Davor Jancic

Email: d.jancic@lse.ac.uk
Room: New Academic Building, office 6.02
Tel: 020-7955-7253

Davor Jancic is British Academy Newton Fellow working on a research project on transatlantic parliamentary relations between the EU, US and Brazil. Davor holds a PhD from Utrecht University in the field of European constitutional law. His doctorate analysed the role of national parliaments in EU decision making. He obtained his LL.M. in International and European Law from the University of Amsterdam and his LLB from the University of Novi Sad. Prior to joining LSE, Davor was Postdoctoral Fellow and Assistant Professor at Utrecht University. Davor has also been Visiting Scholar at Sciences Po Paris, LSE, University of Lisbon and Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg. In 2011, Davor won the Europe Award for Junior Academics from the Montesquieu Institute, The Hague.

Research Interests

Davor’s research is placed within the fields of European constitutional and comparative law and addresses topics related to national and EU democracy and parliamentary affairs in the European Union broadly defined.

External Activities

Davor is a member of two research networks organised by Columbia University’s Council for European Studies and of two standing research groups within the European Consortium for Political Research. He has also participated as a researcher and contributor in several projects organised by the Observatory of Parliaments after Lisbon.

Selected articles
and chapters in books

'Countering the Debt Crisis: National Parliaments and EU Economic Governance'  LSE Law: Policy Briefing Papers 1/2014

While the sovereign debt crisis was ravaging the Eurozone and while the European Council was dominating the decision-making scene, even the most informed onlookers harboured little expectation that this would have a positive impact on the democratisation of the European Union. Although frequently viewed as losers of European integration, national parliaments have reacted promptly and gained as much from the crisis as they have lost. Not only have they compensated for the constraints suffered due to greater fiscal integration, they have acquired new prerogatives in EU affairs, created new avenues for the political contestation of EU policies, and brought the EU closer to the European citizens. National parliaments are effectively the beneficiaries of the euro crisis and there very good reasons for this.

'The European Parliament and EU-US Relations: Revamping Institutional Cooperation' in A Transatlantic Community of Law: Legal Perspectives on the Relationship between the EU and US Legal Orders, by Elaine Fahey and Deirdre Curtin (eds), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014, pp. 35-68.

This chapter carries out a fourfold analysis. First, we conduct a theoretical conceptualisation of the international activities of the European Parliament that fall under the politico-legal phenomenon of 'parliamentary diplomacy,' because the bulk of transatlantic interparliamentary collaboration substantively falls under this category. Second, we inquire about the legal and institutional framework for the European Parliament's cooperation with the United States Congress, as the EU’s key strategic partner. Not only do we examine the way transatlantic interparliamentary relations were formalised, we also analyse the prerogatives and outreach of the Transatlantic Legislators' Dialogue as the main format for transatlantic parliamentarism. Third, we inquire whether forums for the European Parliament’s collaboration with national parliaments, such as the Interparliamentary Conference for CFSP and CSDP and, much less so, COSAC as the Conference of European Affairs Committees can add any value in shaping EU parliamentary input in Euro-American relations. Fourth, we analyse the incentives and disincentives for the ‘diplomatic’ activities of the European Parliament in general and towards the United States in particular. It is submitted in this chapter that the political practice of transatlantic parliamentarism contributes to an informal, incremental shaping of the European Parliament’s legal competences in foreign affairs. This argument views MEPs' external action as part of the EU’s living constitution, whereby the meaning, content and exercise of foreign affairs powers evolve over time closer or farther away from their written fundament.

'Multilayered International Parliamentarism: The Case of EU-Brazil Relations', LSE Law, Society and Economy Working Papers no. 17/2014.

