Thursday 25 March 2010

Comitology 2.0? - The European Parliament rapporteur heavily criticises the Commission

Yesterday, the European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee dealt with the reform of the Comitology system that I have touched here and here.

The Committee discussions follow the draft report by MEP József Szájer (EPP) and discussed several compromise amendments set out in the second part of this EP document and previous discussions in the Judicial Affairs Committee.

The draft resolution is very dry and not very interesting at first view.

In the explanatory report, however, rapporteur Szájer voices harsh criticism to the Commission, even stronger than what I have said in my post on Article 290 TFEU:
"It is regrettable that the Commission's Communication appears to understand neither the extent nor the significance of the changes in the Union's constitutional and legal framework ushered in by the Treaty of Lisbon. 
The Commission deals with delegated acts as though they were the descendants of the "Lamfalussy procedure" and "comitology" measures adopted on the basis of Article 202 EC2. The time has come to abandon this way of thinking when dealing with the delegation of legislative power to the Commission.


Control of the power delegated by the Legislator should in all logic remain the preserve of the Legislator. Moreover, any other form of control by anyone but the Legislator would per se be contrary to Article 290 TFEU. In particular, Member States, and a fortiori committees composed of experts from the Member States, have no role to play in this area.

If the Commission, before adopting a delegated act, wants to consult-informally with national experts, it is absolutely free to do so in the same way as it is free to consult civil society, interest representatives, companies, the social partners, academics, or even Members or organs of the European Parliament. In fact, your rapporteur considers that it would be very useful for the Commission to associate the responsible organs of the European Parliament in the preparations leading up to the adoption of delegated acts.

By contrast, Parliament categorically rejects any formal role of national experts having the effect of a control mechanism on the Commission as being contrary to the Treaties and the principle of institutional balance.
(quote from the draft report pp. 10-11; my highlights)
Yet another time the European Parliament is showing muscles to the Commission. A vote for the report is expected for April.

PS.: Stanley Crossick also wrote a blog post on Comitology yesterday.

PPS.: Thanks at André who in the comments hinted to another critical blog post regarding this topic on


Anonymous said...

Lieber Julien, einmal ganz allgemein von einem EU-Abgeordneten: Deine Arbeit fällt auch vielen von uns sehr positiv auf, weiter so. Liebe Grüße, Martin Ehrenhauser

André said...

congrats to the comment above Julien. I remember that also had an interesting post on 290 TFEU a little while ago:

Julien Frisch said...

@ Martin: Thanks a lot for these kind words!

@Andre: Merci for the link, I have added that to the post.