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Task Force to show efficient EU policy implementation in the states

Eugene Eteris, European Studies Faculty, RSU, BC International Editor, Riga/Copenhagen, 17.11.2017.Print version
A special task force aims to ensure better EU policies implementation: the approach is called “doing less more efficiently”. Recommendations are expected on: better application of subsidiarity and proportionality principles, on policy areas which could be re-delegated or returned to the EU states, and on showing ways of better involving regional and local authorities in EU policy implementation. Good ideas for Baltics to emulate…

From the initial steps in mid-2014, Commission President J. - C. Juncker formulated political guidelines for the five-year’s term.  Hence, the Commission focused on 10 priority policy areas, shaping the work of the EU institution and ensuring that as much work as possible is left to the member states’ competences. The Commission further developed this concept in a White Paper on the Future of Europe (delivered on 1 March 2017), which presented 5 scenarios, including one – number four- entitled “doing less more efficiently”.


The idea of creating a task force was mentioned in Commission President’s State of the Union address (13 September 2017). He underlined, among other things, the EU “shall be big on big issues and small on the small ones”. With this in mind, a new task force with the orientation to “subsidiarity and proportionality” will look critically at all EU’s policy areas to make sure that the Union institutions are only acting where “the EU adds value”. Reference to:;

“Doing les more efficiently”: old-new concept

In the Commission’s “vision for the future of Europe”, made in March 2017, out of five possible scenarios, one (nr. 4) was about “doing les more efficiently” under which the EU institutions and the member states should step up its work in certain fields while stopping to act or doing less in domains where it is perceived as having more limited added value, or as being unable to deliver on its promises. Soundest like the old-new concept in any efficiency approach…

The work of the Task Force will contribute to the EU’s further evolution in the context of the Commission's Roadmap for a more united, stronger and more democratic Union. The Roadmap will be completed in time before the European Parliament elections at the EU’s summit in Sibiu (Romania) on 9 May 2019.

Main EU principles involved

The principles of subsidiarity and proportionality are laid down in the EU basic law (art. 5 TEU). The subsidiarity principle aims to ensure that decisions are taken as closely as possible to the citizen and that the EU institutions do not take action unless it is more effective than action taken at national, regional or local level.


The proportionality principle limits the exercise of the EU's powers to what is absolutely necessary to achieve the objectives described in the Treaties. An example of the application of these two main principles is the Commission’s state aid control competence has already been largely re-delegated to national authorities, and 90% of all state aid measures are now in the hands of national, regional and local authorities.

Task Force’s future

The Task Force will report to the President by 15 July 2018, making recommendations on how to better apply the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, identifying policy areas where work could be re-delegated or definitely returned to the EU states, as well as ways to better involve regional and local authorities in EU policy making and delivery.


The Task Force will start its work on 1 January 2018, and it will be chaired by Commission First Vice-President in charge of Better Regulation, Inter-institutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights Frans Timmermans.


The task force will be composed of 9 members, with 3 members from national Parliaments, 3 from the European Parliament and 3 from the Committee of the Regions.


More information on the issue is in the following web-sites: = Decision on the establishment of a Task Force on Subsidiarity, Proportionality and "Doing Less More Efficiently"; = State of the Union Address 2017; = White Paper on the Future of Europe; = Political Guidelines of President Juncker.

References: Commission press release -Future of Europe: President Juncker creates Task Force on “doing less more efficiently”. Brussels, 14 November 2017. In:; Latvian version at:

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