§ Lord Gallacher
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What scope is envisaged for the application of the principle of subsidiarity under the common agricultural policy of the European Communities.
The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Earl Howe)
The CAP falls within the Community's exclusive competence. However, actions under the CAP, like all Community actions, will have to satisfy the subsidiarity tests in the first and third paragraphs of Article 3b of the Maastricht Treaty—that is, that the Community shall act within the limits of its powers and that its actions shall not go beyond what is necessary to achieve the objectives of the treaty. The CAP is also subject to the guidelines on subsidiarity agreed at the Edinburgh meeting of the European Council whereby Community measures should leave as much scope for national decisions as possible and any burdens imposed on individuals and on national and local administrations should be proportionate to the objective to be achieved. Thus, with the application of the principle of subsidiarity, Member states should exercise greater discretion over the implementation of Community policies on agriculture, although this must be subject to the over.riding need to maintain effective control of Community expenditure, prevent fraud and permit fair competition.