EU soft law and the functioning of representative democracy: the use of methods of open co-ordination by Dutch and British parliamentarians

R. de Ruiter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The Open Method of Co-ordination (OMC) promises to involve a broad range of actors, including members of national parliaments. Several scholars showed that the OMC breaks this promise by affecting the national policy-making process outside of the control of national parliaments. However, this finding can be called into question; scholars drew heavily on anecdotal evidence and did not take sufficiently into account differences between OMCs and member states. This article empirically investigates the use of three OMCs by parliamentarians in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands to assess the performance of national policies related to the knowledge-based society theme. It will be shown that the use of information from OMCs by parliamentarians is dependent on the information provided by the government on the policies OMCs touch upon and the presence of simple benchmarks in an OMC. Moreover, parliamentarians in a consensus democracy use the OMC more frequently.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)874-890
JournalJournal of European public policy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • European Union
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
  • IR-76583
  • Open Method of Co-ordination
  • METIS-267720
  • national parliaments

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