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OIDE Notes

Early Warning System – arrangements for cooperation presented by the European Commission

based on the letter of J.M. Barroso and M. Wallstrom of 1 December 2009 to the Speakers of national parliaments

Transmission of documents

  1. All draft legislative acts sent to the European Parliament and/or the Council are simultaneously transmitted to the national parliaments and to IPEX:
    • different language versions are sent successively,
    • draft legislative acts falling under the scope of the subsidiarity scrutiny are accompanied by a transmission letter – letter de saisine – mentioning the procedure and determining the deadline.
  2. At the end of each week, the Commission sends a recapitulative list of documents that have been sent to each national parliament in the course of the preceding week. Copy is sent to the European Parliament, the Council and IPEX for information. If no national parliament reacts within 3 working days, the Commission considers that the documents contained in the weekly list have been duly received. This weekly list of documents replaces an individual acknowledgement of receipt.


The eight weeks deadline starts with the transmission of the lettre de saisine which is sent at the same time as the last language version of a given document. The EP, the Council and IPEX are informed on the same day about the transmission of these lettres de saisine.

  • Should the non-receipt of a document by a national parliament have an impact on the deadline, the Commission will fix a new deadline on an ad-hoc basis, for given national parliament.
  • When determining the deadline, August is not taken into account.

Scope of national parliaments' opinions and thresholds – counting reasoned opinions

  1. The Commission considers all reasoned opinions, even if they provide different motivations as to the non-compliance with the principle of subsidiarity or refer to different provisions of the proposal.
  2. After the deadline has expired:
    • the Commission provides a political assessment of the files for which the threshold has been reached and confirms the triggering of the subsidiarity scutiny mechanism,
    • informs accordingly national parliaments, the European Parliament, the Council and IPEX,
    • publishes reasoned opinions on the Commission's website.
    If the thresholds are not met after the deadline has expired, the Commission replies to the respective national parliaments (also, when reasoned opinions arrived after the deadline).

Yellow and orange cards

Both in the case of the yellow and orange card procedure:

  1. The Commission decides whether to maintain, amend or withdraw the legislative proposal in question, and gives reasons for its decision in the form of a Commission communication.
  2. The Commission communication is sent to all national parliaments, the European Parliament, the Council and IPEX.

In the case of the orange card procedure, the reasoned opinions received from national parliaments on a particular file are annexed to this communication.