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THE FUTURE OF EUROPE: CENTRALISATION OR SUBSIDIARITY?
Event report available
For decades, the European Union has been moving more and more towards a centralised system, despite the principle of subsidiarity being clearly enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty. With clear lines drawn between what is and isn’t an EU competency, many Member States have still expressed concern that Brussels is interfering in areas reserved for them, from defence, to healthcare, to issues of social conscience. With the debate on the Future of Europe taking place in Brussels, there is a chance to redress the balance and ensure that the principle of subsidiarity once again takes centre stage in discussion about the direction of our continent. The risk however still remains that more power will be centralised in Brussels, away from the people. In this discussion, our panel will discuss what balance needs to be struck between the EU and its Member States, and if there are any lessons that can be taken going forward into the Conference on the Future of Europe. Participants: Jorge Gonzále-Gallarza (moderator) Rodrigo Ballester Robert Tyler https://newdirection.online/event/the_future_of_europe_centralisation_or_subsidiarity?fbclid=IwAR3Klpyh4hNULtLW3pkS9xRG32x2-xpwFnoLJt4ud-neNCBRZ92cnsgzcIg
Event reportTo say that the EU stands at a “crossroads” has become something of a cliché amongst the Brussels commentariat. From efficiently and transparently disbursing Covid-19 relief to mitigating the effects of climate change, the various challenges facing the Union are all vexing in their own ways, yet they all bring into play the same dilemma that afflicts its institutional architecture. Namely, how to best apportion power between supranational institutions and the member states—and ensure that the rules governing that power balance are dutifully observed. The treaties, for what it’s worth, are unequivocal as to how that balance should be struck. On the premise—inspired by Catholic Social Teaching—that decisions are best made as close as possible to those affected, the Maastricht Treaty (1992) enshrined in its article 3 the so-called principle of “subsidiarity”. Namely, that “in areas which do not fall within its exclusive competence, the Community shall act only if and in so far as the objectives of the proposed action cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can therefore by reason of the scale or effects of the proposed action be better achieved by the Community”. These two conditions—referred to in the literature as the “national insufficiency test” and the “added value” test—remain incontrovertible, and ought to be met cumulatively. Yet too often, the European Commission (EC) has acted as if it had been given a blank cheque by the treaties. With the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) in full swing, MCC’s Center for European Studies (CES) has endeavored to dissect the crisis of subsidiarity—and point to workable solutions that would reinstate it back at the core of the EU’s legal order. On Thursday, July 22, the CES partnered with New Direction, Europe’s conservative foundation of reference, on a panel entitled “The Future of Europe: Centralisation or Subsidiarity?”, featuring Rodrigo Ballester, head of MCC's CES, and Robert Tyler, Senior Policy Advisor at New Direction.
11:00 - 12:30
Number of participants 6
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