The Polish parliament and EU affairs: an effective actor or an accidental hero? ADAM ˜AZOWSKI
This contribution is tailored to provide readers with an overview of the state of affairs regarding parliamentary control of European affairs in Poland, one of the new member states of the European Union (EU). In the course of the last two decades, the role of the Polish parliament has changed dramatically. From a communist democratic façade it has developed into a full fledged legislator.1 Since the early 1990s it has become involved in EU matters in a variety of ways. Membership in the EU has required far reaching modifications in its relations with the government. These developments are discussed at some length in this contribution to the volume. The chapter begins with a presentation of basic facts about the Polish parliament. The evolution of its involvement in EU affairs in the period preceding the EU accession is analysed in the next section. This leads to an overview of the existing legal framework and recent jurisprudence of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal relating to that framework. The final part of the chapter attempts to answer the question set forth in the title, whether the Polish parliament with respect to EU-related matters is an effective actor or just an accidental hero.