Challenging the predominant scholarly focus on international parliamentary institutions as the sole and sufficient object of inquiry into the global role of parliaments, this article argues that international interparliamentary relations do not occur merely within isolated forums, but may and do de facto evolve in layers of overlapping forums whenever circumstances allow it. This article conceptualises multilayered international parliamentarism as developing in webs of formal and informal linkages between the same parliamentary institutions in a variety of bilateral and multilateral frameworks regarding the same region. To this end, I conduct an in-depth case study of bilateral and multilateral relations between the parliaments of the EU and Brazil through the lens of institutional arrangements as well as by examining the reaction of the Brazilian and certain other Latin American parliaments to the EU's Returns Directive. The analysis shows that intensified international contacts among parliamentarians accentuate the deliberative function of parliaments and foster their 'diplomatic' actorship in foreign affairs in a concerted attempt to counterbalance globalisation-propelled 'negotiated democracy' nurtured by intergovernmental and transgovernmental ways of doing politics and making law

'Recasting Monism and Dualism in European Parliamentary Law: The Lisbon Treaty in Britain and France' in Basic Concepts of Public International Law: Monism and Dualism, by Marko Novakovic (ed.), Belgrade: University of Belgrade, Institute of Comparative Law, and Institute of International Politics and Economics, 2013, pp. 803-829.

This chapter analyses the relevance of international law concepts of monism and dualism in the legal and political system of the European Union through the lens of national parliaments as inescapable ingredients in giving international law effect in domestic legal orders. We inquire about the reaction of the national parliaments of the United Kingdom and France, as examples of dualist and monist states, to three aspects of the Lisbon Treaty that most affect the European role of national parliaments: the EU’s call for national parliaments to monitor the EU institutions’ adherence to the principle of subsidiarity, the EU’s call for national parliaments to contribute to the good functioning of the Union and the extension of the scope of the codecision procedure. The main argument of this chapter is that although the EU is in many respects a monist constitutional setup that denies significance to the logic of mutual structuring of legal orders espoused in international law, the concepts of monism and dualism retain their explanatory force as regards the manner in which domestic parliaments shape their relations with the European Union.

‘The French Parliament: A European Scrutineer or National Actor?’, European Public Law, Vol. 19, No. 1, 2013, pp. 129-159

With the Treaty of Lisbon in force, the expectation for national parliaments to democratize EU decision making has risen tangibly. This raises the question of the relationship between them and the European Parliament, as two channels of EU legitimation. The main argument of this article is that, in circumstances of high political salience of EU initiatives, national parliaments can be deemed to be European actors, performing their constitutional functions within a broader EU legal order as direct counterparts of EU institutions. To demonstrate this, we delve into the French Parliament’s scrutiny of the Services Directive and the European External Action Service Decision, both of which have sparked strong reactions in many parliamentary corners of Europe. We focus on the role perceptions of the French MPs and senators in their ex ante monitoring of these two dossiers. The analysis reveals that political control is not always directed only at the Government, but that EU institutions can be addressees of national parliamentary scrutiny.

‘Representative Democracy across Levels: National Parliaments and EU Constitutionalism’, Croatian Yearbook of European Law and Policy, Vol. 8, 2012, pp. 227-265.

This contribution analyses the meaning and practical application of the concepts of representative democracy and constitutionalism in relation to national parliaments within the European Union. A specific focus of investigation is the post-Lisbon function of national parliaments as conceptualised in a variety of models of EU constitutionalism. These models underline the importance of the independent roles of national parliaments by observing them not in the classic constellation of hierarchy but rather in that of heterarchy. However, there is as yet no sophisticated methodological approach for assessing the interactions between national parliaments and EU institutions and there is very little evidence of national parliamentarians performing as European actors. In order to test the theoretical premises, the article delves into the political praxis and examines the manner in which MPs and senators apply scrutiny instruments regarding a number of EU dossiers that were the object of cross-level discussions within the frameworks of COSAC, the Barroso Initiative and the early warning mechanism. The objective of the inquiry is to test the hypothesis that national parliamentary scrutiny of EU decision making does not occur as an isolated domestic process but as a process that is interdependent with those unravelling at the EU level, and that such scrutiny has implications for the European Union’s democratic legitimacy.

‘The Barroso Initiative: Window Dressing or Democracy Boost?’, Utrecht Law Review, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2012, pp. 78-91.

This article carries out a multifaceted legal analysis of the so-called Barroso Initiative, which was commenced by the Commission in September 2006 in order to involve national parliaments of the Member States in the process of EU policy making. The key motive underlying the Initiative is to enhance the parliamentary and democratic dimension of the Union. After examining the origins, nature, scope and purpose of the Initiative, we explain the distinction between the Barroso Initiative and the early warning mechanism. In an attempt to assess the practical effects of the Initiative, we probe into its operation and reception in the national parliaments of France, the United Kingdom and Portugal, as systems which represent different constitutional and political traditions and which thus exhibit different attitudes to European scrutiny. In particular, we inquire about the constitutional impact of the Initiative on the national parliament in question. The paper concludes that the Barroso Initiative is a welcome commitment whose potential for eradicating the democratic deficit is modest but nonetheless one worth actively engaging in.

