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National Parliaments’ Scrutiny of the Principle of Subsidiarity: Reasoned Opinions 2014–2019

  • Tomasz Jaroszyński

Abstract

Principle of subsidiarity – Early Warning Mechanism – Protocol No. 2 on Proportionality and Subsidiarity – The scope of the principle of subsidiarity – The role of national parliaments in the EU – National parliaments’ reasoned opinions – Principle of proportionality – Principle of conferral – National sovereignty in the EU – National identity in the EU – Justification of draft legislation acts

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Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Administration and Social Sciences, the Warsaw University of Technology; email: tjaroszynski@ans.pw.edu.pl. I would like to thank Justyna Łacny and two peer reviewers for their insightful comments. The data supporting the findings of this study are openly available in the Online Appendix.

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References

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1 Fabbrini, F., ‘The principle of subsidiarity’, in Schütze, R. and Tridimas, T. (eds.), Oxford Principles of European Union Law (Oxford University Press 2014) p. 221 at p. 221.

2 Cf. Auel, Ket al., ‘To Scrutinise or Not To Scrutinise? Explaining Variation in European Activities Within National Parliaments’, 38 West European Politics (2015) p. 282 at p. 282.

3 In this context the article contributes an update to earlier publications, in particular Granat, K, The Principle of Subsidiarity and its Enforcement in the EU Legal Order. The Role of National Parliaments in the Early Warning System (Hart Publishing 2018).

4 Cf. Neuhold, C and Smith, J, ‘Conclusion: From “Latecomers” to “Policy Shapers”? – The Role of National Parliaments in the ‘Post-Lisbon’ Union’, in Hefftler, Cet al., The Palgrave Handbook of National Parliaments and the European Union (Palgrave Macmillan 2015) p. 668 at p. 684.

5 To be clear, the subsidiarity scrutiny performed by national parliaments can also be an element of the so-called ‘political dialogue’ established by the Commission presided over by José Manuel Barroso. See Jančić, D, ‘The Barroso Initiative: Window Dressing or Democracy Boost?’, 8 Utrecht Law Review (2012) p. 78. However, as this political dialogue is separate from the Early Warning Mechanism, it is not covered by this contribution. For a comparative analysis of these two tools, see Jančić, D, ‘The Game of Cards: National Parliaments in the EU and the Future of the Early Warning Mechanism and the Political Dialogue’, 52 CMLRev (2015) p. 939.

6 Cf. Bellamy, R. and Kröger, S., ‘Domesticating the Democratic Deficit? The Role of National Parliaments and Parties in the EU’s System of Governance’, 67 Parliamentary Affairs (2014) p. 437 at p. 448.

7 Cf. Gattermann, K. and Hefftler, C., ‘Beyond Institutional Capacity: Political Motivation and Parliamentary Behaviour in the Early Warning System’, 38 West European Politics (2015) p. 305 at p. 306.

8 Cf. Huysmans, M., ‘Euroscepticism and the Early Warning System’, 57 Journal of Common Market Studies (2019) p. 431 at p. 434 and Paulo, M.T, ‘National Parliaments in the EU: after Lisboa and beyond Subsidiarity. The (positive) side-effects and (unintended) achievements of the Treaty provisions’, 5 OPAL Online Paper (2012) p. 11.

9 Cf. Pintz, A, ‘Parliamentary Collective Action under the Early Warning Mechanism. The Cases of Monti II and EPPO’, 3 Politique européenne (2015) p. 84 at p. 90.

10 It ought to be clarified that this review has been performed on the basis of the English versions of reasoned opinions. These are available on the platform for EU Interparliamentary Exchange (IPEX) or on the databases of the Commission and the European Parliament. For more details see the Online Appendix referred to at the beginning of this article.

11 As for my motivations behind choosing this period of time, see the below section: ‘Reasoned opinions (2014-2019) – state of play’.

