Discussion Paper. The principle of subsidiarity: concept and criteria

Subsidiarity is a principle which applies to the division of functions between different levels of government and society. This discussion paper focuses on the application of the principle of subsidiarity to the division of functions between the central government and self-government.

At the core of the principle of subsidiarity lies freedom of action of individuals, communities, municipalities and other small entities which the central government can only intervene if the said entities fail to perform independently.

The principle of subsidiarity presupposes decentralisation of government functions. The benefits of decentralisation include better service provision due to a closer proximity to citizens and hence a better access to information, increased likelihood of innovative solutions, lower monitoring costs, and a more stable system of government.

Depending on the level of autonomy of self-government, decentralisation can be achieved by means of deconcentration, delegation, or devolution.

To achieve better government accountability, the application of the subsidiarity rule should involve fiscal decentralisation, including both spending and revenue generation, balancing the amount of money collected and expended by local government.

Full analysis “The priciple of subsidiarity. Concept and criteria”.