The Treaty of Lisbon strengthened the role of national parliaments in the EU legislative process by creating the Early Warning System. This procedure offers them the possibility to send reasoned opinions to the European Commission if they have subsidiarity concerns about a legislative proposal. Since 2009 the necessary threshold (i.e. one third of the total number of votes) has only been reached three times. The most recent of these 'yellow cards' was triggered by the Commission's proposal to revise the Posted Workers Directive, an event that allows us to shed some light on how national parliaments use this mechanism and how the European Commission has reacted. The subsidiarity concerns were rejected by the Commission and the legislative process continues despite deep divisions between old and new Member States over the controversial policy issue of revising the Posted Workers Directive.
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- Democracy, European Union, National parliaments, Subsidiarity