12 To this end the Online Appendix referred to at the beginning of this article may also be helpful.

13 Carbonara, Eet al., ‘Self-Defeating Subsidiarity’, 5 Review of Law and Economics (2009) p. 741 at p. 744.

14 A. Delcamp, ‘Definition and Limits of the Principle of Subsidiarity’, 55 Report for the Steering Committee on Local and Regional Authorities (1994) p. 2, ⟨rm.coe.int/1680747fda⟩, visited 25 February 2020.

15 Barber, N.W and Ekinst, R, ‘Situating Subsidiarity’, 61 The American Journal of Jurisprudence (2016) p. 5 at p. 5.

16 Follesdal, A, ‘The Principle of Subsidiarity as a Constitutional Principle in International Law’, 12 Jean Monnet Working Paper (2011) p. 6. Cf. Besson, S, ‘Subsidiarity in International Human Rights Law – What is Subsidiary about Human Rights?’, 61 The American Journal of Jurisprudence (2016) p. 69 at 69.

17 Barber and Ekinst, supra n. 15, p. 5.

18 Jachtenfuchs, M and Krisch, N, ‘Subsidiarity in Global Governance’, 79 Law and Contemporary Problems (2016) p. 1 at p. 1.

19 Cahill, M, ‘Theorizing Subsidiarity: Towards an Ontology-sensitive Approach’, 15 International Journal of Constitutional Law (2017) p. 201 at p. 223.

20 Carbonara et al., supra n. 13, p. 745.

21 Ibid., p. 746.

22 Cools, D, ‘A European Account of Justice: Under Pressure of Subsidiarity?’, 45 Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy (2016) p. 60 at p. 70.

23 Fabbrini, supra n. 1, p. 223. See also Cass, D.Z, ‘The Word that Saves Maastricht? The Principle of Subsidiarity and the Division of Powers within the European Community’, 29 CMLRev (1992) p. 1107.

24 Sander, F, ‘Subsidiarity Infringement before the European Court of Justice: Futile Interference with Politics or a Substantial Step towards EU Federalism’, 12 Columbia Journal of European Law (2006) p. 517 at p. 527.

25 Follesdal, supra n. 16, p. 6.

26 Peters, J, ‘National Parliaments and Subsidiarity: Think Twice’, 1 EuConst (2005) p. 68 at p. 69.

27 Panara, C, ‘The Enforceability of Subsidiarity in the EU and the Ethos of Cooperative Federalism: A Comparative Law Perspective’, 22 European Public Law (2016) p. 305 at p. 305.

28 Faraguna, P, ‘Taking Constitutional Identities Away from the Courts’, 41 Brooklyn Journal of International Law (2016) p. 492 at p. 568.

29 See for example Lenaerts, K and Gutiérrez-Fons, J.A, ‘The Constitutional Allocation of Powers and General Principles of EU Law’, 47 CMLRev (2010) p. 1629.

30 Barber, N.W, ‘The Limited Modesty of Subsidiarity’, 11 European Law Journal (2005) p. 308 at p. 324.

31 Goldoni, M, ‘The Early Warning System and the Monti II Regulation: The Case for a Political Interpretation’, 10 EuConst (2014) p. 90 at p. 91.

32 Panara, supra n. 27, p. 305.

33 Davies, G, ‘Subsidiarity: The Wrong Idea, in the Wrong Place, at the Wrong Time’, 43 CMLRev (2006) p. 63 at p. 63. The response to this provocative title was that ‘the subsidiarity principle is the right rule, in the right place, and at the right time’: Portuese, A, ‘The Principle of Subsidiarity as a Principle of Economic Efficiency’, 17 Columbia Journal of European Law (2012) p. 231 at p. 261.

34 Toth, G, ‘The Principle of Subsidiarity in the Maastricht Treaty’, 29 CMLRev (1992) p. 1079 at p. 1079.

35 Basically, from the EU perspective it does not matter whether a member state legislates at the central, regional, or local level. See Finck, M, ‘Challenging the Subnational Dimension of the Principle of Subsidiarity’, 8 European Journal of Legal Studies (2015) p. 5 at p. 11.

