Subsidiarity is a principle of social organization that holds that social and political issues should be dealt with at the most immediate (or local) level that is consistent with their resolution.
Subsidiarity is perhaps presently best known as a general principle of European Union law.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines subsidiarity as "the principle that a central authority should have a subsidiary function, performing only those tasks which cannot be performed at a more local level". The concept is applicable in the fields of government, political science, neuropsychology, cybernetics, management and in military command (mission command). Subsidiarity is a general principle of European Union law. In the United States of America, the principle of States' Rights is enshrined in the constitution. Although the principle is older, its expression in the term "subsidiarity" was first coined in 1891 by the Roman Catholic Church for its social teaching.
The OED adds that the term "subsidiarity" in English follows the early German usage of "Subsidiarität".  More distantly, it is derived from the Latin verb subsidio (to aid or help), and the related noun subsidium (aid or assistance). The concept as discussed here was first described formally in Catholic social teaching. Coupled with another Christian democratic principle, sphere sovereignty, subsidiarity is said to have led to the creation of corporatist welfare states throughout the world.
Alexis de Tocqueville's classic study, Democracy in America, may be viewed as an examination of the operation of the principle of subsidiarity in early 19th century America. De Tocqueville noted that the French Revolution began with "a push towards decentralization ... in the end, an extension of centralization". He wrote that "Decentralization has, not only an administrative value, but also a civic dimension, since it increases the opportunities for citizens to take interest in public affairs; it makes them get accustomed to using freedom. And from the accumulation of these local, active, persnickety freedoms, is born the most efficient counterweight against the claims of the central government, even if it were supported by an impersonal, collective will."
As Christian Democratic political parties were formed, they adopted the Catholic social teaching of subsidiarity, as well as the neo-Calvinist theological teaching of sphere sovereignty, with both Protestants and Roman Catholics agreeing "that the principles of sphere sovereignty and subsidiarity boiled down to the same thing".
Will the American people never learn that, as a principle, to expect swift response and efficiency from government is fatuous? Will we never heed the principle of subsidiarity (in which our fathers were bred), namely that no public agency should do what a private agency can do better, and that no higher-level public agency should attempt to do what a lower-level agency can do better – that to the degree the principle of subsidiarity is violated, first local government, the state government, and then federal government wax in inefficiency? Moreover, the more powers that are invested in government, and the more powers that are wielded by government, the less well does government discharge its primary responsibilities, which are (1) defence of the commonwealth, (2) protection of the rights of citizens, and (3) support of just order.
The United Nations Development Programme's 1999 report on decentralisation noted that subsidiarity was an important principle. It quoted one definition:
Decentralization, or decentralising governance, refers to the restructuring or reorganisation of authority so that there is a system of co-responsibility between institutions of governance at the central, regional and local levels according to the principle of subsidiarity, thus increasing the overall quality and effectiveness of the system of governance, while increasing the authority and capacities of sub-national levels.
According to Richard Macrory, the positive effects of a political/economic system governed by the principle of subsidiarity include:
He writes that the negative effects of a political/economic system governed by the principle of subsidiarity include:
Subsidiarity is perhaps presently best known as a general principle of European Union law. According to this principle, the EU may only act (i.e. make laws) where action of individual countries is insufficient. The principle was established in the 1992 Treaty of Maastricht. However, at the local level it was already a key element of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, an instrument of the Council of Europe promulgated in 1985 (see Article 4, Paragraph 3 of the Charter) (which states that the exercise of public responsibilities should be decentralised). Subsidiarity is related in essence to, but should not be confused with, the concept of a margin of appreciation.
Subsidiarity was established in EU law by the Treaty of Maastricht, which was signed on 7 February 1992 and entered into force on 1 November 1993. The present formulation is contained in Article 5(3) of the Treaty on European Union (consolidated version following the Treaty of Lisbon, which entered into force on 1 December 2009):
Under the principle of subsidiarity, in areas which do not fall within its exclusive competence, the Union shall act only if and in so far as the objectives of the proposed action cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States, either at central level or at regional and local level, but can rather, by reason of the scale or effects of the proposed action, be better achieved at Union level.
The Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg is the authority that has to decide whether a regulation falls within the exclusive competence[a] of the Union, as defined by the Treaty of European Union and its predecessors. As the concept of subsidiarity has a political as well as a legal dimension, the Court of Justice has a reserved attitude toward judging whether EU legislation is consistent with the concept. The Court will examine only marginally whether the principle is fulfilled. A detailed explanation of the legislation is not required; it is enough that the EU institutions explain why national legislation seems inadequate and that Union law has an added value.
An example is the judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union in a legal action taken by the Federal Republic of Germany against the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union concerning a Directive on deposit guarantee schemes (13 May 1997). Germany argued that the Directive did not explain how it was compatible with the principle of subsidiarity. The Court answered:
In the present case, the Parliament and the Council stated in the second recital in the preamble to the Directive that "consideration should be given to the situation which might arise if deposits in a credit institution that has branches in other Member States became unavailable" and that it was "indispensable to ensure a harmonised minimum level of deposit protection wherever deposits are located in the Community". This shows that, in the Community legislature's view, the aim of its action could, because of the dimensions of the intended action, be best achieved at Community level....
Furthermore, in the fifth recital the Parliament and the Council stated that the action taken by the Member States in response to the Commission's Recommendation has not fully achieved the desired result. The Community legislature therefore found that the objective of its action could not be achieved sufficiently by the Member States.
Consequently, it is apparent that, on any view, the Parliament and the Council did explain why they considered that their action was in conformity with the principle of subsidiarity and, accordingly, that they complied with the obligation to give reasons as required under Article 190 of the Treaty. An express reference to that principle cannot be required.
On those grounds, the plea of infringement of the obligation to state reasons is unfounded in fact and must therefore be rejected. (Case C-233/94)
The Christian democrats promoted a corporatist welfare state, based on the principles of the so-called "sphere sovereignty" and "subsidiarity" in social policy.
When the Dutch Protestant and Catholic parties combined, to form the Christian Democrats, the two parties agreed that the principles of sphere sovereignty and subsidiarity boiled down to the same thing.
14th Floor Records is a British subsidiarity record label of Warner Music UK, founded in 2002 by part owner Christian Tattersfield. The label has released albums by artists including: Biffy Clyro, Damien Rice, David Gray, Longview, Mark Joseph, Nerina Pallot, Ray LaMontagne and The Wombats.
Tattersfield was named as CEO of Warner Music UK and Chairman of Warner Bros. Records UK on August 6, 2009.American Solidarity Party
The American Solidarity Party (ASP) is a Christian democratic political party in the United States. Its motto is "Common Good, Common Ground, Common Sense." Founded in 2011 and officially incorporated in 2016, the party has a National Committee and is active in state and local chapters and through on-line communication. ASP is a minor third party, with no elected officials in national or state government, and one city official elected in 2019.
Those who join the American Solidarity Party affirm their "recognition of the sanctity of human life, the necessity of social justice, our responsibility for the environment, and the possibility of a more peaceful world." In keeping with a consistent life ethic and the "inviolable dignity and rights of every human person from conception to natural death," the ASP opposes abortion, euthanasia, and capital punishment, and is concerned with human rights in the areas of immigration, criminal justice reform and foreign policy.The ASP encourages social development along the lines of subsidiarity and sphere sovereignty, emphasizing the importance of strong families, local communities, and voluntary associations. This also involves strong protection for religious freedom in both private and public life. The American Solidarity Party favors a social market economy, seeking widespread economic participation and ownership, expressed in the flourishing of independent businesses and small farms, while respecting both private property and the dignity of labor, and providing a safety net for the poor and vulnerable. In order to promote environmental stewardship and sustainability, the ASP platform calls for conservation and a transition toward more renewable sources of energy, while rejecting population control measures.Article 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights
Article 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights(ECHR) provides for two constituent rights: the right to marry and the right to found a family. With an explicit reference to ‘national laws governing the exercise of this right’, Article 12 raises issues as to the doctrine of the margin of appreciation, and the related principle of subsidiarity most prominent in European Union Law. It has most prominently been utilised, often alongside Article 8 of the Convention, to challenge the denial of same sex marriage in the domestic law of a Contracting state.Catholic social teaching
Catholic social teaching is the Catholic doctrines on matters of human dignity and common good in society. The ideas address oppression, the role of the state, subsidiarity, social organization, concern for social justice, and issues of wealth distribution. Its foundations are widely considered to have been laid by Pope Leo XIII's 1891 encyclical letter Rerum novarum, which advocated economic distributism. Its roots can be traced to the writings of Catholic thinkers such as Thomas Aquinas and Augustine of Hippo, and is also derived from concepts present in the Bible and the cultures of the ancient Near East.According to Pope Benedict XVI, its purpose "is simply to help purify reason and to contribute, here and now, to the acknowledgment and attainment of what is just. ... [The church] has to play her part through rational argument and she has to reawaken the spiritual energy without which justice ... cannot prevail and prosper", According to Pope John Paul II, its foundation "rests on the threefold cornerstones of human dignity, solidarity and subsidiarity".Catholic social teaching is distinctive in its consistent critiques of modern social and political ideologies both of the left and of the right: liberalism, communism, feminism, atheism, socialism, fascism, capitalism, and Nazism have all been condemned, at least in their pure forms, by several popes since the late nineteenth century.
