Executives dominate the legislatures across Europe
The legislatures is the Law making body of governance, the executive comprises of the constitutional ruling powers, examples, the President, the Prime Minister, Members of Cabinet and the Speaker of Parliament.
The Legislatures, the Executives and the Judiciary.These are all arms of the government and there all work hand in hand to form constitutional elected government.However, there are various systems of governance but the principles are the same.
Each country has its own systems of rule, base on the type of government it practices, i.e. the President or the Prime Minister.
The Legislature: It is the department with the responsibility for the executing Legislation within parliament, which is made up of the three elements, the Queen, the House of Lords and the House of Commons, in the case of the UK. The Executive; The mechanism for the state that implements and formulates the policy that runs the country. This becomes part of the separation of powers. Its uniqueness in dealing with the distraction, plans, and rules, also focus on plans relevant to the affairs of parliament. The Judiciary; it has the responsible of adjudication of deputies in the common law. As well as relating to the Legislative, it is to set up a smoother administration (Crouch, 2000).
In this essay, we are looking at the branch of two institutions of the Executive and the Legislature based on two countries within the European Union Thus, by trying to find out which one dominates across. In contest, of some countries on which this work will comprise of France, and the United Kingdom. In across European states, with the exception of Cyprus and France, the running of lies on the Prime Minister and full presidency in the status in the case of Cyprus. Being the leader of the political party that won the numerical strength in parliament is to form a government. This could in a coalition with other parties; however, the government need to have the confidence of parliament (BALE, 2008).
There are constitutional accepted norms and cultures within the parliament and usually the Legislatures have been approved by the Executive. In essences parliamentary constitutions rules permit that the Executive to veto Laws and Legislation before it can be pass into formal rules within the UK or in Europe.
In the presidential system of government, the powerful elected president by the people directly by the people becomes both the chief executive and the head of state. While in the parliamentary system of government, the executive in general are not elected but there are chosen “indirectly” by the elected parliament (legislature). Parliamentary government are common norms in modern Europe, but when the democratisation of the eastern state of Europe, had the chance for change there did choose a new system of government for the move from an old constitution to a new parliamentary system of government (Gallagher, 2006).
The constitution of France is currently based on the one adopted in 1958 after the referendum and it is known as the fifth Republic. This constitution allows the President to have all the powers available. He appoints the Prime Minister, who becomes the Head of Government. There are two chambers; made up of the National Assembly and the Senate. However, the National Assembly is the power based, but both houses share the same Legislative authority (Kesseleman, 2010). . The Legislature or the Parliament, wherever enjoy more powers than the Executive did during the Third and Fourth republic, but in the Firth Republic this powers were substantially reduce. The political system faces a lot of criticism for years, thus, because of the imbalance of between the Executive and the Legislature. The 2008 reforms of the constitution were made to address the issues.
Nevertheless, since France operates on a semi presidential system of government, in essences parliament lack of independence the legislature is to be enjoying in the full presidential system. As such, the president will not be responsible for parliament, and therefore cannot hold the executive in to account (Kesseleman, 2010). Notwithstanding, the French president still exercise some executive powers (especially emergency) once that goes beyond other Europeans heads of states.
One executive power of the president, he appoint the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet ministers, individually or collectively become responsible to parliament, thus the different between the semi presidential and a full blown president system. In the contraire, it means that the French president can use all the full powers of executive at his disposal, but only if both the prime minister and the cabinet are all from the same party or are in alliance, which is more often the case in France (BALE, 2008). This has been referred to as obliging the president to ‘cohabit’ with the prime minister and cabinet made up from political parties of the other side (BALE, 2008). However, the change in presidential elections times in French before the parliamentary the issues of cohabitation may be rarer to be the case.
In Western executive during the fifth republic, the president becomes the most powerful, so as much as the president of the United States with the full presidential systems. However, in the case of French the president has limited powers as compare to the United State. In summary the fifth republic presidency is just a near to purely political institution in Western society today (BELL, 2000).
“Executive power in Europe is wielded by the government which are accountable to and rely on the support of parliament. They are led by cabinets comprised of ministers from one or more parties, many of whom retain their parliamentary seats. In theory, they are co-ordinated, if not controlled, by a prime minister whose power- which some argue is on the rise – varies between countries but also according to circumstance” (BALE, 2008). In as much Bale try to make his argument about the balance of power of the prime minister will depend on two concept ‘ the executive in general will need to be facilitated, for example by a strong central state and limited judicial oversight of government actions as well a weak parliament.In addition, the power with the executive itself provides a helpful checklist of factors that will contribute to this’ (BALE, 2008). Whereas the second house of the parliament (the House of Lords) had part of its powers taken, for the creation of a high court. There are observation across Europe about the weakness in some parliament (legislature), the list of stronger parliament include Germany, Sweden, Italy, Poland, and the Netherland. While as the weaker once are the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, Spain, and France. The weakness of the French parliament is most refer to Europe’s weakest legislatures. The unusual executive structure of the France system of government in European context, gives the directly elected president too much to power, meanwhile the executive power is jointly shared by the president and the cabinet (council of ministers), (Gallagher, 2006).
