Regional participation in EU decision-making: Role in the legislature and subsidiarity monitoring

14-04-2016

The role of sub-national bodies in EU decision-making has grown. In this regard, significant changes were introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon, which inserted an explicit reference to the sub-national dimension of the subsidiarity principle, and granted the Committee of the Regions the right to bring an action for annulment. While the 'Early Warning Mechanism' for subsidiarity monitoring is primarily concerned with national parliaments, regional parliaments with legislative powers form a separate category of bodies caught by the protocol and may play an advisory role. Existing research, however, points to problems and challenges which regional parliaments face in engaging in genuine subsidiarity monitoring. Ex-ante subsidiarity monitoring is complemented by the possibility of ex post judicial review. Generally, challenges to Union acts on subsidiarity grounds are infrequent. At the same time, it is agreed that the very possibility of judicial review forces greater weight to be given to subsidiarity concerns during the preparation of Union law and encourages EU institutions to consider carefully whether an issue is best addressed at the European, national, regional or local level.

The role of sub-national bodies in EU decision-making has grown. In this regard, significant changes were introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon, which inserted an explicit reference to the sub-national dimension of the subsidiarity principle, and granted the Committee of the Regions the right to bring an action for annulment. While the 'Early Warning Mechanism' for subsidiarity monitoring is primarily concerned with national parliaments, regional parliaments with legislative powers form a separate category of bodies caught by the protocol and may play an advisory role. Existing research, however, points to problems and challenges which regional parliaments face in engaging in genuine subsidiarity monitoring. Ex-ante subsidiarity monitoring is complemented by the possibility of ex post judicial review. Generally, challenges to Union acts on subsidiarity grounds are infrequent. At the same time, it is agreed that the very possibility of judicial review forces greater weight to be given to subsidiarity concerns during the preparation of Union law and encourages EU institutions to consider carefully whether an issue is best addressed at the European, national, regional or local level.