Research on legislative‒executive relations in foreign affairs has generally assumed that parliaments are more active in ‘intermestic’ affairs than in traditional foreign policy issues. This paper revisits this assumption by examining whether parliaments in European countries scrutinise crucial decisions on a typical intermestic domain: external energy policy and, more specifically, intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) on energy. Contrary to the expectation, the study finds high variation in the level of parliamentary scrutiny across and within countries. To account for this variation, the paper focuses on the role of issue framing, particularly the impact of securitising and/or depoliticising moves by members of parliament and government. The paper argues that, in contrast to traditional foreign policy matters, securitisation attempts in areas with a strong economic component are likely to increase politicisation and hence also parliamentary engagement. Conversely, parliamentary disengagement is likely to come from the opposite dynamics: successful depoliticisation of governmental responsibilities.
- Parliamentary control
- external relations