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Who has power in the EU?
Transcript of Who has power in the EU?
The Commission, Council and Parliament in Legislative Decision- making
Legislature of the EU
Competencies in inspecting and amending legislation are usually divided equally between the EP and Council, while the power to initiate laws is held by the EC. However, the EP also has a power of initiative. It can ask the Commission to present legislative proposals for laws to the Council.
Normally legislative proposals require approval by both the Parliament and the Council to become law. The relative power of a particular institution in the legislative process depends on the legislative procedure used, which in turn depends on the policy area to which the proposed legislation is concerned
Which areas are subject to which procedure is laid down in the treaties of the EU
The power to amend the Treaties of the European Union is reserved for the Member States
Ordinary legislative procedure
Following the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon ( Dec 1st 2009), the CODECISION procedure becomes the ordinary legislative procedure of the EU (Article 294 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU).
This procedure gives the same weight to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union on a wide range of areas (for example, economic governance, immigration, energy, transport, the environment and consumer protection). The vast majority of European laws are adopted jointly by the EP and the Council.
The two institutions adopt legislative acts either at first reading, or at second reading. If, following the second reading, the two institutions have still not reached agreement, a Conciliation Committee is convened.
The Treaty of Lisbon increases the areas within which the codecision procedure shall apply, therefore contributing towards strengthening the powers of the European Parliament.
Special legislative procedures
Special legislative procedures replace the former consultative, cooperation and assent procedures. As their name indicates, these procedures constitute exceptions.
In special legislative procedures, the Council of the EU is, in practice, the sole legislator. The EP is simply associated with the procedure. Its role is thus limited to consultation or approval depending on the case.
In a few limited areas, the Commission has the authority to adopt regulatory or technical legislation without consulting or obtaining the consent of other bodies. The Commission can adopt legislation on its own initiative concerning monopolies and concessions granted to companies by Member States (Article 106(3) TFEU) and concerning the right of workers to remain in a Member State after having been employed there (Article 45(3)(d) TFEU).
Under Article 289 TFEU, consultation is a special legislative procedure, whereby Parliament is asked for its opinion on proposed legislation before the Council adopts it.
The European Parliament may approve or reject a legislative proposal, or propose amendments to it. The Council is not legally obliged to take account of Parliament's opinion but in line with the case-law of the Court of Justice, it must not take a decision without having received it.
This procedure is now applicable in a limited number of legislative areas, such as internal market exemptions and competition law.
Thomson, R., Hosli, M. - "Who has power in the EU? The Commission, Council and Parliament in Legislative Decision- making", Journal of Common Market Studies, 2006
Europa, Summaries of EU legislation - http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/institutional_affairs/treaties/lisbon_treaty/ai0016_en.htm
European Parliament - http://www.europarl.europa.eu/aboutparliament/en/0081f4b3c7/Law-making-procedures-in-detail.html
Formal institutions of legislative procedure
Informal institutions of the legislative procedures
The Compromise model
Council - executive/ legislative
Member States run
has legislative initiative
EP - legislative
co- decision procedure in legislature
no legislative initiative
same power as 2/3 large states
Commission - executive
given power by EP
some power as 1 large state
Non- controversial issues
Co- decision procedure