European Union Law

Article 5 states:Therefore, according to the provisions specified above, the Community is to act only with the scope of the powers that have been conferred upon it. In areas that do not fall within its exclusive jurisdiction, the Community will act to the extent that is required, according to the principles of subsidiarity, to achieve the stated aims. There are two aspects to this article (a) subsidiarity will prevail only when the achieved objective cannot be achieved by the Member State. therefore there is a preference for power to be allocated to the smaller unit, i.e, the member States*4 (b)Subsidiarity also denotes an efficiency test, i.e, when the desired goal can be achieved with better efficiency by the Community. Moreover, the issue of subsidiarity will not arise in areas that are the exclusive competence of the Community, because there is no issue of conflict with competence since Community law will be supreme in those areas where there is exclusive competence. The question of subsidiarity arises in areas where the Community shares powers with those of the Member States.*5The principle of subsidiarity deals with the allocation of powers to pre-existing institutions and therefore is meant to shape democratic structures. For example Article, I TEU states that decisions will be taken “as closely as possible to the citizen.”*6 the reason why the principle of subsidiarity was first included within the Maastricht Treaty was mainly to placate the Member States who felt that power from shifting from the national level to European levels.*7 Therefore, on the basis of subsidiarity, the EC does not enjoy unlimited competence to act, rather it must work within the constraint of the powers attributed to it through the Treaty.