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date: 01 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

What constitutional principles govern Union competences? Article 5 TEU identifies three constitutional principles: conferral; subsidiarity; and proportionality. The principle of conferral concerns the (limited) existence of Union competences. These competences are limited in two ways. Quantitatively, they will be confined by a—limited—material scope; qualitatively, they might be limited to a particular type of intervention. In contrast to the principle of conferral, the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality do not concern the existence of legal competence but only limit its exercise. According to the principle of subsidiarity, the Union must show that it is better able to solve a social problem than the Member States; whereas the proportionality principle generally insists that Union action must not exceed what it necessary to achieve a Union objective. This chapter analyses each of the three constitutional principles governing Union competences and the conceptual relations between them.

Keywords: competence, teleological interpretation, competence-competence, competence categories, subsidiarity, proportionality

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