36 Cf. Blanke, H.-J, ‘Article 1 TEU’, in Blanke, H.-J and Mangiameli, S (eds.), The Treaty on European Union (TEU): A Commentary (Springer 2013) para. 54.

37 See the section below: ‘Principle of conferral – in defence of national sovereignty or national identity?’.

38 Peters, supra n. 26, p. 69.

39 Louis, J.-V, ‘The Lisbon Treaty: The Irish No: National Parliaments and the Principle of Subsidiarity – Legal Options and Practical Limits’, 4 EuConst (2008) p. 429 at p. 434.

40 Cooper, I, ‘A “Virtual Third Chamber” for the European Union? National Parliaments after the Treaty of Lisbon’, 7 ARENA Working Paper (2011) p. 22. See also Raunio, T, ‘National Parliaments and European Integration. What We Know and What We Should Know’, 2 ARENA Working Paper (2009) p. 15.

41 Auel, K, ‘Democratic Accountability and National Parliaments: Redefining the Impact of Parliamentary Scrutiny in EU Affairs’, 13 European Law Journal (2007) p. 487 at p. 498.

42 Peters, supra n. 26, p. 71.

43 Jans, T and Piedrafita, S, ‘The Role of National Parliaments in European Decision-Making’, 1 EIPASCOPE (2009) p. 25.

44 See, inter alia, Schütze, R, ‘Subsidiarity after Lisbon: Reinforcing the Safeguards of Federalism?’, 68 Cambridge Law Journal (2009) p. 525; Cooper, I, ‘The Watchdogs of Subsidiarity: National Parliaments and the Logic of Arguing in the EU’, 44 Journal of Common Market Studies (2006) p. 281; Kiiver, P, The Early Warning System for the Principle of Subsidiarity: Constitutional Theory and Empirical Reality (Routledge 2012).

45 Cooper, I, ‘National Parliaments in the Democratic Politics of the EU: the Subsidiarity Early Warning Mechanism, 2009-2017’, 17 Comparative European Politics (2019) p. 919 at p. 920, ⟨doi.org/10.1057/s41295-018-0137-y⟩, visited 25 February 2020.

46 Louis, supra n. 39, p. 434. See also Goldoni, supra n. 31, p. 91.

47 Cornell, A. Jonsson, ‘The Swedish Riksdag as Scrutiniser of the Principle of Subsidiarity’, 12 EuConst (2016) p. 294 at p. 295.

48 Ibid., p. 298.

49 Fabbrini, F. and Granat, K., ‘“Yellow Card, But No Foul”: The Role of the National Parliaments under the Subsidiarity Protocol and the Commission Proposal for an EU Regulation on the Right to Strike’, 50 CMLRev (2013) p. 115 at pp. 120-125.

50 Goldoni, supra n. 31, p. 101.

51 Ibid., p. 101.

52 Jančić, supra n. 5, p. 942.

53 Kiiver, supra n. 44, p. 102. See also Jonsson Cornell, supra n. 47, p. 298.

54 Cf. Fasone, C, ‘Competing Concepts of Subsidiarity in the Early Warning Mechanism’, 4 LUISS Guido Carli School of Government Working Paper (2013) p. 24.

55 See Lupo, N, ‘National Parliaments in the European Integration Process: Re-aligning Politics and Policies’, in Cartabia, Met al. (eds.), Democracy and Subsidiarity in the EU (Il Mulino 2013) p. 107 at p. 127.

56 Faraguna, supra n. 28, p. 571. See also Jančić, D, ‘Representative democracy across levels? National parliaments and EU constitutionalism’, 8 Croatian Yearbook of European Law and Policy (2012) p. 227 at p. 264.

57 See Guastaferro, B, ‘Coupling National Identity with Subsidiarity Concerns in National Parliaments’ Reasoned Opinions’, 21 Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law (2014) p. 320 at p. 321; Cloots, E, ‘National Identity, Constitutional Identity, and Sovereignty in the EU’, 45 Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy (2016) p. 82 at p. 97.

