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Parlamentarische Anfrage: Subsidaritätsprinzip

Zusammen mit ihren Kollegen Alexandra Thein, Michael Theurer und Andrew Duff von den englischen Liberalen stellte Silvana Koch-Mehrin eine parlamentarische Anfrage an die Europäische Kommission. Darin wurde gefragt, wie die Kommission mit der Anwendung des Subsidiaritätsprinzips seit dem Inkrafttreten des Vertrags von Lissabon durch die nationalen Parlamente zufrieden ist.

Hier finden Sie die Niederschrift der Antwort des Vizepräsidenten der Europäischen Kommission, Maros Sefcovic, die er gestern Abend im Plenum gab:

Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the Commission – “Madam President, I would like to thank the honourable Member for these questions because it gives me the opportunity to present the Commission’s overall assessment of the implementation of Protocol No 2 of the Treaty of Lisbon, also known as the subsidiarity control mechanism.

The subsidiarity control mechanism is up and running, and its implementation has so far been very smooth, thanks not only to thorough preparation by both the Commission and the national parliaments before the Treaty entered into force, but also to the excellent cooperation and constructive contacts between the Commission and the national parliaments.

The experience gained so far has clearly shown that national parliaments are well prepared and ready to assume their new role and powers under the new Treaty. By the end of September 2011, the Commission had sent to national parliaments 139 draft legislative proposals falling within the scope of the subsidiarity control mechanism, and had received a total of 61 reasoned opinions stating that the respective legislative drafts did not observe the principle of subsidiarity. However, in no case have the thresholds provided for in Protocol No 2, triggering the so-called yellow or orange cards, been reached.

The Commission is convinced that relations with national parliaments should not be confined merely to questions of subsidiarity, and it supports a deepening of the political dialogue with national parliaments, of which the subsidiarity control mechanism is only one aspect.

In the context of the political dialogue, the Commission currently receives and replies to more than 600 opinions per year from national parliaments, including their opinions on the content of Commission proposals. One of the questions put to the Commission was about how we are staffed. A unit in the Secretariat-General is dedicated to relations with national parliaments and, in addition, every DG has designated coordinators for relations with national parliaments, who contribute to smooth implementation of the subsidiarity control mechanism and political dialogue, as do the offices of the relevant Commissioners.

Turning to the overall assessment, the question of the subsidiarity control mechanism and political dialogue is an item regularly discussed at the COSAC meetings, where the Commission meets with members of the national parliaments who work in the European committees. I agree with the honourable Member who pointed out that it is very important that national MPs be more involved in discussions on European legislation. We can see that debate on these issues is much more frequent and more detailed, and that the quality of the opinions coming from the national parliaments is much higher.

We are trying to take the same approach on the Commission side because one of the matters raised at recent COSAC meetings concerned comments from national parliaments suggesting that, on some issues, we should be more precise. The national parliaments would like to see more thorough explanation of the subsidiarity clauses in our legislative proposals, and therefore it is a mutual learning process.

In the next phase we should ensure that sectoral proposals – for example, on the environment and transport – are discussed by the national parliaments not only in the European committees but in the relevant sectoral committees. I believe this would increase interest among national MPs in European legislation, and they would also gain greater ownership and be much more careful when it comes to transposition, which, as we all know, depends heavily on national authorities.

I think that the mechanism is working very well. The political dialogue is important because it gives us at the Commission the chance to receive not only reasoned – i.e. negative – opinions, but also a great deal of encouragement and positive opinions from the national parliaments. I am sure that the dialogue will evolve and that the number and quality of both the national parliaments’ opinions and the Commission responses will gradually improve in the coming months and years.”