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Meetings Calendar 2006
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Fischler: Subsidiarity also possible without an EU constitution

 

Franz Fischler, former Commissioner and Chairman of the Eco-social Forum, believed there was no need to wait for the Constitutional Treaty to achieve a breakthrough for the principle of subsidiarity and proportionality. If the appropriate steps were taken, an important contribution would be made towards reducing citizens' prejudices towards the EU and simultaneously creating a more coherent and efficient policy. He stressed that subsidiarity control worked in two directions. There were undoubtedly instances where the EU would have to act, but much could also be changed retrospectively to correct past errors.

Fischler said he was very much in favour of any future amendments to the Treaties being made exclusively by conventions in future as they were more democratic. To date the Treaties themselves had not been examined as to whether they did justice to the subsidiarity principle. He therefore called on the parliamentarians to intensify their co-operation and to examine the Treaty articles in this light.

In this context the former Commissioner supported the introduction of a “Fiche Subsidiaire“, that is providing reasons for intended legislation which showed the European added value of the initiative in question and why it was important to be active at all in this area. He also supported the desire of national parliaments for consultation in good time to be able to draw up opinions on intended legislation which the Commission would have to take into account. Fischler said that this method could be laid down by an inter-institutional agreement. There was no need to wait for the EU Constitutional Treaty for this. The only thing parliaments lacked without the Constitutional Treaty was a right to appeal to the European Court of Justice.

Fischler did not wish to exclude any institution at European and national level in relation to exceeding the principle of proportionality. Examples of over-regulation were to be found everywhere and in many instances it was not the contents of the laws which were criticised but their application. He suggested closer co-operation at the level of European and national administrations and a greater exchange of staff to reduce such serious shortcomings.

In conclusion, Mr Fischler believed that major problems such as unemployment, the creation of a knowledge-based society and environmental protection could not be overcome alone either by regions, national states or Europe. New political paths, new paths for co-operation and new methods for measuring political success and failure were required here. Social partners and NGOs needed to be included.

 

Date: 20.04.2006