The role of the Irish Houses of the Oireachtas in monitoring subsidiarity in accordance with the Protocol on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality is defined in the

Report on the Review of the Role of the Oireachtas in European Union of 7 July 2010.

According to the replies of the Houses of the Oireachtas to the questionnaire for the 13th Bi-annual Report of COSAC (May 2010):



1. Have there been any regulations adopted by your Member State in order to incorporate the new powers that are entrusted to the national Parliaments by the Treaty of Lisbon? If so, please specify the regulations in their corresponding categories.

1a. Constitutional provisions

1b. Legal provisions - Statutory provisions

The Houses of the Oireachtas [Dáil Eireann (Lower House) and Seanad Eireann (Upper House)] passed the European Union Act in October 2009 to give legal effect to the enhanced powers of the Oireachtas provided for in the Lisbon Treaty.

1c. Parliamentary Standing Orders

1d. Other (please specify)

The Joint Committees on European Scrutiny and European Affairs agreed a joint report on “Implementation of the Lisbon Treaty: Interim arrangements on the enhanced role of the Houses of the Oireachtas.” on 8 December 2009.   On 10 December 2009, both Houses of the Oireachtas passed a Resolution which implemented the recommendations of the report and provided for the implementation of section 7 of the European Union Act 2009 (Role of Houses of the Oireachtas).

2. If no regulation has yet been passed, is any such regulation in the pipeline? Please specify the hierarchy of the provisions that are likely to be adopted in the short or medium term (Constitutional provisions, Legal Statutory provisions, Parliamentary Standing Orders ...).

The Resolutions passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas on 10 December 2009 provided that the two Joint Committees review the arrangements outlined in the Resolution and report to back to both Houses within six months.  This review is scheduled to be completed by 10 June 2010. 

Further or altered procedures may result from this review.



2a. Please specify the Parliamentary bodies in charge of ensuring such compliance.

While the ultimate decisions in respect of ensuring compliance with the principle of subsidiarity are taken by Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann, on an interim basis the JCES has day to day responsibility for ensuring compliance with the principle.

2b. Briefly describe the procedures involved.

All draft legislative acts stand referred to the JCES when they are transmitted from the EU.  The issue of compliance with the principle of subsidiarity is considered as part of the scrutiny process.  It is open to the Joint Committee to consult with other Committees in the Oireachtas and such other stakeholders as it sees fit.  In the event that the Joint Committee is of the opinion that a draft legislative act is in breach of the principle of subsidiarity it shall submit a reasoned opinion to this effect by way of report to each House of the Oireachtas.  The Chairman of the Committee shall table a motion to consider the report and where either House of the Oireachtas approves the motion the Ceann Comhairle (Speaker Lower House) and/or Cathaoirleach (Speaker Upper House) shall send a copy of the Resolution together with a copy of the report to the Presidents of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission.

2c. Briefly describe the procedures for the participation of regional parliaments, if applicable.

The JCES have formally agreed that it will consult the Irish delegation to the Committee of the Regions when it considers that the principle of subsidiarity is in question with regard to a particular EU legislative proposal  The delegation’s views would in turn inform the Joint Committee’s preparation of the reasoned opinion."