The 'Task force on subsidiarity, proportionality and doing less more efficiently' was established on 14 November 2017 by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. It will
- make recommendations on how to better apply the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality
- identify policy areas where work could be re-delegated or definitely returned to EU countries
- find ways to better involve regional and local authorities in EU policy making and delivery
From January to July 2018, the task force was meeting once a month on specific topics. Interested parties were invited to comment on the working papers related to these topics.
Task force meetings
Dates, working papers, meeting details
- 25 January 2018
- 23 February 2018
- 15 March 2018
- 27 April 2018
- 28 May 2018
- 28 May Hearing
- 21 June 2018
- 10 July 2018
Management and members
First Vice-President Frans Timmermans - in charge of Better Regulation
- Toomas Vitsut - Chairman of the European Affairs Committee of the Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu)
- Reinhold Lopatka - Chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on EU affairs of the National Council - Austrian Parliament
- Kristian Vigenin - Chair of the Committee on European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds of the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria
Committee of the Regions
- Karl-Heinz Lambertz - President of the European Committee of the Regions
- Michael Schneider - Member of the European Committee of the Regions
- François Decoster - Member of the European Committee of the Regions
Interested parties were able to give their general feedback about the work of the task force.
The Task Force handed over its final report on 10 July 2018 to Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. It is responding to three questions he asked the Task Force to address: how to apply better subsidiarity and proportionality principles within the EU institutions; how to involve better regional and local authorities in EU policy-making and implementation; and whether there are policy areas where responsibility could be returned over time to the Member States.
The Task Force concluded that a new way of working on subsidiarity and proportionality is needed to allow local and regional authorities and national Parliaments to make a more effective contribution to EU policymaking and in the design of new legislation. The proposed new approach would see subsidiarity and proportionality being assessed more consistently by all levels of government, on the basis of a "model grid" – a kind of subsidiarity and proportionality checklist. It is also suggested, when the next opportunity for EU Treaty revision presents itself, to increase the time available for national Parliaments to contribute their opinions on draft EU legislation from 8 weeks to 12 weeks. Lastly, another recommendation is that the 3 EU institutions agree on a focused multi-annual programme that would promote a rebalancing of the EU's work in some policy areas towards more effective implementation of existing legislation and away from initiating new legislation. This builds on the introduction, under the Juncker Commission, of much more targeted Commission Work programmes and annual Joint Declarations agreed among the 3 institutions on the priority files for adoption that year.
President Juncker will study the report and ensure appropriate follow-up. The European Commission is now preparing a Communication focused on further enhancing subsidiarity, proportionality and better regulation in the daily operation of the European Union, as announced in its 2018 Work Programme. Two important events will contribute to reflection on follow up to the Task Force recommendations. The Austrian Presidency of the EU will organise a conference on subsidiarity in Bregenz in November, which will provide an opportunity to further discuss the Task Force report and consider how to take forward its recommendations. In March 2019 the European summit of cities and regions will offer a further opportunity to discuss the Task Force recommendations.