Tag Archives: comitology

The New Comitology Regulation is Published

Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers has been published in the Official Journal. It repeals Decision 1999/468/EC (the old ‘Comitology Decision’). There are now two comitology procedures – the advisory procedure and the examination procedure. The advisory procedure is the same as in the old Comitology Decision. The examination procedure replaces the management and regulatory procedures. The examination committee can approve or reject the implementing measure with qualified majority (the same voting rules as in the Council apply). In case no decision is taken, depending on the subject matter of the implementing measure, the Commission can either adopt the measure or submit it to an appeal committee, where new, final voting takes place.

All the legal and institutional issues on delegated lawmaking and the new comitology regime are reviewed in my new paper for the EUSA conference.

 

 

Political Compromise on New Comitology Regime

This is a very special day. The European Parliament has confirmed today the agreement with the Council on the new regulation on implementing powers for the Commission. This new regulation, will enter into force on 1st March and will automatically replace the existing system.

As in the past, the mechanism of control foreseen by the regulation is based on “comitology” – i.e. committees composed by representatives of Member States to which the Commission submits draft implementing measures – but, contrary to the present system, there can be no intervention from the Council as an appeal body. In some specific cases there might be a need to go to an “appeal committee”, but this is just a “normal” committee, chaired by the Commission, albeit of a higher level of representation. It provides the opportunity to reconsider the draft measures or to r make changes if need be.

The regulation foresees that implementing measures in policy areas such as trade defence measures will be included in the normal regime. Until now these measures were submitted to special procedures in which the Council frequently had the last word.

The new procedures also give more flexibility to the Commission and a greater political responsibility. In the absence of a qualified majority against or in favour of a Commission draft implementing act, the Commission will have the choice between adopting the act or reviewing it.

I am currently writing an article on the new legal regime of comitology, which will be available on this blog somewhere in February 2011.

First Delegated Regulations Published!!!

I am glad to inform you that the first delegated regulations under the new hierarchy of EU legal acts have been published. The delegated regulations are adopted by the European Commission without needing the approval of a comitology committee. Delegated acts supplement or amend certain non-essential elements of the legislative act (art. 290 TFEU).

Ad Hoc Comitology?

With the Treaty of Lisbon we have for the first time a formal hierarchy of EU legal acts. In this hierarchy the implementing act of the Commission are sub-divided into delegated (art. 290 TFEU) and implementing (art. 291 TFEU) acts. The legal frameworks for the adoption of delegated and implementing acts are still being negotiated. The old comitology decision does not apply to new acts. So in the mean time there is obviously some ad hoc comitology being introduced.

In art. 21 of Decision No 661/2010/EU on Union guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network we read that a committee made up of representatives of the Member States will assist the Commission and will exchange information on the plans and programmes notified by Member States and may consider any question relating to the development of the trans-European transport network.

This sounds like an ad hoc consultative comitology committee.

Finally: a New Regime for GMO Approval

The Commission has finally made a proposal on a new regime for the approval of genetically modified organisms (GMO). The Commission proposes to confer to Member States the freedom to allow, restrict or ban the cultivation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) on part or all of their territory. The general approval of the GMO will still be made on EU level under current rules, but once GMOs are approved, Member States will be able to decide whether to allow the introduction of the GMOs on their territory or not.

After almost 10 years after the adoption of Directive 2001/18/EC the Commission has made a positive step forward for the resolution of this very serious problem. The stalled comitology procedure for the approval of GMOs has been a rare example of systemic institutional failure of the EU (see also the excellent book by Mark Pollack and Gregory Shaffer: When cooperation fails: the international law and politics of genetically modified foods). Now, hopefully, this will change.

Given the fact that both the biotech industry and the environmentalists criticize the proposal, there may be a grain of salt to it.