[M]EPs in the European Parliament have this week backed measures that will increase the role of national parliaments in the EU law making process.
A report by Cumbria’s MEP and Conservative Legal Affairs spokesman, Sajjad Karim, advocates introducing extra checks to ensure the EU does not legislate on issues that are best left to Member States.
Speaking from Strasbourg, Mr Karim said: “I am delighted that MEPs from across Europe have supported my report.”
“Conservative MEPs are leading the way in reforming the EU and reducing the democratic deficit between the EU and Member States. My report supports this reform agenda by promoting a greater respect for national parliament decision making.”
Mr Karim proposes that additional tests are applied to all EU legislation. Currently a so-called subsidiarity and proportionality check takes place when legislation begins its passage through Parliament. However, Mr Karim wants a mid-term evaluation introduced and a further assessment undertaken prior to adoption of the final text, which may have been substantially changed.
He added: “Subsidiarity and proportionality are fundamental guiding principles of the EU. It is vital that there is a thorough assessment of whether action at EU level is more appropriate than national or regional initiatives. For example, if a decision is best made in Cumbria, then it should not be made by the European Parliament.
“The EU should not be afraid of subsidiarity. It increases dialogue with national parliaments and ultimately makes for better, more responsive legislation to national and local needs.”
Mr Karim’s other proposals include:
- A greater involvement of national parliaments in the preparation of EU legislation;
- More time for Member States to comment on EU legislative proposals;
- An annual debate between the European Commission and each national parliament.
- A revision of the Commission’s guidelines to better assess subsidiarity.
The European Parliament voted 400 to 257 in favour of adopting Mr Karim’s report.