Vacant Democracies

The V4 Parliaments Have Little Impact on the European Level

17 June 2019

Lacking parliamentary oversight of the positions presented in the EU institutions has become a permanent feature of the Central European states.

Recently, we notice more than ever before the democratic deficit in the V4 countries. The corruption scandals, oligarchisation of the economy, mafia connections, attacks on the judiciary and civil society are symptomatic not for illiberal democracies but for undemocratic liberties usurped by the executive.

The V4 countries’ common characteristic is that they have strong executives (governments and ministries) and weak parliaments and parliamentary committees.

In most of the other European countries, when the representatives of the government go to the EU institutions to discuss policy, they have a worked-out position confirmed or debated on the parliamentary ground that it must obey. Parliaments are a source of democratic legitimacy. If you think of how far Orbàn, Kaczyński or Babiš respect some fixed parliament opinions…this idea sounds like a joke.

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Ivan Gabal

Sociologist and Security Expert, Member of Czech Parliament (2013–2017)

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