Dimitrios Kyritsis, Where Our Protection Lies: Separation of Powers and Constitutional Review, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, 240 PP, hb £50.00.

Nicola Lupo and Cristina Fasone (eds), Interparliamentary Cooperation in the
Composite European Constitution, Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2016, xvii +
366 pp, hb £59.99.
The origins of inter parliamentary cooperation in the EU go back to the 1960s
with the creation of the ‘Speakers Conference’ that brought togetherthe speak-
ers of the national parliaments of the then EEC Member States and of the
European Parliament. The Speakers Conference first met in 1963 (but as is
less commonly known did not meet again until 1973) before becoming an
essentially annual event by the mid-1970s. The growing realisation that the
transfer of law-making powers to the European level resulted in a disempow-
ering of national parliaments led to the creation in 1989 of the second, and still
best-known, EU related interparliamentary conference: COSAC, the French
acronym for what is now the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for
Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union.
As concerns with the EU’s so-called democratic deficit proliferated, calls for
a greater role for national parliaments in the European integration project grew
during the 1990s. These voices became more pronounced during the Conven-
tion process that culminated in the emergence of new provisions of primary
law on the role of national parliaments and interparliamentary cooperation that
were retained in the Lisbon Treaty. The post-Lisbon treaty text now expressly
identifies a range of ways in which ‘[n]ational parliaments contribute actively
to the good functioning of the Union’ (Article 12 TEU). This includes the
early warning system that empowers national parliaments to contest legislative
action on subsidiarity grounds and which is generally recognised as requiring
interparliamentary cooperation to be practically effective due to the number
of parliaments required to trigger the procedure and the formidable time con-
straints. It also includes taking part in interparliamentary cooperation with the
European Parliament in accordance with the Protocol on the role of national
parliaments in the EU. That protocolhas a title expressly devoted to interparlia-
mentary cooperation that has two articles: Article 9 stipulating that the EU and
national parliaments shall determine the organisation and promotion of effective
and regular interparliamentary cooperation; and Article 10 on COSAC, which
crucially also provides that it may ‘organise interparliamentary conferences on
specific topics, in particular to debate matters of common foreign and security
policy, including common security and defence policy’. The very first sectoral
interparliamentary conference was indeed soon set up in the Common For-
eign Security Policy/Common Security and Defence Policy (CFSP/CSDP)
area, meeting for the first time in 2012. Just a year later a second sectoral
interparliamentary conference was born in the economic governance area.
These Lisbon and post-Lisbon developments have unsurprisingly led to
an explosion in academic writing on the role of national parliaments and
C2018 The Author.The Moder n Law Review C2018 The Modern Law Review Limited. (2018) 81(3) MLR 539–566
Published by John Wiley& Sons Ltd, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK and 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA
interparliamentary cooperation in the EU. In the last few years in English
alone we have seen the emergence of monographs, a handbook, edited collec-
tions, and several journal special issues specifically in this terrain, to say nothing
of the countless contributions in journals and edited collections. Interparliamen-
tary Cooperation in the Composite European Constitution is a valuable contribution
to this growing body of literature and brings together leading and emerging
scholars in the field of interparliamentary cooperation from legal and political
science backgrounds along with contributions from a number of practitioners.
The book starts with a useful introduction from the editors placing the
subject in context and developing a conceptual framework based around the
EU as a composite constitutional order and ‘a “Euro-national parliamentary
system”, of which interparliamentary cooperation is a crucial component’.
Fasone and Lupo have strong hopes for the contribution that this can make
to democracy in the EU - a theme to which they return in a substantive
concluding chapter - while also proposing improvements to interparliamentary
Part I of this collection is composed of two chapters. In the first, entitled
‘The Place of National Parliaments within the European Constitutional Order’,
Besselink develops the notion of a composite European constitutional order –
as contrasted with a hierarchically structured order – and the challenge of
democracy in such an order. In the second, Martinico looks at some com-
mon features of interjudicial dialogue and interparliamentary cooperation and
suggests this as a possible future comparative research agenda.
The second part, also composed of two chapters, explores interparliamentary
cooperation in the treaty revision process. In the first of these chapters, Pinelli
looks in particular at the emergence of the convention method, beginning
with the Convention drafting the Charter of Fundamental Rights through to
its insertion in Article 48 TEU, considering them as manifestations of inter-
parliamentary cooperation. Although the chapter is entitled ‘The Convention
Method’ there are sections devoted to other matters including interparliamen-
tary cooperation under the first protocol and the Fiscal Compact Treaty.
The second chapter by Granat focuses on the role of national parliaments
in the simplified revision procedures introduced by the Lisbon Treaty. This in-
cludes looking at how a varied selection of Member States – the UK, Germany,
Poland, Italy, and France – regulate the use of the simplified revisionprocedures.
In discussing the UK and the European Union Act 2011, Granat notes (78-79)
that there must be approval by both Act of Parliament and referendum in rela-
tion to the first and second simplified revision procedures (respectively Articles
48(6) and (7) TEU). However, the referendum requirement does not actually
apply to all such uses of simplified revision procedures. The procedures have so
far only been used once: the Article 136 TFEU amendment. That amendment
is part of a brief case study in Granat’s chapter that touches on interparlia-
mentary cooperation in the form of the ‘real time’ information exchange that
emerged, but somewhat surprisingly does not look at how approval of the
Article 136 TFEU amendment actually took place in the aforementioned
selected Member States. In the UK this use of the first simplified revision pro-
cedure was of course not subject to popular approval, but rather was approved
540 C2018 The Author. The Modern Law Review C2018 The Modern Law Review Limited.
(2018) 81(3) MLR 539–566

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