Public funding of Parliaments in Europe: financial autonomy under discussion
European Court of Auditors
Luxemburg, 22-23 March 2018
Pursuing a scientific approach to comparative public finance law
The comparative approach to public finance law was reinvigorated by the International Symposium on “the Golden Rule for Public Finance in Europe”, organized on 27 and 28 March 2014 in Lille under the patronage of the High Council for Public Finance ("Haut Conseil des finances publiques"). Following this event, the Public Finance Law section within the French Society for Comparative Legislation ("Société de législation comparé") was re-established. It is composed of an association between the Lille School of Public Finance, the Society for Comparative Legislation and the French Society for Public Finance ("Société française de finances publiques - SFFP").
This new dynamic is the result of the discovery, by a number of academic specialists in financial science and legislation, of research gaps in this field. At a time when budgetary issues dominate economic, political and administrative issues in Europe, it is necessary to study the budgetary systems of European states in order to draw inspiration from them.
The new section aims to ensure that in the future there is a team working specifically on comparative law in the field of public finance science. It is intended to foster the production and exchange of knowledge in the fields of budget, finance and accounting throughout Europe and worldwide. It is open to all researchers and practitioners who consider that the comparative dimension is an essential element of public finance law.
The choice of a very topical, but scientifically under-researched, issue
The topic of public funding of national Parliaments does not attract much attention from academics in Europe. The literature on parliamentary and budgetary law almost ignores this topic. Raw budgetary data is difficult to access, and the financial and administrative autonomy of parliamentary assemblies has sometimes been called into question in recent years.
Coming as it does after numerous studies on the governance of parliamentary assemblies in Europe (on the monitoring of expenses, allowances and so on), this meeting on Comparative Public Finance Law represents an opportunity to exchange ideas on an essential issue which is particularly topical.
The discussion will be enhanced by the experience of ten European countries (Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Greece, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Romania, United Kingdom) and by study of the rules governing the status of the elected and non-elected members of the Parliaments in those countries and particularly in the EU Parliament.