Catholic social doctrine has always tried to find an equilibrium between respect for human liberty, including the right to private property and subsidiarity, and concern for the whole society, including the weakest and poorest.Centesimus annus
Centesimus annus (Latin for "the hundredth year") is an encyclical which was written by Pope John Paul II in 1991 on the hundredth anniversary of Rerum novarum, an encyclical issued by Pope Leo XIII in 1891. It is part of a larger body of writings, known as Catholic social teaching, that trace their origin to Rerum novarum and ultimately the New Testament.
It was one of fourteen encyclicals issued by John Paul II. Cardinal Georges Cottier, Theologian emeritus of the Pontifical Household and Cardinal-Deacon of Santi Domenico e Sisto, the University Church of the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum, was influential in drafting the encyclical.Christian democracy
Christian democracy is a political ideology that emerged in nineteenth-century Europe under the influence of Catholic social teaching, as well as Neo-Calvinism. Christian democratic political ideology advocates for a commitment to social market principles and qualified interventionism. It was conceived as a combination of modern democratic ideas and traditional Christian values, incorporating the social teachings espoused by the Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, and Pentecostal traditions in various parts of the world. After World War II, the Protestant and Catholic movements of the Social Gospel and Neo-Thomism, respectively, played a role in shaping Christian democracy. Christian democracy continues to be influential in Europe and Latin America, although it is also present in other parts of the world.In practice, Christian democracy is often considered centre-right on cultural, social, and moral issues (and is thus a supporter of social conservatism), and it is considered centre-left "with respect to economic and labor issues, civil rights, and foreign policy" as well as the environment. Specifically, with regard to its fiscal stance, Christian democracy advocates a social market economy.Worldwide, many Christian democratic parties are members of the Centrist Democrat International and some also of the International Democrat Union. Examples of major Christian democratic parties include the Christian Democratic Union of Germany, the Austrian People's Party, Ireland's Fine Gael, the Christian Democratic Party of Chile, the Aruban People's Party, the Dutch Christian Democratic Appeal, the Christian Democratic People's Party of Switzerland and the Spanish People's Party.Today, many European Christian democratic parties are affiliated with the European People's Party. Those with soft Eurosceptic views in comparison with the pro-European EPP are members of the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe, or the more right-wing European Christian Political Movement. Many Christian democratic parties in the Americas are affiliated with the Christian Democrat Organization of America.Common Fisheries Policy
The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is the fisheries policy of the European Union (EU). It sets quotas for which member states are allowed to catch each type of fish, as well as encouraging the fishing industry by various market interventions. In 2004 it had a budget of €931 million, approximately 0.75% of the EU budget.When it came into force, the Treaty of Lisbon formally enshrined fisheries conservation policy as one of the handful of "exclusive competences" reserved for the European Union, to be decided by Qualified Majority Voting. However, general fisheries policy remains a "shared competence" of the Union and its member states. Thus decisions are still made primarily by the Council of the European Union, as was the case previously.
The common fisheries policy was created to manage fish stock for the European Union as a whole. Article 38 of the 1957 Treaty of Rome, which created the European Communities (now European Union), stated that there should be a common policy for fisheries.Directive (European Union)
A directive is a legal act of the European Union which requires member states to achieve a particular result without dictating the means of achieving that result. It can be distinguished from regulations, which are self-executing and do not require any implementing measures. Directives normally leave member states with a certain amount of leeway as to the exact rules to be adopted. Directives can be adopted by means of a variety of legislative procedures depending on their subject matter.