58 The given period covers the term of office of the Commission presided over by Jean-Claude Juncker, which at the beginning of its term expressed its willingness to cooperate more closely with national parliaments. In 2017 the Commission established a Taskforce on Subsidiarity, Proportionality and Doing Less More Efficiently, which presented a report including nine recommendations for more active and efficient usage of the principle of subsidiarity. To be clear, this issue falls outside the remit of this paper, which concentrates on the activities of national parliaments. This, however, does not alter the fact that the further studies on the interdependence between the Juncker Commission and national parliaments in the Early Warning Mechanism are welcome, since it has been rightly observed that ‘it takes two to tango’ in order to make this procedure function as intended. See Cooper, I, ‘Is the Early Warning Mechanism a Legal or a Political Procedure? Three Questions and a Typology’ in Cornell, A. Jonsson and Goldoni, M (eds.), National and Regional Parliaments in the EU-legislative Procedure Post-Lisbon (Hart Publishing 2017) p. 17 at p. 47.

59 In total 396 draft legislative acts were sent to national parliaments in the second period, and 491 draft legislative acts in the first period. These data have been inferred from the State of Play on reasoned opinions and contributions submitted by National Parliaments under Protocol 2 of the Lisbon Treaty, Brussels, respectively: 11 December 2019 and 18 November 2014.

60 The EU-28 counts 41 parliamentary chambers, but in Spain and Ireland reasoned opinions are issued jointly by two chambers, so for the above calculation the relevant number was 39. Thus, 39 chambers x 396 draft legislative acts = 15,444 possible submissions; and 78 is therefore 0.5% of the total number of possible submissions.

61 Cf. for example Pimenova, O, ‘Subsidiarity as a “Regulation Principle’ in the EU’, 4 The Theory and Practice of Legislation (2016) p. 381 at p. 393. To be fair, as noted above, national parliaments also express their concerns relating to the observance of the principle of subsidiarity within the framework of the political dialogue, so their real level of engagement in the subsidiarity scrutiny is higher than that resulting solely from the Early Warning Mechanism. Cf. C. Fasone, ‘Competing Concepts of Subsidiarity in the Early Warning Mechanism’, in Cartabia, supra n. 55, p. 157 at p. 185.

62 National parliaments from Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, Greece and Slovenia. As regards the most active chambers, see Table 1.

63 Cf. for example Granat supra n. 3, p. 118.

64 It is noteworthy that, apart from this case, only in four cases were at least 10 votes collected (for more details see Table 2).

65 COM (2016) 128. Nonetheless the draft was supported by the Commission and finally adopted. See Directive (EU) 2018/957 of 28 June 2018 amending Directive 96/71/EC concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services.

66 In 2012 on the proposal concerning the right to take collective action within the context of the freedom of establishment and the freedom to provide services and in 2013 on the proposal for the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office.

67 For more details see Table 3.

68 In the case of 25 among 78 draft legislative acts (32%) Art. 114 TFEU was determined as the legal basis. For more details see Table 4.

69 In this regard, the reviews of reasoned opinions submitted in the first five years of the functioning the Early Warning Mechanism depicted a similar picture. Cf. for example Granat supra n. 3, p. 165-184.

70 It has been postulated that ‘efficiency’ is an empty word, because until we know the goals that ought to pursued, we cannot begin to assess whether or not it is efficient. See Barber and Ekinst, supra n. 15, p. 11.

71 Fabbrini, supra n. 1, p. 226. Cf. Cahill, supra n. 19, p. 220.

72 See the reasoned opinion on COM (2016) 683 and 685.

73 The Portugal Assembleia da República on COM (2016) 53, the Swedish Riksdag on APP(2015) 907 and the Polish Senate on COM (2017) 278.

74 The Czech Senate on COM (2016) 378.

75 The Dutch Tweede Kamer and the Dutch Senate on COM (2017) 253.

76 See for example the reasoned opinions of the Polish Sejm and the Italian Senate on COM (2016) 270, in which they presented contradictory views on asylum system measures.

