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This publication reproduces the proceedings of the Annual Colloquium of the European Institute of Public Administration, devoted in 1991 to 'Subsidiarity-Guiding Principle for Future EC Policy Responsibility?' The colloquium, to which the President of the Commission of the European Communities, Mr Jacques Delors, agreed to lend his name, was held in Maastricht on 21-22 March 1991.
The concept of subsidiarity was proposed recently as a possible 'golden rule' for determining the allocation of public functions between the various levels of government in the European Community. During the colloquium criteria to be applied for the assignment of tasks and responsibilities to the respective level of governance were discussed.
The aim of the colloquium was to deepen our understanding of subsidiarity and to advance the current debate on this matter. It provided a forum for policy-makers, top-level public officials, chief executive officers of private companies and experts from academia to exchange ideas and discuss major challenges involved in applying this concept.
During the first part of the colloquium, the basic issue of the applicability of the subsidiarity principle to EC institutions and policy processes was discussed. The President of the Commission, Mr Jacques Delors, the President of the European Council, Mr Jacques Santer and, on behalf of the European Parliament, Mr Panayotis Roumeliotis, member of the Committee on Institutional Affairs of the European Parliament on the subsidiarily principle, presented their respective views on the potential of the principle. In addition, the former President of the European Court of Justice, Lord Mackenzie-Stuart, commented on the proposals made and opened the discussion for the participants in the plenary session.
In the second part, the implications and ramifications of the subsidiarity principle were explored in three areas of EC policy-making: European Monetary Union, Environmental Policy and the Social Dimension. These discussions took place in parallel panels. For each of the three subjects top representatives from the Member States and Community institutions commented on the application of the principle and its repercussions on institutional development in the Community. By publishing these proceedings, EIPA hopes to make the results achieved at the Jacques Delors Colloquium known to a wider audience and to stimulate further discussion.