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The principle of subsidiarity is an essential notion of the Community. That's why this principle is present in the Amsterdam treaty and the Lisbon treaty. The principle of subsidiarity is the idea that a central authority should have a subsidiary function, performing only those tasks which cannot be performed effectively at a more immediate or local level. Transposed to the Community or the European Union, this means that E.U should only act when the lower authorities wouldn't act effectively. The Treaty of Amsterdam amending the Treaty of the European Union, the Treaties establishing the European Communities and certain related acts, commonly known as the Amsterdam Treaty, was signed on 2 October 1997, and entered into force on 1 May 1999; it made substantial changes to the Treaty on European Union which had been signed at Maastricht in 1992. The Treaty of Lisbon (initially known as the Reform Treaty) is a treaty that was signed by the E.U member states on 13 December 2007, and entered into force on 1 December 2009. It amends the Maastricht treaty and the Treaty establishing the European Community (1957). Prominent changes included more qualified majority voting in the Council of Ministers , increased involvement of the European Parliament in the legislative process through extended codecision with the Council of Ministers, the elimination of the pillar system and the creation of a long-term President of the European Council and a to present a united position on EU policies. The Treaty also made the High representative of the Union for Foreign affairs and security policy to present a united position on EU policies. The Treaty also made the Union's human rights charter, the Charter of fundamental rights legally binding. The stated aim of the treaty was "to complete the process started by the Amsterdam treaty  and by the Nice treaty  with a view to enhancing the efficiency and democratic legitimacy of the Union and to improving the coherence of its action. So the main interest of this subject is to see if there is an evolution on the application of the principle of subsidiarity and in which way his application has changed between the Amsterdam treaty and Lisbon treaty. To analyse this change, firstly we have to observe the principle within the Amsterdam treaty (I). Then we'll have to observe the evolutions of this principle of subsidiarity within the Lisbon Treaty (II). I] The principle of subsidiarity within the Amsterdam Treaty. In this part, it's essential to observe the areas and the conditions of the principle of subsidiarity (A). Then we'll see that the European institutions have to give a permanent justification when they decide or not to use the principle of subsidiarity (B). A] The areas and the conditions of the use of the principle of subsidiarity. It said in the protocol of the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality annexed to the Amsterdam the principle of subsidiarity is there to ensure that the decisions are taken closely as possible to the citizens of the Union. It's also affirmed, in this protocol that the principle of subsidiarity is valid only in areas where the the community does not have exclusive competences. In other terms, the principle of subsidiarity is valid only in areas where the European Union and the Member States have competing skills.
there is a conflict in the text because from one hand it's said that the lowest action should be legitimated. and from an other hand it's said that the most efficiency action should be legitimated The complexity of this principle of subsidiarity may explain why European institutions insist on the fact that the use of the principle of subsidiarity always has to be justified B] A permanent justification of the use or not of the principle of subsidiarity. has to be used when an action by Member States will not be enough to carry out the objectives of this action. II] The evolutions of the principle of subsidiarity within the Lisbon Treaty. whenever necessary. the rules relating to the principle of subsidiarity have changed among the years and the different Treaties. the principle of subsidiarity. When there's no need for an action of the Community. Then we'll see the evolution of the principle of subsidiarity with the Lisbon Treaty (B). When the principle of subsidiarity is used in favour of the European institutions. the European Parliament and the Council on the application of article Article 3b of the treaty. In this case the Community should be competent. the Commission should: – justify the relevance of its proposals with regard to the principle of subsidiarity. This annual report shall also be sent to the Committee of the regions and to the Economic and Social Committee. A] The reaffirmation of the principle of Subsidiarity given by The Amsterdam Treaty. because the action could be better achieved.” – “ actions by Member States alone or lack of Community action would conflict with the requirements of the Treaty or would otherwise significantly damage Member States' interests. The financing of Community action in whole or in part from the Community budget shall require an explanation. The protocol of the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality annexed to the Amsterdam plans that “ without prejudice to its own right of initiative. So. we'll see that the Lisbon Treaty reaffirmed some aspects of the principle of subsidiarity given by the Amsterdam Treaty (A). in particular with the Lisbon Treaty. However. it's up to Member States to take all appropriate measures. European Institution have to give the details of their actions to the other institutions when the use the principle of subsidiarity.Moreover.submit an annual report to the European Council. they have to explain the details of their action. This should be done in the following situations: – “ the issue under consideration has transnational aspects which cannot be satisfactorily regulated by action by member States. . abstaining them from any measure which could jeopardise the achievement of the objectives of the Treaty. we can see that the principle of subsidiarity has to respect lots of criteria. – . the explanatory memorandum accompanying a proposal will give details in this respect. the principle of subsidiarity has the ambition to ensure that decisions are taken closely to the citizens of the Union. So. However these measures have to respect the Treaty. So. But paradoxically it set that the most efficiency action should be legitimated. according to this protocol. First. that's mean by the closest administrations ( for example local administration). in fact.