The text of a draft directive (if subject to the co-decision process, as contentious matters usually are) is prepared by the Commission after consultation with its own and national experts. The draft is presented to the Parliament and the Council—composed of relevant ministers of member governments, initially for evaluation and comment then subsequently for approval or rejection.Distributism
Distributism is an economic ideology asserting that the world's productive assets should be widely owned rather than concentrated. It was developed in Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries based upon the principles of Catholic social teaching, especially the teachings of Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Rerum novarum (1891) and Pope Pius XI in Quadragesimo anno (1931). It views both capitalism and socialism as equally flawed and exploitative, and it favors economic mechanisms such as small-scale cooperatives and family businesses, and large-scale antitrust regulations.
Some Christian Democratic political parties have advocated distributism in their economic policies.European Committee of the Regions
The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) is the European Union's (EU) assembly of local and regional representatives that provides sub-national authorities (i.e. regions, counties, provinces, municipalities and cities) with a direct voice within the EU's institutional framework.
Established in 1994, the CoR was set up to address two main issues. First, about three quarters of EU legislation is implemented at local or regional level, so local and regional representatives needed to have a say in the development of new EU laws. Second, there were concerns about a widening gap between the public and the process of European integration; involving the elected level of government closest to the citizens was one way of closing the gap.Foundation for Subsidiarity
Foundation for Subsidiarity (Fondazione per la Sussidiarietà) is an Italian think tank founded in Milan, Italy, in 2002 with the goal to enrich cultural-scientific discourse and promote a vision of society based on the centrality of the person and the principle of subsidiarity. Through its projects, the Foundation has created a network of multidisciplinary collaborations both nationally and internationally.National Party of Honduras
The National Party of Honduras (PNH; Spanish: Partido Nacional de Honduras) is a political party in Honduras founded on February 27, 1902, by Manuel Bonilla Chirinos. Historically it has been one of the two most influential parties in the country. The party's platform is based on Christian humanist doctrine, and its five main principles are common wealth, dignity of the human person, equality, solidarity and subsidiarity.
Since the foundation of the National Party, Honduras has had 13 Nationalist presidents. Manuel Bonilla was the first (1903–1907), and the most recent is the current president, Juan Orlando Hernández.
In the 2013 election the National Party obtained the largest number of seats in Congress and municipalities.Parochialism
Parochialism is the state of mind, whereby one focuses on small sections of an issue rather than considering its wider context. More generally, it consists of being narrow in scope. In that respect, it is a synonym of "provincialism". It may, particularly when used pejoratively, be contrasted to universalism. The term insularity (related to an island) may be similarly used.The term originates from the idea of a parish (Late Latin: parochia), one of the smaller divisions within many Christian churches such as the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican churches.Politics of the European Union
The politics of the European Union are different from other organisations and states due to the unique nature of the European Union (EU). The EU is similar to a confederation, where many policy areas are federalised into common institutions capable of making law; however the EU does not, unlike most states, control foreign policy, defence policy or the majority of direct taxation policies (the EU does limit the level of variation allowed for VAT). These areas are primarily under the control of the EU's member states although a certain amount of structured co-operation and coordination takes place in these areas. For the EU to take substantial actions in these areas, all Member States must give their consent. EU laws that override national laws are more numerous than in historical confederations; however the EU is legally restricted from making law outside its remit or where it is no more appropriate to do so at a national or local level (subsidiarity) when acting outside its exclusive competencies. The principle of subsidiarity does not apply to areas of exclusive competence.
The common institutions mix the intergovernmental and supranational (similar to federal) aspects of the EU. The EU treaties declare the EU to be based on representative democracy, and direct elections take place to the European Parliament. The Parliament, together with the Council, form the legislative arm of the EU. The Council is composed of national governments, thus representing the intergovernmental nature of the EU. Laws are proposed by the European Commission which is appointed by and accountable to the Parliament and Council although it has very few executive powers.
