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.