77 The French Senate on COM (2015) 593, 594, 595 and 596.

78 The British House of Commons on APP(2015) 907.

79 The Czech Poslanecká sněmovna on COM (2016) 671.

80 See, contrary to this, ECJ 4 May 2016, Case C-358/14, Poland v European Parliament and Council, para. 119.

81 See Granat, supra n. 3, p. 96.

82 The Hungarian Országgyűlés on COM (2014) 128. See also the Spanish Cortes Generales on COM (2017) 647 and the Irish Oireachtas on COM (2017) 753 and COM (2018) 277.

83 The Czech Poslanecká sněmovna on COM (2017) 753. See also the Austrian Bundesrat on COM (2017) 278.

84 Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom (until 31 January 2020).

85 See e.g. the Spanish Cortes Generales on COM (2016) 861. As regards the participation of regional parliaments in the Early Warning Mechanism see especially D. Fromage, ‘Regional Parliaments and the Early Warning System: An Assessment and Some Suggestions for Reform’ in Jonsson Cornell and Goldoni, supra n. 58, p. 117.

86 Finck, supra n. 35, p. 17.

87 The Estonian Riigikogu on COM (2016) 128.

88 The Dutch Tweede Kamer on COM (2016) 683 and 685.

89 The Italian Senate on COM (2015) 613. See also the Romanian Camera DeputaŢilor on COM (2016) 128 and the Austrian Bundesrat on COM (2016) 823.

90 The Romanian Camera DeputaŢilor on COM (2016) 861. See also the Spanish Cortes Generales on COM (2017) 647.

91 The question arises: When is it appropriate to concede that decision-making must take place within the framework set by international entities? See de Búrca, G, ‘Reappraising Subsidiarity’s Significance after Amsterdam’, 7 Harvard Jean Monnet Working Paper (1999) p. 6.

92 The Dutch Senate on COM (2016) 683 and the Dutch Tweede Kamer on COM (2018) 147 and 148.

93 The Dutch Senate on COM (2016) 685 and 687 and the Luxembourg Chambre des Députés on COM (2016) 683 and 685.

94 The British House of Commons on COM (2016) 683 and 685, the Maltese Kamra tad-Deputati and the Irish Oireachtas on COM (2018) 147 and 148.

95 The Maltese Kamra tad-Deputati on COM (2015) 613.

96 The Polish Sejm on COM (2016) 128.

97 The Bulgarian Narodno Sabrania on COM (2016) 128.

98 The Polish Sejm and the Polish Senate on COM (2017) 253 and the Spanish Cortes Generales on COM (2016) 861.

99 The Slovak Národná rada on COM (2016) 270.

100 The Austrian Bundesrat on COM (2016) 289.

101 The Austrian Bundesrat on COM (2017) 753 and the Bulgarian Narodno Sabrania on COM (2016) 128.

102 The Austrian Bundesrat on COM (2016) 824.

103 Fabbrini, supra n. 1, p. 224.

104 Jančić, D, ‘EU Law’s Grand Scheme on National Parliaments: The Third Yellow Card on Posted Workers and the Way Forward’, in Jančić, D (ed.), National Parliaments after the Lisbon Treaty and the Euro Crisis: Resilience or Resignation? (Oxford University Press 2017) p. 299 at p. 306.

105 Goldoni, supra n. 31, p. 102. See also European Parliament resolution of 19 April 2018 on the implementation of the Treaty provisions concerning national parliaments (2016/2149(INI)).

106 Granat, supra n. 3, p. 168.

107 Reasoned opinion on COM (2016) 861.

108 The Spanish Cortes Generales on COM (2017) 647 (public transport services). See also the Swedish Riksdag on COM (2018) 373 and on COM (2018) 380 (labour market policy and tax policies), the German Bundestag on COM (2018) 51 (health policy and services) and on COM (2016) 822 (regulated professions), the Polish Senate on COM (2016) 270 (security policy and social rights), on COM (2016) 861 and on COM (2016) 864 (energy security policy).

