RLEG’s contribution to the Subsidiarity and Proportionality Task Force, doing less efficiently

Between April and July 2018, RLEG held meetings and transmitted a document entitled "Contribution of RLEG, Regions with legislative powers to the TASK FORCE Subsidiarity and Proportionality, making less efficient". Seven regions signed the document:

The governments of Basque Country, Brussels-Capital, Flanders, Navarre, Piemonte, Salzburg and Wales welcomed the decision of the European Commission to install a the Task Force for Subsidiarity and Proportionality and encourage the EU institutions to systematically engage in a structured dialogue with RLEG. This dialogue must be inspired by pragmatism and vision, bearing in mind their empowerment to deliberate, make decisions and commit as agents of political transformation, in order to reinforce the European integration process. As a devolved government with legislative powers, the Welsh Government supports the principles of multi-level governance which underpin the Recommendations made by the signatory regions from the EU 27 and their call to strengthen the role of regions with legislative powers in EU decision-making.

The mentioned governments call for effective multi-level governance, with RLEG assuming co-responsibility in the integration process that also guarantee precise application of the decentralised dimensions of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.

In essence, the following recommendations hereafter are to be considered by the Task Force:

The organisation of a high-level debate that could lead to a Convention of RLEG and EU institutions on effective multilevel governance that takes up the work done by this Task Force, particularly the work carried out by the European Parliament included recommendations in the Lamassoure Report on the Associated/Partner Region.

The constitution of a working group devoted to analyze the institutional framework of a reinforced and structural cooperation where RLEG would have their capacities recognized by a status of Associated/Partner Region. Moreover, the impact of EU policy and regulations on RLEG, including budgetary and administrative impact, among others, should be analysed.

A more balanced and evidence-based subsidiarity check by the European Commission is needed and the criteria to be assessed should favor a more decentralized approach.

To open a debate to define the conditions under which the regions can have direct access to the European Court of Justice for RLEG, without being required to demonstrate direct and individual concern.

A debate on the institutional role of the European Committee of the Regions, with improved consultation capacity and increased consideration of its opinions, especially concerning the European cohesion policy.

 An adequate address of the heterogeneous nature of the composition of the European Committee of the regions should also be analysed.

RLEG acknowledges the importance of the current presence in the Council of some RLEG on behalf of or as part of the delegation of their Member States, and calls on those Members States, whose constitutions devolve exclusive or shared legislative competences to their regions, to ensure the direct participation of those RLEG to Council meetings dealing with these competences.

When one-third of the Member State and Regional Parliaments demand it, the European Commission should be obliged to examine a proposal for EU action in any given policy area, and, when deemed relevant and appropriate, submit a legislative proposal. Should the Commission decline to do so, it must justify the absence of action.