Within the "national parliaments" group, chaired by the UK Parliament representative and Praesidium member Gisela Stuart, a consensus has emerged to reject setting up a new body or a new forum, given that the most credible control of the principle of subsidiarity should exist at the national level through internal parliamentary procedures. This trend was already apparent at the Convention's June 7 plenary session focusing on the role of national Parliaments (see European Report 2691 for further details). The position is not however wholly unambiguous since the majority of group members simultaneously consider that without blocking the European legislative process, an ex ante warning mechanism might be introduced, permitting the intervention of national parliaments and scope for ex post legal control by the Court of Justice. The strengthening of the Conference of bodies specialising in Community Affairs (COSAC), i.e. of the delegates of national parliament's European Affairs Committees, might permit this intermediation in parallel with an enhanced inter-institutional dialogue with the European Commission, which might in future directly transmit its legislative programme and documents to national parliaments, and no longer through the intermediary of Member States' governments.

The majority approach within the working group on "subsidiarity", chaired by Inigo Mendez de Vigo, MEP and Praesidium member, is in part similar, placing emphasis on the priority on control exercised on their own government by national parliaments. However, several eminent Convention members remain attached to political control of the principle of subsidiarity by national parliaments. The UK government representative, Peter Hain, supported by the Italian Parliament's representative Lamberto Dini, has thus called for the creation of a specific body made up of national MPs. The French Senate representative Hubert Haenel concurs, reiterating the proposal to institutionalise the COSAC through the creation of a permanent general secretariat, to increase the frequency of sessions - currently reduced to one or two days per half year - and the introduction of a right of hearing. Without taking up a specific position, the President of the national parliaments delegation on the Convention, the Spanish MP Josep Borell, emphasised the need to decide whether national control is sufficient or whether a collective procedure, and therefore the creation of a specific body or the...

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