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The article analyses the subsidiarity guardianship function of national parliaments and argues that, while a positive development, the current concept and practice of subsidiarity monitoring do not satisfactorily address the problem of competence creep and the need to safeguard domestic socio-economic and politico-legal idiosyncrasies. The analysis critically evaluates the two yellow cards hitherto issued within the early warning mechanism and inspects new initiatives for national parliamentary involvement in EU lawmaking – such as the “red card”, “late card” and “green card”. It also assesses the Juncker Commission’s approach to the political dialogue with national parliaments. The article holds that refocusing parliamentary scrutiny towards the principle of conferral and legislative substance is more conducive to alleviating the democratic deficit and increasing EU legitimacy.