The action of the Chamber within Europe

The Treaty of Lisbon recognises the right of national parliaments to ‘contribute actively to the good functioning of the Union’ and devotes two additional protocols to the parliaments, the first to the role of national parliaments in the EU and the second to the application of the principle of subsidiarity.

The Chamber’s action in the European legislative procedure

Article 12 of the Lisbon Treaty provides that ‘National Parliaments contribute actively to the good functioning of the Union’. National parliaments get involved at different levels.

1) Through their role of government monitoring.

In the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ministers are invited to the parliamentary committee before and after Council meetings. A check list in Appendix 3 of the Rules of Procedure governs the cooperation between the government and the Chamber on European policy.

2) Through their role of monitoring the principle of subsidiarity set out in the Lisbon Treaty.

In concrete terms, national parliaments may adopt reasoned opinions regarding draft European legislative acts. These opinions set out the reasons why there is an infringement of the principle of subsidiarity and must be submitted to the European institutions within a period of eight weeks.

  • If the number of reasoned opinions made by national parliaments reaches a third of all votes (bicameral parliaments have one vote, monocameral parliaments have two votes), the so-called ‘yellow card’ procedure is triggered. The European Commission must reconsider the draft in question and decide whether to maintain, amend or withdraw it.
  • If the number of reasoned opinions represents a simple majority of the votes from national parliaments, the ‘orange card’ procedure is launched. The European Commission may decide to maintain the draft but in this case, it must present its reasoning to the Council and the European Parliament. If 55 % of Member States or a majority of members of the European Parliament also conclude that there is a violation of the principle of subsidiarity, the legislative procedure ends.

To consult the reasoned opinions adopted by the Chamber of Deputies, please visit the IPEX website:

3) Through political dialogue established by the European Commission.

This dialogue enables national parliaments to make comments on European issues, including non-legislative matters, and make comments on their content. This is a means of communication with the European Commission which is not based on an article of the treaty.

In order to view reasoned opinions adopted by the Chamber of Deputies, please visit the IPEX website:

4) Transposition of European directives

Draft legislative acts adopted by the Council and the European Parliament such as regulations or decisions, enter into force directly, while directives still need to be transposed into national law. Pursuant to Article 4 of the Treaty on European Union, Member States are legally obliged to transpose European directives into national law.

In Luxembourg, the transposition of European directives is carried out either by acts passed in the Chamber of Deputies, or by Grand-Ducal regulations (with or without the involvement of the Chamber of Deputies) or via administrative measures when a basic law already exists.

If the deadline for transposition set out in the directive has passed, the European Commission may launch an infringement procedure to oblige a Member State to transpose the directive. This infringement procedure includes a formal notice, followed by referral to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and a court ruling.

A second infringement procedure may be initiated if, despite a CJEU court ruling, the Member State has not transposed the directive. The Court may then order the Member State to pay a penalty, the amount of which is determined by the European Commission.

Infringement procedures are set out by Articles 258 and 260 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Interparliamentary cooperation

National parliaments have established different forms of interparliamentary cooperation, both at a political and administrative level.

At the administrative level, the parliaments of the European Union have created specific networks such as IPEX, representatives of national parliaments in Brussels, EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) and others.

Promotion of dialogue with citizens on Europe

The Chamber regularly seeks dialogue with citizens. It organizes meetings with citizens on Europe. For example, a major dialogue tour took place in 2005, during discussions on the European Constitution. The Chamber regularly hosts members of the European Commission to exchange ideas: this dialogue is an element of the European Commission’s Plan D – Democracy, Dialogue and  Debate.

More recently, the Chamber of Deputies organised several events as part of the Conference on the Future of Europe. A general debate took place on 1st March 2022 in plenary session about a report compiling the demands of European citizens during these events.

Document provided by the European institutions

In accordance with Articles 1 and 2 of Protocol No 1 of the Lisbon Treaty on the role of national parliaments in the European Union, consultation documents (communications, green and white papers, etc.) as well as instruments of legislative planning or political strategy and draft legislative acts submitted to the European Parliament and to the Council are sent to the national parliaments.

For the purposes of this protocol, ‘draft legislative act’ means all proposals by the Commission, initiatives by a group of Member States, initiatives by the European Parliament, requests from the Court of Justice, recommendations from the European Central Bank and requests from the European Investment Bank, for the adoption of a legislative act.