Wednesday 17 March 2010

The involvement of the European Parliament: Common Commercial policy

Vital Moreira (photo), the Chair of the European Parliament Committee on International Trade (INTA), has addressed a letter to Miguel Sebastián Cascón, the Spanish Minister for Trade, Industry, and Tourism and his counterpart in the Council, the EU's second chamber, boldly demanding full involvement of the Parliament in all international trade affairs.

The letter is very similar to the one sent by EP president Buzek regarding international agreements (see my last post). And it is also full of parliamentary self-confidence, speaking of the "re-parliamentarisation" of a policy area that was escaping Parliament's scrutiny for over 50 years.

First, the parliament committee chair demands background information on all working groups that the Council has established to set up or administer international agreements.

Second, parliament wants to be involved ahead of the establishment of trade agreements.

Third, if I understand the abbreviation CTP correctly, the parliament wants to have access to meetings of the Council's Committee on Trade Policy (CTP*) and wants to be consulted by the chair of COREPER II, thus the ambassador of the country holding the rotating Council presidency, on a all matters that concern the planning of future policies in the area of international trade.

This is yet another proof of the new powers of the European Parliament and the willingness to use these powers with the self-confidence of a first chamber in a parliamentary system - which is a good sign!

* CTP is not explicitly explained in the text, but the Committee on Trade Policy is mentioned earlier in the document as Anda19 notes on Twitter.