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Testing European legislation for compliance with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality

 Since 1 st September 2006, at the initiative of its President José Manuel Barroso, the European Commission has been sending its proposals and consultation papers directly to its Member States' parliaments. They in turn have six weeks to make representations on the compliance of these texts with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.

The French Senate's Committee to the European Union examines these texts. When it deems that a text infringes the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, it adopts observations which it addresses to the Commission. These observations generally express the Committee's doubts with regard to subsidiarity and proportionality. Alternatively, the Commission may be requested to provide further clarification in its reasoning. The Commission endeavours to reply to these observations within a three month deadline. The dialogue between these two institutions can continue until the Senate judges that its questions have been fully answered.

Report "Dialogue with the European Commission on subsidiarity" (Report done by M. Hubert HAENEL - European Affairs Committee - November 2007)