Vienna, 4 December 2013 Press release

Lopatka: "National parliaments play a vital role in creating an EU that is close to its citizens"

Discussion about a Europe of subsidiarity and proportionality demanded

Vienna, 4 December 2013 – "We must consider ways of making the EU more efficient and better capable of acting and how paralysis through over-regulation can be avoided", Austrian State Secretary Reinhold Lopatka said in the EU Committee of the Austrian National Council today. "I advocate a Europe of subsidiarity and proportionality, where open issues are tackled close to the citizens. Not in all areas do more regulations from Brussels really entail a better Europe. The principle of subsidiarity is not in contradiction to more Europe", Lopatka said.

"Subsidiarity is an important element of the EU’s political system. National parliaments play a vital role in considering whether a measure proposed by the European Commission should be taken on European or rather on national level", Lopatka said underlining the importance of national parliaments in European politics. "For Austria with its federal system observance of the principle of subsidiarity is essential."

"If we are to bring the EU closer to its citizens, we should attach more importance to observing the principle of subsidiarity in future and also address issues of a reasonable distribution of responsibility. In his State of the Union address even Commission President Barroso said in 2013 that ‘The EU needs to be big on big things and smaller on smaller things’. With this statement he illustrated that not everything needs to be solved at European level. Europe must focus on areas where it can bring about major added value", Lopatka said. "It must be the EU's primary goal to position itself in as a serious participator in global competition. A stronger and deeper Europe is thus called for in the finance and economic policy sectors in future, as well as in international and security politics. In addition to its economic clout, the EU also needs to gain more weight in the political sphere. These are precisely the questions that are to be discussed in an open-minded setting at a future convention", Lopatka concluded.

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