§ Mr. Duncan-Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on Government policy on the use of challenges before the European Court of Justice on measures taken by the European Commission or the Council of Ministers which in the opinion of Her Majesty's Government are contrary to the principle of subsidiarity, following the treaty of Maastricht.
§ Mr. Garel-Jones
The Lisbon European Council conclusions invited the Commission and the Council to undertake urgent work on the procedural and practical steps to implement the principle of subsidiarity. We hope that these steps will help to ensure that measures adopted by the Community in future will fully comply with the principle of subsidiarity. When the Maastricht treaty enters into force it will be open to any member state, or the Commission, to challenge a member state, or the Commission, to challenge a measure on the grounds that it violates article 3b.
The Government anticipate that the principle will have its intended effect upon the legislative process, but do not rule out challenges before the court if necessary.