109 The Austrian Bundesrat on COM (2016) 861 and on COM (2016) 864. See also the German Bundestag on COM (2016) 861 and the French Assemblée nationale on COM (2016) 822.

110 The Austrian Bundesrat on COM (2016) 289. See also the French Senate on COM (2017) 660 (international agreements on infrastructure) and the Irish Oireachtas on COM (2016) 198 (tax policy).

111 The Maltese Kamra tad-Deputati on COM (2016) 26. See also the Danish Folketing on COM (2016) 683. Occasionally, the reservations of national parliaments seem clearly to go too far, for instance in the position that the procedure of notification of member state’s measures causes non-compliance with the principle of subsidiarity. See the French Senate on COM (2016) 821.

112 Granat, supra n. 3, p. 169.

113 The German Bundesrat on COM (2016) 821.

114 The Austrian Bundesrat on COM (2016) 53 (intergovernmental agreements with third countries).

115 The Swedish Riksdag on COM (2016) 26.

116 The Luxembourg Chambre des Députés on COM (2016) 683 and 685 (tax policy).

117 The Swedish Riksdag on COM (2016) 283 and the Czech Senate on COM (2016) 270 (rights of applicants for international protection).

118 The Swedish Riksdag on APP(2015) 907 (freedoms of the press and of expression), the Dutch Tweede Kamer on APP(2015) 907 (autonomy of political parties and freedom of association) and the Irish Oireachtas on COM (2016) 723 (independence of the judiciary).

119 The Polish Senate on COM (2017) 253.

120 The Austrian Bundesrat on COM (2017) 753 (protection of water quality).

121 The Czech Poslanecká sněmovna on COM (2016) 283.

122 The Swedish Riksdag on COM (2017) 797.

123 The Hungarian Országgyűlés on COM (2016) 270.

124 The Dutch Senate on COM (2016) 687.

125 The Dutch Tweede Kamer on COM (2016) 683 and 685.

126 The Austrian Bundesrat on COM (2018) 185.

127 The Polish Sejm on COM (2017) 253.

128 Cf. B. Guastaferro, ‘Reframing Subsidiarity Inquiry from an “EU Value-added” to an “EU Non-encroachment” Test?’, in Cartabia, supra n. 55, p. 151.

129 See for example Claes, M, ‘The Primacy of EU Law in European and National Law’, in Chalmers, D and Arnull, A (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of European Union Law (Oxford University Press 2015) p. 178.

130 The ECJ has consistently held that a member state cannot plead provisions prevailing in its domestic legal system, even its constitutional system, to justify a failure to observe obligations arising under EU law. See e.g. ECJ 8 April 2014, Case C-288/12, Commission v Hungary, para. 35.

131 Cf. Goldoni, supra n. 31, p. 97.

132 Art. 4(2) of TEU requires the EU to respect member states’ national identities ‘inherent in their fundamental structures, political and constitutional, inclusive of regional and local self-government’. It also requires the EU to respect member states’ ‘essential state functions, including ensuring the territorial integrity of the state, maintaining law and order and safeguarding national security’.

133 Cf. Fasone, supra n. 54, p. 13.

134 See Guastaferro, supra n. 57, p. 339.

135 Di Federico, G, ‘The Potential of Article 4(2) TEU in the Solution of Constitutional Clashes Based on Alleged Violations of National Identity and the Quest for Adequate (Judicial) Standards’, 25 European Public Law (2019) p. 347 at p. 355.

136 Ibid., p. 379.

137 See Dobbs, M, ‘The Shifting Battleground of Article 4(2) TEU: Evolving National Identities and the Corresponding Need for EU Management?’, 21 European Journal of Current Legal Issues (2015).

138 See Fabbrini, F and Sajó, A, ‘The Dangers of Constitutional Identity’, 25 European Law Journal (2019) p. 457 at p. 466.

