It seems that Mrs Walstrom has been caught being sloppy by the redoubtable Dr Helen Szamuely of EU Referendum Blog, and the response is a shrug and an “Aw Shucks” from her Chief Spokesman Mikolaj Dowgielewicz,
I think that what MW meant was: national parliaments can oppose (the protocol on subsidiarity) and citizens can propose (art I - 47). OK, but it is a blog and not a conference speech, shortcuts allowed, aren't they?
So the Vice President in charge of Communication/Propaganda should be allowed her sloppiness. No she shouldn’t, not even in a blog (the authorship which I still find dicey).
What is more the cliam that Mikolaj makes for her is also a dubious reading of the Constituition, and he should know it. The article he quotes (1 – 47) is here,
"Not less than one million citizens who are nationals of a significant number of Member States may take the initiative of inviting the Commission, within the framework of its powers, to submit any appropriate proposal on matters where citizens consider that a legal act of the Union is required for the purpose of implementing the Constitution. European laws shall determine the provisions for the procedures and conditions required for such a citizens' initiative, including the minimum number of Member States from which such citizens must come."
You will notice that nowhere does it say that the Commission need take any notice of the petition. It is akin to the peasant appearing at the Maharaja’s Durbar and making a supplication. If the Maharaja was in a good mood then he would consider it. Similarly the Commission.
The idea that National Parliaments can oppose is one of the key claims of those who would impose this Constitution upon us. They claim, ad infinitum that the Constitution gives the National Parliament’s new powers.
Eh? Run that past me again, how can that possibly be. Until very recently my Parliament, and the Parliament of every nation of the 15 could make binding decisions on any matter they or their electorate saw fit. Then if there was a change in government they could do something else. To change this situation of power for what is offered by the Constitution is farcical.
Article Three of the Protocol covers this aspect
“National Parliaments may send to the Presidents of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission a reasoned opinion on whether a draft European legislative act complies with the principle of subsidiarity, in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Protocol on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.
If the draft European legislative act originates from a group of Member States, the President of the Council shall forward the reasoned opinion or opinions to the governments of those Member States.”
You will notice that a bunch of national parliaments have to come to the same conclusion within six weeks (Oh right yeah, that’s going to happen). At that point the Commission has to look at their complaint. It, again does not have to comply with the request.
So Margot and Mikolaj, or is that Mikolaj and Margot, do better. You are paid to do much, much better.