The principle of subsidiarity borrows from the ideals and experiences of the European Union as the principle for locating governance at the lowest possible level, that closest to the individuals and groups affected by the rules and decisions adopted and enforced. Whether this level is local, regional, national, or supranational is an empirical question, dictated by considerations of practicability rather than a preordained distribution of power.


  • "Subsidiarity is the concept that decisions should be taken by the smallest decision-making authority with the information, resources, and enforcement ability to take them." Gordon Gibson, Western Refederation Party of British Columbia
  • "Subsidiarity - the idea that no decision should be taken by the European Union if it can be taken by its member states instead. It is also used positively to argue that the European Union should take action if its member states cannot. It is expressed in Article I-9(3) of the constitution." Glossary of the European Union, Federal Union