139 Kaczorowska, A, ‘What Is the European Union Required to Respect under Article 4(2) TEU?: The Uniqueness Approach’, 25 European Public Law (2019) p. 57 at p. 59. See also Cloots, supra n. 57, p. 86.

140 Cf. Konstadinides, T, ‘Dealing with Parallel Universes: Antinomies of Sovereignty and the Protection of National Identity in European Judicial Discourse’, 34 Yearbook of European Law (2015) p. 127 at p. 129.

141 Fabbrini, supra n. 1, p. 224.

142 T. Tridimas, ‘The principle of proportionality’, in Schütze and Tridimas, supra n. 1, p. 246.

143 Cooper, supra n. 58, p. 31.

144 J. Hettne, ‘Reconstructing the EWS?’ in Jonsson Cornell and Goldoni, supra n. 58, p. 62. See also Öberg, J, ‘National Parliaments and Political Control of EU Competences: A Sufficient Safeguard of Federalism?’, 24 European Public Law (2018) p. 700.

145 Louis, supra n. 39, p. 437.

146 The Swedish Riksdag on COM (2016) 551 and on COM (2017) 795. See also the Irish Oireachtas on COM (2016) 723.

147 The British House of Lords on COM (2018) 639.

148 The Swedish Riksdag on COM (2018) 184.

149 The Czech Poslanecká sněmovna on COM (2016) 861. See also the Irish Oireachtas on COM (2017) 647 and on COM (2018) 478.

150 The German Bundestag on COM (2016) 864. See also the Bulgarian Narodno Sabrania on COM (2016) 283 and on COM (2016) 378.

151 The German Bundestag on COM (2018) 277.

152 The Romanian Camera DeputaŢilor and the Slovak Národná rada on COM (2016) 270.

153 The Irish Oireachtas on COM (2018) 478 and 480. See also the Czech Poslanecká sněmovna on COM (2016) 283 and the Spanish Cortes Generales on COM (2016) 861.

154 The Bulgarian Narodno Sabrania on COM (2016) 52. See also the Swedish Riksdag on COM (2018) 218 and the Italian Senate on COM (2015) 613.

155 The Slovak Národná rada on COM (2016) 128. Cf. Sander, supra n. 24, p. 536.

156 The Romanian Senate and the Romanian Camera DeputaŢilor on COM (2016) 128.

157 The Dutch Tweede Kamer on APP(2015) 907.

158 The Dutch Tweede Kamer on COM (2018) 147 and 148.

159 The Bulgarian Narodno Sabrania on COM (2016) 378. See also the French Senate on COM (2016) 822 and the Polish Senate on COM (2016) 861.

160 The Czech Poslanecká sněmovna on COM (2018) 51.

161 The German Bundesrat on COM (2016) 821.

162 The Polish Senate on COM (2016) 861 and on COM (2016) 864. See also the Hungarian Országgyűlés on COM (2016) 861.

163 The Italian Senate on COM (2018) 633.

164 The Croatian Sabor and the Estonian Riigikogu on COM (2016) 128 and the Polish Senate on COM (2017) 278.

165 Art. 290 TFEU states that ‘a legislative act may delegate to the Commission the power to adopt non-legislative acts of general application to supplement or amend certain non-essential elements of the legislative act (…)’. The observed increase in the number of delegated acts has been criticised in the doctrine for, inter alia, limiting the scope of control exercised by national parliaments. Cf. Lopatka, R, ‘Subsidiarity: Bridging the Gap between the Ideal and Reality’, 18 European View (2019) p. 26 at p. 32.

166 The Maltese Kamra tad-Deputati on COM (2015) 613.

167 The Hungarian Országgyűlés on COM (2015) 450. See also the Bulgarian Narodno Sabrania on COM (2016) 52.

168 The Italian Senate on COM (2015) 613. See also the German Bundestag on COM (2016) 861, the Swedish Riksdag on COM (2016) 551.

169 See the French Senate on COM (2016) 815. In this context, see G. Barrett, ‘Mind the Gap! The Implications of Comitology and the Open Method of Coordination for National Parliaments’, in Jančić, supra n. 104, p. 97.

