subsidiarity


subsidiarity
the idea that functions that can be exercised at a lower level of organisation should be rather than being taken over by a higher level organisation. The idea appears within the Roman Catholic Church in the encyclicals Rerum Novarum (1891) and the Quadragesimo Anno (1931). Its present importance, however, is as a new principle within the legal system of the European Union. The Treaty on European Union embodies the concept in various places, most notably in the Preamble, where the parties intend to create an ever closer union in which decisions are taken as closely as possible to the citizen in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity. It has been described as the Euro-concept that all can admire by giving it the meaning they want. It has been questioned whether, save in the narrow area of cooperation on justice and home affairs, the concept is sufficiently 'legal' to be subject of decisions by the courts. Rather, it may be a political directive or at most an aid to interpretation. The applicability of the doctrine is made more difficult by the fact that the precise role of the European Union is not specifically defined, and it acquires and has acquired functions over time. Finally, if the superior body is to exercise a function it should be proportionate – appropriate to the scale of the problem addressed.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.


subsidiarity
The subsidiarity principle (in Article 3b of the EC Treaty) states that action should be taken at European Community level only if the desired objectives cannot easily be achieved by national action by the EU member states.

Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Subsidiarity — is an organizing principle that matters ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralized competent authority. The Oxford English Dictionary defines subsidiarity as the idea that a central authority should have a subsidiary… …   Wikipedia

  • subsidiarity — UK US /ˌsʌbsɪdiˈærɪti/ US  / erəṱi/ noun [U] ► the principle that decisions should always be taken at the lowest possible level, or closest to where they will have their effect, for example in a local area rather than nationally: »We re starting …   Financial and business terms

  • subsidiarity — (n.) 1936, from Ger. Subsidiarität, paraphrasing the Latin of Pius XI in his Quadragesimo Anno of 1931; see SUBSIDIARY (Cf. subsidiary) + ITY (Cf. ity). Just as it is gravely wrong to take from individuals what they can accomplish by their own… …   Etymology dictionary

  • subsidiarity — This is an awkward word that falls into place when you know that it is pronounced with the stress on the ar . It dates from the 1930s and has the special meaning ‘the principle that a central authority should have a subsidiary function,… …   Modern English usage

  • subsidiarity — [[t]səbsɪ̱diæ̱rɪti[/t]] N UNCOUNT Subsidiarity is the principle of allowing the individual members of a large organization to make decisions on issues that affect them, rather than leaving those decisions to be made by the whole group.… …   English dictionary

  • subsidiarity —    A description of a political system in which the functions of government are carried out at the lowest appropriate level for efficient administration – at the closest level possible to the people affected by the decision; the idea that each… …   Glossary of UK Government and Politics

  • subsidiarity — subsidiarumas statusas T sritis Politika apibrėžtis Vienas iš viešojo administravimo principų, reiškiantis, kad sprendimai turi būti priimami kiek galima arčiau piliečių (arba kiek galima žemesniu valdymo lygiu). Principas kilęs iš katalikų… …   Politikos mokslų enciklopedinis žodynas

  • subsidiarity — noun Date: 1936 1. the quality or state of being subsidiary 2. a principle in social organization: functions which subordinate or local organizations perform effectively belong more properly to them than to a dominant central organization …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • subsidiarity — noun The principle that government power ought to reside at the lowest feasible level (i.e. at the local or regional level, instead of the national or supranational level, unless the latter presents clear advantages) …   Wiktionary

  • subsidiarity — sub|sid|i|ar|i|ty [səbˌsıdiˈærıti] n [U] a word meaning a political ↑policy in which power to make decisions, is given to a smaller group, used especially about the European Community giving power to its member countries …   Dictionary of contemporary English


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