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Vice-President Šefčovič signals closer ties with national parliaments

Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President for Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration, has underlined the Commission's determination to intensify links with national parliaments. Speaking to Europe Ministers from the German federal states on Wednesday, Mr Šefčovič pledged that the Commission would keep national parliaments at the top of the institutional and political agenda. The Lisbon Treaty provides for a significant increase of the role of national parliaments at EU level. Among other things, they can take part in the revision procedures of the Treaties and can oppose an initiative of the European Council to invoke the 'passerelle' clause. They also now benefit from the so-called 'subsidiarity control mechanism', where the Commission may be forced to reconsider draft legislation if a certain number of national chambers contest the proposal within a certain timeframe. The Vice-President undertook "to see the subsidiarity control mechanism as a political, and not as a purely accounting exercise". He also pledged to maintain and deepen the political dialogue with national parliaments, which was instituted in 2006.


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