Application of European Union Law Principle of Subsidiarity to Decentralise the State Governance System of Lithuania

Virginija Kondratienė


This paper focuses on the principle of subsidiarity, which is one of the key principles in the European Union law and which along with other principles essential for democratic political systems, such as the principles of federalism, regionalism, local self-government, proportionality, legal certainty etc., is recognised in the EU law as an effective method (and criteria) of State governance as this principle is the basis for separation and allocation of powers at different levels of governance. This allows bringing decision making closer to citizens, promotes democratic processes in the country, increases the openness of the public sector to the needs of the society, and contributes to better protection and implementation of human rights.
The work presents the analysis of national legislation which imposes the principle of subsidiarity, discusses the impact of the principle on the system of legal institutes, its use in the state governance and local self-government, analyses the practical problems of the application of this principle in the decentralisation and democratisation of state governance (distribution of powers to the governance entities). The principle of subsidiarity is used to defend the prerogatives of central governance and local community interests, and the result of its application is a rational consolidation of the management concept in the state organisation, when the allocation of institutional powers between different levels of governance is caused not by ambition of political governance but the effective exercise of powers conferred on the authorities in order to achieve that decisions are taken not only at the highest management level, but also that the local community is included in their making. It is important for Lithuania that during the application of the principle of subsidiarity in the management system, the level of decision-making is adequate to the scale and complexity of the arising problem, so that the assignment of functions is based on the need and ability to implement them in a specific level of state management, and that the state management functions are based not only on the political will but also on the financial resources necessary for the implementation of the functions.


concept of subsidiary; legal principle; reception; governance; local selfgovernment; decentralization

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"Public Policy and Administration" ISSN online 2029-2872 / ISSN print 1648-2603