MEPs back Sajjad's call for greater role for national parliaments

Sajjad who is Conservative Legal Affairs Spokesman in the European Parliament,  today used his annual report on subsidiarity to push for a greater role for national parliaments in the EU's law-making process which will help end the EU democratic deficit.

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Subsidiarity is a key principle of EU law-making and aims to ensure that decisions are taken at the correct level, whether European, national or local.

Saj's report was overwhemlingly approved by the Legal Affairs Committee. Currently national parliaments have eight weeks to scrutinise and respond to proposals for new legislations, but Sajjad's report says this should be extended in certain circumstances, such as when the national parliament is in  recesses or there is a natural disasters.

The report also recognises that several national parliaments are in favour of introducing  a "green card" procedure, which would give them the opportunity to suggest proposals and revisions for the new legislation.

MEPs also backed Sajjad's call for a "subsidiarity check" to be carried out at the end of the legislative process, in addition to the check which takes place at the start of the process.

Speaking after the Legal Affairs Committee meeting, 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 level initiatives.

"This report goes some way in doing that, ensuring national parliaments have a much greater say in the workings of the European Union.

"Several parliaments have expressed their interest in a green card mechanism and this would aim to enhance political dialogue between the Commission and national parliaments plus give them the opportunity to suggest constructive proposals for the Commission's consideration.

"It's important that we encourage national parliaments to contribute to legislation at an earlier stage in the process. This will help to improve communication and reduce the democratic deficit. When objections or concerns are raised by national parliaments or national experts, these should be thoroughly evaluated and not just disregarded.

"This is a very practical way of delivering Prime Minister David Cameron's reform agenda for the EU, ensuring national parliaments, including Westminster, have more say."