilities and bolster cooperation of police forces. Criticism of the Prüm Treaty tends to focus on two topics: the protection of personal data and the role of national executives and parliaments in the course of the negotiation process. For this particular treaty, national executives negotiated in almost total secrecy and at a runner’s pace uncommon to the European legislation process. Thus, negotiators bypassed national parliaments and the European Parliament, the legitimate, democratically-elected actors that should have been involved in the treaty’s negotiations from the onset. This paper will detail the interactions between the different national executives and parliaments during the treaty’s negotiation process and reveal how European legislative standards were manipulated in order to secure support and democratic legitimacy. In most cases, national parliaments could only maintain the role of an ex-post control instrument; they could exert little, if any, influence on the contents of the treaty. Another popular criticism of the Prüm Treaty concerns questions regarding Europe’s differentiated integration. Because the Schengen and Prüm frameworks were developed by a minority of member states outside the EU’s institutional framework, some contend that the EU is beginning the process of fragmentation. Still others argue that this legislative flexibility is an asset for the future composition of a widened and deepened European Union. This argument will be analyzed within the context of the provisions of the Nice and Lisbon Treaties.

Keywords
Europeanization; communitarisation; flexible integration; Home and Justice affairs; basic rights; civil liberties; democratic legitimacy; democratic control

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