Most of the European with the monarchies system likes Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Spain and the UK, the head of state will be the king or Queen. In case of republics it will then be called the president, who would have be elected by the people directly, as it has been seen in Austria, Bulgaria,…..Slovenia. Nonetheless, the UK prime minister remains the stronger executive, which has plenty of power inside parliament as the leader of the single majority government that is regarded as the most powerful in Europe. (BALE, 2008). Meanwhile his counterpart in Italy does not have such powers, but it has weak executive, little advantage in the executive and lead a large coalition, most of the time with insecure majority, hence the weakest on the continent.
Countries like the Netherlands and Germany thus, would combine stronger executive powers to limited prime ministerial powers with executive. One may see at a glance that European prime minister have less autonomy as compare to that of the US with the full Presidential system. However, that is not case because the President can normally court on winning or not losing votes within the legislature. In the domestic front, the Prime Minister (Executive) has the power to hire and fire a colleague of the cabinet, one power less power for the Dutch and the French Prime ministers. (WARD, 2009).
“The fact that a government defeat on a motion of confidence can lead to fresh election in other countries points to the fact that parliament’s right to defeat the executive is, in any case, normally balanced by the executive’s right to dissolve (or request the head of state to dissolve) parliament – a right that exits in all European democracies outside Norway, Switzerland and Finland” (BALE, 2008). Also in contest, the Legislature across Western Europe is made up of two groups, the ‘Majoritarian’ and the ‘consensus’. A political scientist has been with motion of these groups and has made some good comet about them, like as in the majoritarian where we have the UK, Spain, Ireland, Greece and France. Within these countries, the government will set its programs and pursues them with little or no regard to the opposition. As wherein the other groups of parliament in consensus democracies like Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and other Scandinavian countries. Parliaments here feature criticism that is more constructive and operate sometime in cross party and not inter-party. (Lijphart, 1975).
European country with the exception of Switzerland, where parliament elect the government, can be ousted from office by the same parliament, it make it very complicated as to where the power is. However, as in the full presidential system both are elected independently of one another these powers will be balance. We can draw to the discussing on Arend Lijphart, about the distinction made between the two categories of the democratic regime. The Westminster type (Majoritarian) which the United kingdom provide a clear example of Europe, however, countries Greece, Franc, and Malta shows some characteristic of the political system of this category. Within this system, the government need to make such that he has the majority of members of parliament (MPs) to get on with the entire legislature. The opposition see this role to be criticizing the government rather than influence it. One other hand is the second group is the consensus model of Arend Lijphart’s category, which can be clearly noted within Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Austria. As the name suggests it has a broad consensus in parliament. Moreover, the Belgium cabinets tend to have a good relationship with parliament (Gallagher, 2006).
“Our expectation, then, would be to find that in Lijphart’s majoritatrian-model countries, virtually all relationships between governments and parliaments take place in the interparty mode, with MPs and minsters having a strong party orientation that transcends any sense of “parliament” or “government” as institutions. In contrast, in consensus-model countries we would expect to encounter somewhat greater recourse to the cross-party or non-party mode. With this in mind, we examine the record of European parliament with respect to a number of roles in which they interact with governments”. Nevertheless, since parliament in Europe is parliamentary and party government have no clear, style to the US system between the executive and the legislature, based on that the conflict between the two branches will be in a lasting conflict between the governments majority and the opposition. Moreover, the powers within parliament across Europe are in contingent on parliamentary arithmetic. (Gallagher, 2006).
Based on all these observation it be said that both the Executive and the Legislature due shared some balance of powers across Europe where possible. Nonetheless, there can be no justifications as to say name a country or countries in Europe where one of the two elements dominated by that other. The powers of one parliament at any given time will always depend greatly on the extent on balance of power between parties and the distribution of powers within the government parties. Europeans parliament across Europe have increase over years and all this means that key to the executive dominance can be demonstrated in both the majoritarian and the consensual democracies in Europe.
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Crouch, C. (2000). After the Euro : shaping institutions for governance in the wake of European monetary union. Oxford : Oxford University Press.
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Lijphart, A. (1975). The Politics of Accommodation 2nd Edition. New Haven: University of California Press.
WARD, I. (2009). A Critical Introduction to European Law 3rd Edition . New York : Cambridge University Press.