The Subsidiarity Principal In The European Union

4677 words - 19 pages

Topic: The subsidiarity principal in the European UnionContent:1.Introduction2.The origins and first manifestations of the principal of subsidiarity in the EC3.The subsidiarity principle itself- The Treaties of Maastricht and Amsterdam4.Case law and the European Court of Justice4.1.The Tobacco Advertising Case4.2.The Working Time Directive5.Evolution of the Principle in recent years- From Amsterdam until today6.Conclusion1.IntroductionSubsidiarity can be defined as:"the principle that a central authority should have a subsidiary function, performing only those tasks which cannot be performed effectively at a more immediate or local level."Within the European Union, it is the fundamental principle for defining the border line between EU and member state responsibilities. The principle is incorporated in the treaty of Maastricht, signed on 7 February 1992, among other guidelines that discipline the different profiles of the European integration process.However, the concept is by far not an invention of the EU, but has a long tradition and experienced an evolution which was to a large extent parallel to the evolution of political sciences.The word subsidiarity is derived from the Latin term subsidiarius and has its origins in Catholic social teaching. It mainly claims that government should carry out only those activities which exceed the capacity of individuals or private groups acting separately. The autonomy and dignity of the human individual is thus the central value of the principle, wherefore all other forms of society (e.g. family, state, international order) should be in the service of the human being. Without going further into detail, it seems appropriate to mention that it was elaborated in the encyclical Rerum Novarum of 1891 by Pope Leo XIII, as an attempt to articulate an intermediate option between capitalism on the one hand and the different forms of communism, which are characterized by the subordination of the person to the state, on the other.This case work will focus on the principle of subsidiarity, which also influenced significantly the distribution of competences in federal and regional states and underwent a continuous empowerment within the European integration process in the last decades.The achievements federal states obtained in this matter did often inspire the European Union. The drafting of Article 5 (ex 3b), in which the subsidiarity concept is contained, is definitely influenced by the German law concerning the relationship between Bund and Länder.At the very beginning there will be an analysis of the first concrete manifestations of a progressively increasing absorption of the principle into the communitarian activity before the treaty of Maastricht. In this regard, it is interesting to see that, although not explicitly embraced by legal documents, this principle de facto influenced the construction of the European community from its foundation onwards.In the second part, the principle as it is incorporated...

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