The principle of subsidiarity is the principle of a form of social order that was developed in Catholic social teaching. According to this, the state should leave matters of minor importance to the smaller subordinate organizational units of the community.
This turning away from centralism has found its way into the text of the treaty on the European Community and defines its tasks:
"In the areas that do not fall within its exclusive competence, the Community will only act in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity if and to the extent that the objectives of the measures under consideration cannot be sufficiently achieved at the level of the Member States [...]" (Art. 5 EC -Contract).