Thursday, 10 December 2009

Lisbon Treaty: Changes in inter-institutional decision-making procedures

Sometimes I start writing a post because I find informative documents that I would like to share, and then I find little treasures like Annex 4 that you find below.

But let's start from the beginning:

The Lisbon Treaty has brought and will continue to bring a number of changes in the work of the EU, some of them concerning rules of procedure as summarised by Grahnlaw here and here, some involve the more complex nature of inter-institutional procedures.

According to Communication COM/2009/665 from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament (PRE-LEX procedure; IPEX dossier; EP procedure, Council documents) published last week, the Lisbon Treaty does not only result in a renumbering of articles of the Treaty (the Treaties) and in a renaming of procedures, but in more substantial changes to already ongoing work.

These changes include:
  • Commission proposals that will change their legal basis (Annex 1 to the Communication; not found);
  • proposals where the legislative basis has been radically changed and that will be replaced (Annex 2); and
  • excessive deficit procedures against member states that will be changed from recommendations into proposals (Annex 3).
In addition, the Commission has put up an indicative list of all (!!) pending proposals (Annex 4), a list that is 73 pages long and even includes a number of procedures that have been started around 20-30 years ago and have apparently never been finished...?!

For each proposal there is an indication whether the legal procedure changes with Lisbon, and the abbreviations used, well known to all insiders, are listed in Annex 5:
  • COD = Codecision procedure
  • APPRO = Approval procedure
  • CNS = Consultation procedure
  • AVC = Assent procedure
I am not sure how the future procedure on this Communication will look like, but it would be definitely worth going through Annex 4 in order to see what kind of proposals have been pending for decades and have not been touched for years either.