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The Swedish Riksdag as Scrutinizer of the Principle of Subsidiarity
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law. (Konstitutionell rätt)
2016 (English)In: European Constitutional Law Review, ISSN 1744-5515, Vol. 2Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

This article provides a case study of the scope of subsidiarity review exercised by the Swedish

Riksdag within the Early Warning Mechanism (EWM). It takes its starting point in the theoretical

debate on the scope of subsidiarity review reaching the conclusion that the Swedish case confirms

both Kiiver’s definition of the scope of the review to include legality and proportionality, and Jancic’s

more recent article arguing for a broader review to include substance besides the principle of legality

and proportionality. The connection between issues concerning the scope of the review within the

EWM and several of the arguments in favour of a reform of the EWM is that national parliaments are

not apt to make legal assessments such as a strictly legal approach to the review would suggest. In

light of this, the Swedish case is interesting taking into account that the Committee on the

Constitution has the task to provide a yearly analysis of the review exercised by sectoral committees,

including questions related to method and the outcome of the review on the EU-legislative process.

The article provides a critical assessment of the role of the Committee on the Constitution within the

Swedish scrutiny procedure, reaching the conclusion that the Committee’s evaluation suffers several

methodological weaknesses; weaknesses that do effect the impact and efficiency of the Swedish

scrutiny process. The Swedish model for scrutiny of subsidiarity within the EWM combines a fully

decentralised review by sectoral committees with the yearly ‘helicopter perspective’ offered by the

Committee on the Constitution. The primary task of the Committee on the Constitution is to act as

protector of decentralisation by identifying creeping competence overstretches. Taken together this

could be a strong model of scrutiny within the EWM should the Committee on the Constitution, or

whatever body is entrusted with the overall analysis, take is task to provide methodological guidance


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 2
Keyword [en]
National parliament, early warning mechanism, principle of subsidiarity, Swedish Parliament, Riksdag, scrutiny, Committee on the constitution
Keyword [sv]
riksdag, sakutskott, konstitutionsutskottet, subsidiaritet, subsidiaritetsprincipen
National Category
Law (excluding Law and Society)
Research subject
Constitutional Law; European (Integration) Law
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-287756OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-287756DiVA: diva2:923440
Nationella parlaments roll i EU:s lagstiftningsprocess: en komparativ studie av tillämpningen av subsidiaritetsprincipen
Swedish Research CouncilRiksbankens Jubileumsfond
Available from: 2016-04-26 Created: 2016-04-26 Last updated: 2016-04-26

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