Although direct elections take place every five years, there are no cohesive political parties in the national sense. Instead, there are alliances of ideologically associated parties who sit and vote together in Parliament. The two largest parties are the European People's Party (centre-right) and the Party of European Socialists (centre-left) with the former forming the largest group in Parliament since 1999. As well as there being left and right dividing lines in European politics, there are also divides between those for and against European integration (Pro-Europeanism and Euroscepticism) which shapes the continually changing nature of the EU which adopts successive reforming treaties. The latter is stronger in northern Europe, especially the United Kingdom, and some member states are less integrated than others (Opt-outs).Sphere sovereignty
In Neo-Calvinism, sphere sovereignty (Dutch: souvereiniteit in eigen kring), also known as differentiated responsibility, is the concept that each sphere (or sector) of life has its own distinct responsibilities and authority or competence, and stands equal to other spheres of life. Sphere sovereignty involves the idea of an all encompassing created order, designed and governed by God. This created order includes societal communities (such as those for purposes of education, worship, civil justice, agriculture, economy and labor, marriage and family, artistic expression, etc.), their historical development, and their abiding norms. The principle of sphere sovereignty seeks to affirm and respect creational boundaries, and historical differentiation.
Sphere sovereignty implies that no one area of life or societal community is sovereign over another. Each sphere has its own created integrity. Neo-Calvinists hold that since God created everything “after its own kind,” diversity must be acknowledged and appreciated. For instance, the different God-given norms for family life and economic life should be recognized, such that a family does not properly function like a business. Similarly, neither faith-institutions (e.g. churches) nor an institution of civil justice (i.e. the state) should seek totalitarian control, or any regulation of human activity outside their limited competence, respectively.
The concept of sphere sovereignty became a general principle in European countries governed by Christian democratic political parties, who held it as an integral part of their ideology. The promotion of sphere sovereignty by Christian democrats led to the creation of corporatist welfare states throughout the world.Subsidiarity (Catholicism)
Subsidiarity is an organizing principle that matters ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralized competent authority. Political decisions should be taken at a local level if possible, rather than by a central authority. The Oxford English Dictionary defines subsidiarity as the idea that a central authority should have a subsidiary function, performing only those tasks which cannot be performed effectively at a more immediate or local level.
The word subsidiarity is derived from the Latin word subsidiarius and has its origins in Catholic social teaching.Transnationality
Transnationality is the principal of acting at a geographical scale larger than that of states, so as to take into account the interests of a supranational entity. Transnational policies or programmes are not simply aggregations of national policies or programmes, but seek to submerge these within a greater whole.
Transnationality is practised by organisations such as the United Nations and the European Union. The EU's principle of subsidiarity holds that actions should be carried out at the lowest feasible governmental level, and therefore much scope is left to individual Member States. The EU institutions thus concern themselves principally with transnational policies and actions.Tyranny of the majority
The tyranny of the majority (or tyranny of the masses) is an inherent weakness of majority rule in which the majority of an electorate can and does place its own interests above, and at the expense of those in the minority. This results in oppression of minority groups comparable to that of a tyrant or despot, argued John Stuart Mill in his 1859 book On Liberty.American founding father Alexander Hamilton, writing to Thomas Jefferson from the Constitutional Convention, argued the same fears regarding the use of pure direct democracy by the majority to elect a demagogue who, rather than work for the benefit of all citizens, set out to either harm those in the minority or work only for those of the upper echelon or population centers. As articulated by Hamilton, one reason the Electoral College was created was so "that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications".The scenarios in which tyranny perception occurs are very specific, involving a sort of distortion of democracy preconditions:
Centralization excess: when the centralized power of a federation make a decision that should be local, breaking with the commitment to the subsidiarity principle. Typical solutions, in this condition, are concurrent majority and supermajority rules.
Abandonment of rationality: when, as Tocqueville remembered, a decision "which bases its claim to rule upon numbers, not upon rightness or excellence". The use of public consultation, technical consulting bodies, and other similar mechanisms help to improve rationality of decisions before voting on them. Judicial review (e.g. declaration of nullity of the decision) is the typical way after the vote.In both cases, in a context of a nation, constitutional limits on the powers of a legislative body, and the introduction of a Bill of Rights have been used to counter the problem. A separation of powers (for example a legislative and executive majority actions subject to review by the judiciary) may also be implemented to prevent the problem from happening internally in a government.WAWC
WAWC (103.5 FM) is a radio station broadcasting a Country music format. Licensed to Syracuse, Indiana, United States, the station is currently owned by Talking Stick Communications, a subsidiarity of Federated Media, and features programming from Fox News Radio.Prior to becoming Willie 103.5 at the end of 2006, the station had been known as Hoosier 103.5 which featured pop and rock, Indiana high school and college sports broadcasts and morning show entertainment.
Autonomous types of first-tier subdivision administration