The French Parliament & the European Union. Backbenchers’ blues

mfo rozenberg

Special talk by Olivier Rozenberg, Sciences po Paris
Discussant: Radoslaw Zubek, Hertford College

Convenor:  Anja Thomas, MFO, Nuffield, OxPo

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Olivier Rozenberg's book explores how the European Union has changed the French Parliament since 1992. It supports the view that the institutional adaptation of both assemblies to European affairs is largely superficial as it lacks a genuine involvement from members of parliament. Nevertheless, the role of backbenchers has changed in the context of European integration. New ways of behaving, thinking and representing have emerged. From specialized representatives to constituency members, from presidential aspirants to Eurosceptic sovereigntists, French national parliamentarians have adapted differently to the EU. Far beyond the sole scrutiny of European draft legislation, the book provides a comprehensive map of this changing environment. It supports the view that the process has been driven by the search for day-to-day emotional gratifications rather than utilitarian strategies.