Legislation in the EU

How does the legislation of the European Union impact Lower Austria?

How does the legislation of the European Union impact Lower Austria?

  1. Coordination of European and legal questions that touch on Lower Austrian issues
  2. Information provided to the region’s decision-makers
  3. Representation of Lower Austrian interests
  4. Making the region part of the EU lawmaking process


Opinions of the Provinces

The instrument of opinions of the provinces:
The Austrian provinces make use of their right to participate in the EU’s legislative procedure. These participation rights are guaranteed by the constitution.

The federal state is obliged to inform the provinces immediately:
- on all proposals of the EU that touch on the competences of the provinces
- on all proposals of the EU that are of interest to the provinces

The provinces may submit opinions on the proposals and agree on a joint position. The federal state is obliged to consider the provinces’ opinions in all negotiations and votes at EU level.
Some opinions of the provinces are legally binding for the federal state.


Subsidiarity Check

Principle of subsidiarity:
Decisions must be taken as closely as possible to the citizen and constant checks must be made to verify that action at EU level is justified in light of the possibilities available at national, regional or local level.

The principle of subsidiarity stipulates that the EU may not take action (except in the areas that fall within its exclusive competence) unless it is more effective than action taken at national, regional or local level.

It is closely bound up with the principle of proportionality, which requires that any action by the EU should not go beyond what is necessary to achieve the objectives of the Treaties.

In case that one of these principles is violated, the provinces submit an opinion

Definition: principle of subsidiarity in EUR-Lex (Access to European Union law)


Opinions of the Provincial Parliaments

Both the Austrian National Council and the Federal Council have the right to submit opinions in the course of legislative procedures of the EU. These participation rights are guaranteed by the constitution.

The provincial parliaments submit opinions on EU topics to the Federal Council, especially in case of a breach of the principles of subsidiarity or proportionality.

The provincial parliaments’ opinions must be considered by the Federal Council in its decision-making process.


Committee of the Regions

The Committee of the Regions (CoR) is an advisory body of the EU consisting of locally and regionally elected representatives of all 28 member states. It contributes to the legislative process of the EU through opinions on planned legislation.

The European Commission, the Council of the EU and the European Parliament must hear the Committee’s opinions, especially on legislation that concerns local and regional municipalities.

The Committee members are elected representatives of local or regional communities. Lower Austria is represented in the Committee of the Regions by Governor Dr. Erwin Pröll and Barbara Schwarz, a member of the Provincial Government of Lower Austria.

Click here for the website of the Committee of the Regions.


Please contact us

Office of the Provincial Government of Lower Austria
International & European Affairs
Landhausplatz 1, Haus 3 3109 St. Pölten Email: post.lad1@noel.gv.at
Tel.: 02742/9005 - 13489
Fax: 02742/9005 - 13610
Letzte Änderung dieser Seite: 16.2.2017
© 2017 Amt der NÖ Landesregierung