170 The Dutch Senate on APP(2015) 907.

171 The Swedish Riksdag on COM (2016) 687 and on COM (2016) 683.

172 The Dutch Senate on COM (2016) 683, the Maltese Kamra tad-Deputati on COM (2016) 685, the French Senate on COM (2015) 635.

173 Cf. Jančić, D, ‘Better Regulation and Post-Legislative Scrutiny in the European Union’, 21 European Journal of Law Reform (2019) p. 137.

174 See Opinion of AG Kokott, 23 December 2015, Case C-547/14, Philip Morris Brands SARL, para. 298.

175 Fabbrini and Granat, supra n. 49, p. 125.

176 This view has been consistently upheld by the Commission. See Communication on the proposal for a Directive amending the Posting of Workers Directive as regards the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Protocol No 2 (COM (2016) 505).

177 Kiiver, supra n. 44, p. 100. See also L. Di Donato, ‘Impact Assessment and Control of the Compliance with the Principle of Subsidiarity in the EU’, in Cartabia supra n. 55, p. 414.

178 The Czech Poslanecká sněmovna on COM (2016) 128.

179 The British House of Commons on APP(205) 907. See also the Swedish Riksdag on COM (2015) 750, the Polish Sejm and the Latvian Saeima on COM (2016) 128.

180 The Croatian Sabor on COM (2016) 128, the Czech Senate on COM (2018) 277 and the Danish Folketing on COM (2016) 683 and 685.

181 The Swedish Riksdag on APP(2015) 907.

182 The Polish Sejm on COM (2016) 861 and on COM (2016) 128.

183 The British House of Lords on APP(2015) 907.

184 The Irish Oireachtas on COM (2018) 478 and 480. See also the Bulgarian Narodno Sabrania and the Slovak Národná rada on COM (2016) 128.

185 The Swedish Riksdag on COM (2016) 589. See also the Irish Oireachtas on COM (2018) 147 and 148 and the French Senate on COM (2017) 495. It is not explicitly required by Art. 5 of Protocol No. 2, however, as noted in the doctrine, an impact assessment has become a necessary method to analyse whether the Union objective can be better achieved at Union level. See Di Donato, supra n. 177, p. 424.

186 See the Dutch Senate on COM (2016) 270 and on COM (2016) 683.

187 The British House of Commons on COM (2018) 639.

188 See the Romanian Senate, the Czech Senate and the Latvian Saiema on COM (2016) 128.

189 Öberg, supra n. 144, p. 725.

190 See e.g. the Commission’s Annual Report 2015 on Subsidiarity and Proportionality, COM (2016) 469, p. 2.

191 Cf. Goldoni, supra n. 31, p. 97, and Lupo, supra n. 55, p. 128. To evaluate the real impact of the Early Warning Mechanism profound research regarding the influence of reasoned opinions throughout the legislative procedure ought to be conducted.

192 See e.g. the Commission’s Annual Report 2018 on Subsidiarity and Proportionality, COM (2019) 333, p. 17.

193 Jančić (2012), supra n. 5, p. 83.

194 Cf. otherwise ECJ 4 May 2016, Case C-358/14, Poland v. European Parliament and Council, para. 119.

195 See Goldoni, supra n. 31, p. 106, and Pintz, supra n. 9, p. 90.

196 For example, in 2017 only 19 out of 41 chambers of national parliaments submitted reasoned opinions. Cf. P. De Wilde, ‘Why the Early Warning Mechanism does not Alleviate the Democratic Deficit’, 6 OPAL Online Paper (2012) p. 19.

* Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Administration and Social Sciences, the Warsaw University of Technology; email: . I would like to thank Justyna Łacny and two peer reviewers for their insightful comments. The data supporting the findings of this study are openly available in the Online Appendix.

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National Parliaments’ Scrutiny of the Principle of Subsidiarity: Reasoned Opinions 2014–2019

  • Tomasz Jaroszyński

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