MEPs back moves to increase role of national parliaments.

13-Apr-2016 @ 01:00

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MEPs have backed measures increasing the role of national parliaments in EU law making.

The European Parliament today approved a report by Conservative Legal Affairs spokesman Sajjad Karim MEP which also advocates introducing extra checks to ensure the EU only legislates on issues not best left to Member States.

"I am delighted that MEPs from across Europe have supported my report," said Mr Karim, MEP for North West England.

"Conservative MEPs are leading the way in reforming the EU and reducing the democratic deficit. My report supports this reform agenda by promoting a greater respect for national parliaments."

Mr Karim proposes that additional tests are applied to all EU legislation. Currently a so-called subsidiarity and proportionality check takes place when legislation begins its passage through Parliament. However, Mr Karim wants a mid-term evaluation introduced and a further assessment undertaken prior to adoption of the final text, which may have been substantially changed.

He said: "Subsidiarity and proportionality are fundamental guiding principles of the EU. It is vital that there is a thorough assessment of whether action at EU level is more appropriate than national or regional initiatives.

"The EU should not be afraid of subsidiarity. It increases dialogue with national parliaments and ultimately makes for better, more responsive legislation."

His other proposals include:

* A greater involvement of national parliaments in the preparation of EU legislation;

* More time for Member States to comment on EU legislative proposals;

* An annual debate between the European Commission and each national parliament.

* A revision of the Commission's guidelines to better assess subsidiarity.

The European Parliament voted 400 to 257 in favour of adopting Mr Karim's report.

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