Saeima identifies violation of subsidiarity principle in the EU’s proposal for regulation

(23.05.2012.)

During the subsidiarity check, the European Affairs Committee of the Saeima concluded that EU’s proposal for regulation regarding the exercise of the right to take collective action within the context of the freedom to provide services violates the principle of subsidiarity. On Tuesday, 22 May, the European Affairs Committee sent its reasoned opinion to the European Commission indicating that by adopting the regulation its aim will not be attained, and therefore the proposal for this legislative act should not be supported.

Pursuant to the so-called Lisbon Treaty, national parliaments have the right to supervise the procedure of drafting EU’s legislative acts by assessing the compliance of these acts with the principle of subsidiarity. National parliaments of the EU member states decide if the objectives of the proposed legislative act can be achieved on a lower – national – level and if the EU’s legislative initiatives exceed their initial aims. If within eight weeks at least nine national parliaments object to a new legislative act, this legislative initiative must be reviewed by the European Commission. So far the Saeima has not identified any proposal for EU legislative acts that violates the principle of subsidiarity.

The reasoned opinion of the Saeima emphasises that the proposal for the regulation does not attain its aim - within the context of the freedom to provide services, it is in the interests of the Union to ensure not only equal treatment of service providers from all the member states but also protection of employees’ rights. These matters have become particularly topical on the EU level after the widely discussed cases of Laval and Viking-Line.

The reasoned opinion also indicates that the proposal for the regulation is not unmistakably clear and definite, and its adoption is not sufficiently justified. “As the Regulation is directly applicable, its wording should be clear in order to ensure that all member states are able to apply it uniformly without any misunderstandings,” states the opinion.

The European Affairs Committee expresses concern about the European Commission’s indicated legal basis of the proposal. The Committee emphasises that despite the rulings made by the Court of Justice of the European Union, the right to strike is excluded from the range of matters that can be regulated across the European Union. Therefore, MPs are not convinced that adoption of the regulation on this matter can be based on rulings made by the Court of Justice of the European Union in the cases of Laval and Viking-Line.

„Although the European Affairs Committee does not question the rulings made by the Court of Justice of the European Union, it is not convinced that adoption of the Regulation as a secondary legal act in this matter can be derived from these Court rulings,” states the reasoned opinion of the Saeima. “If the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union sets forth that the right to strike is not a matter that can be regulated by directives, which are binding only as to the result to be achieved, it is not certain whether this matter can be regulated by a legal act that is directly applicable in all member states.”


Saeima Press Service

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