“What should be the engine of European integration has become its brake and the engine of nationalism and populism”

Félix de la Fuente, author of the “Glosario Jurídico de la Unión Europea” (Legal Glossary of the European Union) and the “Dictionnaire juridique de l’Union Européenne” (Legal Dictionary of the European Union) -two reference works of Community law- states in an article that publishes number 15 of Tribuna Plural, the scientific journal of the Royal European Academy of Doctors-Barcelona 1914 (RAED), the misinterpretation that has been made of the principle of European subsidiarity with political interests and the lode that have found nationalism and populism in a concept that considers vitiated.

Felix de la Fuente: The principle of European subsidiarity

Felix de la Fuente

“What was to be the engine of European integration was turned into a brake of the same and the motor of the nationalisms and populisms that would come later”, reflects De la Fuente, a regular contributor to the RAED. The jurist tries to answer the questions that are formulated these days: How we have been able to arrive at this situation in Catalonia?, what is the reason for the rise of nationalism and populism throughout the European Union? From a profound defense of the need for European integration, the author considers that one of the causes is the unilateral application of this principle of subsidiarity.

“The principle of subsidiarity has been applied to remove competences from the European Union without taking into account that globalization has shown the increasing incompetence of Member States to solve the problems that affect citizens (emigration, environment, security, financial crises…). The states have refused to transmit these powers to the higher authority, as they would be obliged”, adds De la Fuente, who denounces the application of this principle in one direction. That is to say, a control of the European institutions so that they do not go beyond their powers, although not the other way round.

“As the world moves towards ever greater integration, the European Union follows the opposite process, that is to say, it’s headed towards a disintegration due to the undue or partial application of this principle of subsidiarity”, he concludes.