Reinterpretation of the Scope of the Early Warning System by National Parliaments: Yellow Card against the Revision of the Posted Workers Directive

The Lisbon Treaty introduced the Early Warning System for the subsidiarity monitoring. The EWS empowers National Parliaments of the Member States with the right to submit reasoned opinions if they consider that the legislative proposal breaches the principle of subsidiarity and to trigger ‘yellow card’ or ‘orange card’ procedures. The three yellow cards triggered so far have demonstrated that the scope of the review on the part of the NPs is broader than it is foreseen in the Treaties. Thus, this article aims at analysing the approach of NPs towards the EWS with regard to the scope of their subsidiarity scrutiny through qualitative examination of the reasoned opinions in the third yellow card case. The study suggests that the practical scope of the NPs’ subsidiarity scrutiny also includes the principle of proportionality, and the policy content and the merits of the proposal with particular consideration of the procedural dimension of the principle of subsidiarity.