[geo-discuss] Fw: INSPIRE Democratic Process 29/2006

Jo Walsh jo at frot.org
Thu Jul 6 17:46:22 UTC 2006

This is interesting; a change in EU procedure giving the Parliament
some veto power in conciliation. "The new agreement allows MEPs, for
the first time, to block implementing decisions taken by the Commission."

Maybe this came at a good time...

----- Forwarded message from Christopher Corbin <corbinceh at ntlworld.com> -----

Date: Thu, 06 Jul 2006 18:18:56 +0100
Subject: INSPIRE Democratic Process 29/2006
From: Christopher Corbin <corbinceh at ntlworld.com>
To: EGIP <european-gi-policy at jrc.it>

The proposed INSPIRE Directive utilises the European Union Comitology
procedure for implementing INSPIRE.

The European Parliament has endorsed by a majority the compromise reached
with representatives of the Commission and the Council.

Once endorsed by the Council the new procedure will come into force and as
such the European Parliament has the power to block decisions taken by the
Commission when implementing Directives.

For further information please see below.



Chris (Corbin)


Telephone: +44 (0) 1273 553110
email: corbinceh at ntlworld.com

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New deal on comitology: Parliament can block Commission decisions
The European Parliament endorsed, by an overwhelming majority, the
compromise reached with representatives of the Commission and the Council on
the so-called comitology procedure. The new agreement allows MEPs, for the
first time, to block implementing decisions taken by the Commission. It also
means Parliament will be informed of these decisions in all official
languages and extends the time available for Parliamentary scrutiny.

In the debate held on Wednesday 5 July, rapporteur Richard CORBETT (PES, UK)
said: "with this agreement, there is a transformation of the situation".
According to him, the new compromise improves "accountability and
transparency of the whole Community system."
After five months of negotiation, undertaken on behalf of the Parliament by
Mr Corbett and Joseph DAUL (EPP-ED, FR), the three EU Institutions agreed to
reform the current comitology system, which gives no real blocking power to
MEPs. The agreement also improves Parliament's rights to be informed, by
ensuring that the Commission provides detailed information on all comitology
activities in all official languages.
The new compromise: main achievements for the Parliament
The main accomplishment of the new agreement is the new article 5 of a
Council Decision modifying the 1999 act on the implementing rights of the
Commission (1999/468/EC).  This introduces a new Regulatory procedure with
scrutiny. According to the new procedure, Parliament will be able to block,
by an absolute majority of MEPs (i.e. 367 votes are needed for the
resolution to pass), quasi-legislative implementing measures under
co-decision legislation by simply saying "No". If this happens, the
Commission cannot enact the measures and has to propose either a new
comitology decision or a new legislative act under the co-decision
The system of transmission of information from the Commission to Parliament
has been improved. At present, documents are delivered in one or up to three
languages.  The Commission has now agreed to set up a detailed information
system on all comitology committees' activities in all Parliaments' official
languages. The time limit for MEPs to scrutinise the proposed decisions is
increased from one month to three, extendable to four for the most complex
issues. The clock will start ticking only when the EP has received full
documentations in all official languages.
The EU legislator - when the co-decision procedure is used, this means the
Parliament and the Council - often delegates powers to Commission to adopt
the detailed measures need to implement legislation.  The comitology system
enables the Council to scrutinise the work of the Commission and, in most
important cases, to block its decisions. The comitology procedures have been
criticised since their introduction, mainly because Parliament does not
enjoy the same rights as the Council, despite its role as co-legislator.  At
present, the Commission, when exercising these delegated implementing
powers, can proceed with decisions, even if the Parliament opposes them.
With the new agreement, Parliament and Council are now put on equal footing
for all comitology procedures related to co-decision acts.
The agreement and the associated Joint Declaration must be ratified by all
three institutions to come into force. The Commission formally approved the
texts on 22 June.

REF.: 20060629IPR09380

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