‘The Portuguese Parliament: Blazing the Trail to the European Scrutiny Trophy?’, Interdisciplinary Political Studies, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2011, pp. 93-108.

This article analyses the constitutional, statutory and informal arrangements available to the Portuguese Assembly of the Republic for participation in EU decision making. The focus is on the 2006 European Scrutiny Act, the 2010 reform of the scrutiny procedures and the Barroso initiative. These developments provide a solid basis on which the Assembly’s dependence on the Government can be reduced. The informal method of parliamentary scrutiny of EU affairs hitherto practised in Portugal has morphed into a document-based system. In these respects, the Portuguese Parliament no longer deserves the epithet of a laggard.

‘The European Political Order and Internet Piracy: Accidental or Paradigmatic Constitution-Shaping?’, European Constitutional Law Review, Vol. 6, No. 3, 2010, pp. 430-461.

In November 2007, the French President Sarkozy made a first move towards adopting a statute, dubbed Loi Hadopi, which would sanction illegal downloading of intellectual property contents from the Internet, such as music, films and software. The infringing user's Internet access would be cut without a prior court decision to that effect. In the same time, the European Commission initiated a comprehensive legislative reform of the EU telecommunications sector. These two parallel legislative processes became dramatically intricate when the opposition in the French Parliament decided to connive with their counterparts in the European Parliament in order to frustrate the French Government's plans. The MEPs indeed adopted an amendment that would require a court decision before Internet access could be cut off. Since French law would now contravene EU law, the Commission and the European Parliament admonished the French Government. The French Government, for its part, lobbied the Commission and the Council. Furthermore, while the French parliamentary majority partly relied on a judgment of the European Court of Justice to support the Government, the opposition turned to the Conseil constitutionnel. The Conseil constitutionnel’s key findings were that Internet access could only be suspended through a court procedure, that the presumption of innocence had to be upheld, and that any restriction of Internet access had to be necessary and proportionate. Pertinently, the latter two principles were inscribed into the EU telecoms package. In the era ruled by the Internet, legal developments could not stand by. The struggle for enshrining the Internet as a fundamental freedom is a fascinating example of interdependence between the European Union and the Member States and their respective institutions. In the cases of the French Loi Hadopi and the EU telecoms reform package, political actors at the national and EU levels interacted and invoked political arguments and judicial pronouncements from the 'other' level in order to achieve a common goal. This means that politics as a process tends to cross the formal boundaries of legal systems where circumstances conducive to it arise. European politics, therefore, encompasses not only EU politics but to a great extent also national politics.

“Caveats from Karlsruhe and Lisbon: Whither Democracy after Lisbon?”, Columbia Journal of European Law, Vol. 16, No. 3, 2010, pp. 337-385.

This Article analyzes the evolution of the reasoning about EU democracy that the German Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG) has been shaping starting with the Solange I and II, Maastricht, and European Arrest Warrant cases and culminating with the Lisbon Treaty case. The BVerfG's reasoning has often taken the form of caveats, whereby the BVerfG ‘warned’ the European Union of its assessments of the state of democracy in the Union. This article argues that the BVerfG's view of the primary source of the Union's democratic legitimacy has gradually shifted away from the European towards the German Parliament. Never before has the BVerfG highlighted the role of national parliaments in buttressing EU democracy with such clarity. In what can be called ‘democracy solange’, the BVerfG ruled that as long as the European Union is an association of sovereign states, two consequences ensue: (a) the democratic legitimacy provided by national parliaments and governments, and complemented by the European Parliament, is sufficient; and (b) EU democracy cannot and need not be shaped in analogy to that of a state. As a corollary, the German system of parliamentary involvement in EU affairs has significantly been overhauled to enhance the legal position of the German Parliament vis-à-vis the Federal Government. The initial academic reactions to the BVerfG's Lisbon judgment have failed to credit the BVerfG's role in this important development.