B] An increase of the mechanism of control of the principle of subsidiarity. Indeed Local institutions play a more important role in the control of the principle of subsidiarity within the Lisbon Treaty. As we said within the Lisbon treaty. the draft must be reviewed. legislative resolutions of the European parliament and positions of the Council shall be forwarded by them to national Parliaments. the Council and the Commission a reasoned opinion stating why it considers that the draft in question does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity. the group of Member States. Such consultations shall. European institutions have to explain and describe all their decisions. It's the article 6 of the Protocol annexed to Lisbon treaty which detailed this: “ Any Parliament or any chambers of a national Parliament may. So. This is stated by the article 4 of the Protocol annexed to Lisbon treaty: “ The Commission should forward its draft legislative acts and its amended drafts to national Parliaments at the same time as to the Union legislator. within eight weeks from the date of transmission of a draft legislative act. the European parliament. Thus. amend or withdraw the draft. In the same idea. the third paragraph of the same article states that “Where reasoned opinions on the non compliance of a proposal for a legislative act with the principle of subsidiarity represent at least a simple majority of the votes allocated to the national Parliaments in accordance with the second . Union institutions have to inform the States' institution on their legislative acts and projects. where appropriate. take into account the regional and local dimension of the action envisaged. within the Lisbon treaty. may decide to maintain. The Lisbon treaty allows States' institutions to pronounce themselves if the think that a draft comply or not with the principle of subsidiarity. the Court of Justice. The real changes between the Amsterdam treaty and Lisbon treaty are the reinforcements of the mechanisms of control of the principle of subsidiarity. […] After such review. involving the principle of subsidiarity. This is mentioned in the Article 2 of the Protocol annexed to Lisbon treaty which states that “ before proposing acts. there is in the protocol annexed to Lisbon treaty on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality the same sentence present in the protocol annexed to Amsterdam treaty which says that the principle of subsidiarity is there to ensure that the decisions are taken closely as possible to the citizens of the Union. the Commission shall consult widely. the second paragraph of the article 7 states that “Where reasoned opinions on a draft legislative act's non-compliance with the principle of subsidiarity represent at least one third of all the votes allocated to the national Parliaments in accordance with the second sub-paragraph of paragraph 1. Reasons must be given for this decision. the Commission or.” The article 7 of this protocol sets many powers for the Member States' parliament to express their doubts about the respect of the principle of subsidiarity for a given legislative act. the main characteristics of the principle of subsidiarity given by the Amsterdam stills present in the treaty of Lisbon. For example. The aim of this reinforcement is to respect the fact that decisions of the Union have to be taken closely as possible to the citizens of the Union. send to the Presidents of the European Parliament. the European Central Bank or the European Investment Bank. The general idea and definition of the principle of subsidiarity hasn't change within the Lisbon treaty. where appropriate. if the draft legislative act originates from them. The Treaty of Lisbon also guaranties that each institution shall ensure constant respect for the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality. There is also the idea that the principle of subsidiarity is used when the Union objective can be better achieved at the Union level than local level. basically. to Member States' and local institutions. Moreover. in the official languages of the Union. The Lisbon treaty has reinforced the control of the principle of subsidiarity.The basis of the principle of subsidiarity given in the Amsterdam Treaty are reaffirmed in the Lisbon Treaty. […] Upon adoption.
If it chooses to maintain the proposal. or notified by them in accordance with their legal order on behalf of their national parliament or a chamber thereof. the proposal must be reviewed. the Council have a power which is close of the veto power. in reasoned opinion. Indeed. the sub-paragraph (b) of the paragraph 3 of the article 7 of the Protocol annexed to Lisbon treaty plans that a majority of 55% of the members of the Council or a majority of the votes cast in the European Parliament. amend or withdraw the proposal. However.” Those articles just permit to the Parliaments to express their opposition on an Act which according doesn't respect the principle of subsidiarity. In accordance with the rules laid down in the said article. After such review. “the court of Justice of the European Union shall have jurisdiction in actions on grounds of infringement of the principle of subsidiarity by a legislative act.sub-paragraph of paragraph 1. the committee of the regions may also bring such actions against legislative acts for the adoption of which the treaty on the functioning of the European Union provides that it be consulted. the proposal will just have to be reviewed and the Commission will have the last word. brought in accordance with the rules laid down in Article 263 of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union by Member States. Judicial control of the principle has also been improved within the Lisbon Treaty. the legislative proposal shall not be given further consideration.” So we can see that the Lisbon treaty has greatly improved the control of the principle of subsidiarity. Indeed. not the national Parliaments. the Commission may decide to maintain. the legislator is of the opinion that the proposal is not compatible with the principle of subsidiarity. the Commission will have. the political control and the judicial one. . to justify why it considers that the proposal complies with the principle of subsidiarity. Indeed. However this power is not like a veto. according the article 8 of the protocol annexed to the Lisbon treaty.
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