1. National parliaments may participate in the evaluation mechanisms contained in Article 4 of the Constitution and shall be involved in the political monitoring of Europol's activities in accordance with Article 22 of the Constitution.
2. [Notwithstanding the provisions foreseen in the Protocol on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, where at least one quarter of national parliaments issue reasoned opinions on non-compliance with the subsidiarity principle of a Commission proposal submitted in the context of Chapters 3 and 4 of this Title, the Commission shall review its proposal. After such review, the Commission may decide to maintain, amend or withdraw its proposal. The Commission shall give reasons for its decision. This provision shall also apply to initiatives emanating from a group of Member States in accordance with the provisions of Article 8 of this Title.]
"A broad consensus emerged within the Working Group to recognise the particular role of national parliaments in the area of freedom, security and justice. This area affects fundamental freedoms and is at the very heart of the principle of subsidiarity. Under the current system, national parliaments participate in the adoption of applicable rules, in particular via the national ratification of conventions. Since this legal instrument will no longer appear in the Constitution, the Working Group felt that national parliaments should continue to play an important role. The various measures proposed make it possible to take into account this specific feature of the area of freedom, security and justice. (cf. page 22 of the report on national parliaments):
"The specific nature of this area has already been stressed. The work and the organisation of national police and the content of national criminal law are at the core of the competencies that define a state. On the one hand, there is a need to take account of the particularities of this area, especially sensitive to human rights and at the heart of subsidiarity, for which the national parliaments have responsibility (e.g. ratification of conventions). Reform of the legal instruments, the legislative procedures and operational cooperation is indispensable and will lead to increased responsibility for the European Parliament, but national parliaments should continue to play an important role. On the other hand, the Group could try, as much as possible, to build on results found in the Convention generally on this issue, rather than to devise special mechanisms exclusively for the current 3rd pillar. The Working Group submits the following proposals:
involvement of national parliaments in the definition by the European Council (or the Council at the level of Heads of State or Government) of the strategic guidelines and priorities for European criminal justice policy. Such involvement will only be meaningful if there are substantive debates in national parliaments about the options to be considered at the European Council well in advance of the latter taking place;
regular inter-parliamentary conferences on the Union's policies in this area (in particular by joint meetings of the responsible committees on Justice and Home Affairs of national parliaments, as suggested by WG IV);
use of the "subsidiarity early warning mechanism" (devised by WG I) in particular for the specific aspects of subsidiarity in criminal law matters, i.e. where it is questionable that a crime has actually a "cross-border dimension" and is of a serious nature;
recognising the continuing role for national legislation through exclusive use of directives (or successor) in approximation of substantive criminal law;
involving national parliaments in the mutual evaluation mechanism ("peer review") (see above);
involving national parliaments in the consideration of annual reports on the activities of Europol."
It should be noted that several of the proposals formulated by the Group are not necessarily appropriate for inclusion in the text of the Constitutional Treaty.
On the other hand, the current wording provides that the threshold in the Protocol on subsidiarity (set at one third of parliaments) would be lowered to one quarter, for proposals within the scope of judicial cooperation in criminal matters (Chapter 3) and police cooperation (Chapter 4). Since Member States also have a right of initiative in Chapters 3 and 4, it seemed justified to extend the envisaged system to cover cases in which the legislative initiative comes not from the Commission but from the Member States, in accordance with Article 8 of this Title."