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ensure its adoption (Cooper, 2013: 15).

The success of the first yellow card raised hopes that the

Early Warning Mechanism would not be toothless. That success

vindicated the views of some that national parliaments have

become a “virtual third chamber” in the EU, capable of influencing

legislative results (Cooper, 2012, 2013). Yet hopes that this would

provide meaningful oversight were dashed when a second yellow

card was essentially dismissed by the Commission. Far from

constituting a separate third chamber, national parliaments do not

act as a collective agent and the yellow and orange cards that they

collectively issue do not amount to a formal veto power (Goldoni,

2014: 106).

The second yellow card was drawn on 28 October 2013,

when 19 votes from 14 national chambers issued reasoned

opinions on the Commission’s EPPO (the European Public

Prosecutor’s Office) proposal, sharing the view that the proposal

breached the principle of subsidiarity.


The establishment of the

EPPO was proposed by the Commission in

July 2013

to probe

cases of fraud against EU expenditures across the EU (European

Commission, 2013a). Fraud against EU expenditures is estimated

to steal at least €500 million from EU coffers every year. According

to the Commission, national prosecutors in some member states

are not doing enough to protect the EU, since national judicial

authorities follow up on less than half of all cases transferred to

them. With the proposed EPPO, a more uniform crime fighting

standards would be integrated into national law systems (Nielsen,


However, critics argue that once established the EPPO would


This was held by the Dutch Senate, Czech Senate, Dutch House of

Representatives, Cyprus House of Representatives, UK House of Commons,

Hungarian Parliament, Swedish Parliament, Irish Parliament, Romanian

Chamber of Deputies, Slovenian Parliament, French Senate, Maltese

Parliament and the UK House of Lords (Council of the European Union,