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Michael Hüther / Markus Vogel IW-Policy Paper No. 24 2. November 2020 Sovereignty and Responsibility in a Multi-Level System: Federalism as an Orientation for a Sustainable EU?

At the beginning of the year 2020 the European Union stands just ahead the new institutional cycle. The results of the elections to the European Parliament have not fulfilled the fears about Euroscepticism characterizing the following period.

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Federalism as an Orientation for a Sustainable EU?
Michael Hüther / Markus Vogel IW-Policy Paper No. 24 2. November 2020

Sovereignty and Responsibility in a Multi-Level System: Federalism as an Orientation for a Sustainable EU?

IW Policy Paper

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German Economic Institute (IW) German Economic Institute (IW)

At the beginning of the year 2020 the European Union stands just ahead the new institutional cycle. The results of the elections to the European Parliament have not fulfilled the fears about Euroscepticism characterizing the following period.

However, the growing differentiation of European policy perspectives in the member states suggests that a simple „keep it up“ will not be the solution such as that the next steps of integration have deliver concrete responses on the citizens‘ needs. A new debate on the future of the European Union has started, yet: an interinstitutional conference on the future of the EU was foreseen to be inaugurated on Europe Day on 9th May 2020, but due to the Covid 19 pandemic the conference is postponed. In the public and political debate in Germany, the principle of subsidiarity (art. 5(3) TEU) plays a major role for the presumption of competences in the European multilevel system.

The view on the juridical as well as on the economical debate on the principle of subsidiarity as a regulative for the competence order and the allocation efficiency remains somewhat unsatisfactory and the dilatory view on the federal elements of the EU does not help at first, too. In these multilevel systems, there collide historically diverging, systematically inconsistent as well as qualitatively different needs having to be brought in a balance. This results in the promotion for an „active subsidiarity“ as well as a „subsidiarity routine“ in order to shape that together dynamically in the heterogeneous EU multilevel system – with its differentiated national state regulations as well as the different references in territorial terms. So it can succeed to find balance between the needs of the citizens (acceptancy), the EU institutions (efficiency) as well as of those of the different levels of decision making and acting (reason for being). Above all, however, subsidiarity has to start at home, i.e. it can just be strengthened in the EU as long as it does not erode in the member states. There is a challenge often that has often been neglected so far.

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Federalism as an Orientation for a Sustainable EU?
Michael Hüther / Markus Vogel IW-Policy Paper No. 24 2. November 2020

Prof. Dr. Michael Hüther / Dr. Markus Vogel: Souveränität und Verantwortung im Mehrebenensystem – Föderalismus als Orientierung für eine zukunftsfähige EU?

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German Economic Institute (IW) German Economic Institute (IW)

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