The Association of European Senates as a Channel for International Activity of Opposition Parties under Conditions of Bicameral Parliaments
(Združenie európskych senátov ako kanál pre medzinárodnú činnosť opozičných strán v podmienkach dvojkomorových parlamentov)
Politické vedy, Volume 22, Number 2/2019, pages 26-41
Recommended form for quotation of the article / Odporúčaná forma citácie článku:
JAKUBIAK, Ł. 2019. The Association of European Senates as a Channel for International Activity of Opposition Parties under Conditions of Bicameral Parliaments. In Politické vedy. [online]. Vol. 22, No. 2, 2019. ISSN 1335 – 2741, pp. 26-41. Available at: http://doi.org/10.24040/politickevedy.2019.22.2.26-41
The growing role of diplomacy, assuming the participation of legislative branch of government, is nowadays an unquestionable political phenomenon. The international cooperation of parliamentary chambers may be regarded as one of the means that serves this purpose. This applies not only to first (lower) chambers of modern parliaments, but also to second (upper) ones, regardless of their constitutional status. Hence, in the present study, the Association of European Senates (founded in 2000) as seen in the context of parliamentary aspects of plural diplomacies was analysed. Under conditions of a parliamentary system of government combined with the asymmetry of bicameralism (the second chamber is weaker than the first one), second chambers do not necessarily need to be pro-government bodies. Diverse procedures used to elect their members give the opportunity to form majorities that could be in opposition to the relevant national governments, which results in incongruence of bicameralism. In contrast to first chambers, which by definition provide political support to cabinets of ministers (under each parliamentary regime), second chambers may be dominated by formations of the opposition. The results show that such political configurations create a starting point for increased international involvement of leaderships of chambers, in which such political groups play a dominant role. Hence, the Association of European Senates may be a convenient field for strengthening, at the international level, the position of politicians belonging to the anti-government opposition in their own countries. However, this is only possible if a specific model of the second chamber is adopted.
Key words: the Association of European Senates, parliamentary diplomacy, second chambers, opposition parties, incongruent bicameralism