Erwin Teufel, CDU Minister-President for Baden-W?rttemberg, was one of the few speakers to call clearly for the setting of a precise list of responsibilities, emphasising the need for "a dual catalogue of Community and national responsibilities and a political body responsible for the resolution of jurisdictional conflicts". The Conservative Danish Government's representative, former EU Commissioner Henning Christophersen, concurred, whilst questioning the "political scope" for including the division of responsibilities in the Treaty. The Praesidium Secretariat will however strive to draft a list of responsibilities currently clearly devolved to the Member States on the one hand and the EU on the other. However, something akin to a consensus emerged during the plenary session regarding the need for a measure of flexibility in this area. This flexible approach nevertheless hides very different ulterior motives between those keen to pay heed to the future of common European policies and those aiming to preserve or indeed extend the ambit of national sovereignty.List or no list, several speakers had very definite ideas on this subject. "Agricultural and fisheries policy and regional policy need to be reviewed in the light of the principle of subsidiarity", said the Swedish Government's Social Democrat representative Soren Lekberg. The Irish Parliament's representative, former Prime Minister John Bruton suggested that "rather than questioning what criteria should result in the delegating of responsibilities to the Union, it would be better to consider what criteria confer legitimacy on States, since citizens look to their own governments for answers". Roundly applauded, Britain's European Affairs Minister Peter Hain considered in substance that areas currently the responsibility of the Member States should remain so, whereas shared or exclusive Union responsibilities are negotiable. He argued that "health, public safety, education and social security, should all remain national responsibilities, the Union only acting where Member States cannot act alone, though in such cases, the principle of proportionality must prevail", insisting that "institutional flexibility proved its worth in the manner in which the Union reacted to the events of September 11". An implicit means of emphasising that inter-governmental co-operation, which generally prevails in the context of decisions taken in the area of Justice and Home Affairs, has functioned...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT