National competences vs. supranational competences. We recommend that in order to bring European law-making closer to the citizen, national parliaments be given a stronger role in deciding if a certain matter should be part of national or supranational competences. We call upon COSAC, the conference of national parliaments' EU affairs committees, to involve NGOs and think tanks, both at European and national level to discuss old and new models for this.
Why this recommendation?
The debate on competences has moved away from the idea of fixed "catalogues" indicating which competences belong to member states or to the EU. Instead the sharing of competences is now seen as a constantly on-going power-wrangling process.
In order to strengthen the role of the national parliaments, the Lisbon treaty introduced the idea of "yellow" and "orange" cards. The Commission will send new legislation for information to all national parliaments eight weeks before it is formally submitted to the European Council and the European Parliament. If national parliaments claim that the Commission is intruding unnecessarily into matters of national competence, they can protest to the Commission. The Commission is then obliged to reconsider its proposal, but its proposal is not blocked.
During negotiations prior to the Brexit referendum, the EU accepted the idea of a blocking "red card" (protests by a qualified majority of national Parliaments will effectively block a Commission proposal).
The British House of Lords has proposed that national parliaments should positively accept new Commission legislation initiatives through a "green card" procedure.
The issue is complicated, but of great importance to citizens as it touches upon basic issues of sovereignty and legitimacy.
If you are also worried about Europe's future and want to find solutions, please share this message with your friends, family and colleagues, by mail or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/myeurope.today)
This is one out of "20 Recommendations For More Democracy in Europe", prepared by seven conferences in seven EU countries - Denmark, Latvia, The Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Bulgaria and The Netherlands, in that order. The final document was prepared by representatives of all 7 conferences at The International House Sonnenberg in the Harz Mountains, Germany.
The My!Europe project will present one recommendation every day until Christmas, with a final overview on Dec 24.
To read the full text go to www.myeurope.today/important-pages-2
We think that these recommendations for change are extremely important for the future of Europe. What do you think? Your opinion counts.