Comparing the incomparable: SJD candidate Franziska Pupeter compares the Austrian Parliament (the National Council) and the European Parliament with a focus on the formation of investigative committees. Despite the different constitutional and institutional contexts in which these two Parliaments conduct inquiries, they face the same challenge: federalism. As power is distributed between different levels, i.e. between supranational and national and between federal and sub-national with regards to the EU and Austria respectively, the exercise of political control is complex. Does federalism lead to a control deficit? The article focuses on how the federal distribution of competencies limits the scope of parliamentary investigations, concluding that the European Parliament lacks crucial enforcement mechanisms. Whereas the Austrian Parliament may subpoena witnesses and request documents, the European Parliament relies on the voluntary cooperation of Member States’ officials and politicians.
The article is accessible under the following link: https://elibrary.verlagoesterreich.at/article/10.33196/juridikum202301003001