Does subsidiarity really matter?
Title: Does subsidiarity really matter?
Author: DEHOUSSE, Renaud
Publisher: European University Institute, 1992
Series/Number: EUI LAW; 1992/32
History is unpredictable. 1992 was to crown eight years of hard labour of the Community institutions, with the completion of the internal market and the launching of the European Union. Instead, the Community has been caught in one of the most severe crises it has ever had to face. The rejection of the Maastricht Treaty by the Danish people and the narrow victory of the "yes" vote in the French referendum have shown that European integration was meeting with stronger resistence than expected at national level, while the monetary crisis of mid-September has cast a shadow on the prospects for monetary union. In this difficult situation, the subsidiarity concept appears as a cure for all the problems now faced by the Community. Today's political discourse is replete with references to the spirit an letter of subsidiarity. Encouraged by its recognition in the Maastricht Treaty, the Community institutions have engaged into a discussion on how such a principle could be given effect. The expectation seems to be that this will help the Community to steer a new course in the years to come. Yet there is still no clear understanding of the actual scope of the subsidiarity principle, nor of the ways in which it could be used by the Community institutions. The aim of this article is to contribute to the debate on these two issues. Before examining the merits of the discussion, it is however useful to analyse the reasons that have led to the insertion of subsidiarity in the Treaty on European Union.
First made available online in 2018
Type of Access: openAccess