2011/2029(INI)

Better legislation, subsidiarity and proportionality and smart regulation

Procedure completed

Activites

  • 2011/09/14 Text adopted by Parliament, single reading
    • T7-0381/2011 summary
    • Results of vote in Parliament
  • 2011/09/14 Commission response to text adopted in plenary
    • SP(2011)8668
    • DG Secretariat General, BARROSO José Manuel
  • 2011/09/13 Debate in Parliament
  • 2011/06/28 Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • 2011/06/28 Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • 2011/06/21 Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
  • 2011/06/01 Deadline Amendments
  • 2011/04/07 Committee draft report
  • 2011/02/17 Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
  • 2011/01/18 EP officialisation
  • 2010/10/08 Non-legislative basic document published
    • COM(2010)0547 summary
  • 2010/10/08 Date
  • 2010/10/08 Non-legislative basic document
    • COM(2010)0547 summary
    • COM(2010)0543 summary
    • DG Secretariat General, BARROSO José Manuel

Documents

AmendmentsDossier
88 2011/2029(INI) Better legislation, subsidiarity and proportionality and smart regulation
2011/01/06 JURI 46 amendments...
source: PE-466.983
2011/04/20 IMCO 27 amendments...
source: PE-464.679
2011/05/24 AFCO 12 amendments...
source: PE-465.034
2011/05/26 AFCO 3 amendments...
source: PE-465.059

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

2012-02-09
activities added
  • date
    2010-10-08
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      text
      • PURPOSE: the presentation of the 17th report on the application of the subsidiarity and proportionality principles (2009).

        The report covers 2009 when the Nice Treaty was still in force, and briefly explains the changes introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, which came into force on 1 December 2009. As was the case for the 2007 and 2008 reports, it does not cover wider issues of smart regulation which are addressed in a specific Communication on Smart Regulation.

        In its legislative work, the Commission has always been governed by the need to respect subsidiarity and proportionality. Checks are now applied at three key stages of the policy development process:

        • a preliminary analysis in roadmaps which are published for major initiatives when the Commission Work Programme is agreed;
        • a fuller analysis of subsidiarity as part of the impact assessment process, taking into account views expressed during stakeholder consultations;
        • lastly, a justification in terms of subsidiarity and proportionality in the explanatory memorandum and recitals of each legal proposal.

        In the European Parliament, compliance of draft legislative acts with the principle of subsidiarity is ensured by the committees in charge of a specific legislative dossier, together with the Committee on Legal Affairs. In the Council, the Committee of the Permanent Representatives of each Member State (Coreper) ensures that the principles of legality, subsidiarity and proportionality are respected.

        The report notes that the majority of Commission proposals were adopted by the co-legislators without significant discussions on subsidiarity and proportionality. For those proposals compliance with these principles has presumably not been an issue. However, the analysis has shown that, where compliance is questioned, the actors involved in discussions hold a broad variety of views not only between the different institutions, but also within these institutions, and sometimes between the different actors of the same Member State.

        The Commission proposals that provoked the most debate among the co-legislators and the stakeholders in respect of the subsidiarity and proportionality principles are the following:

        • Directive on Aviation Security Charges;
        • Directive on Energy Performance of Buildings;
        • Directive on Equal Treatment outside Employment;
        • Directive on the Protection of Soil;
        • Directive on Cross-Border Healthcare;
        • Urban Mobility (Green Paper 'Towards a new culture for urban mobility');
        • Directive on Standards of Human Organs Intended for Transplantation;
        • Consumer Rights Directive.

        The debate on subsidiarity and proportionality will be further enhanced as a result of the increased role of national parliaments introduced by the Lisbon Treaty.

        Since 2006, the Commission has on its own initiative transmitted all new proposals to national Parliaments, and has put in place a procedure for replying to their opinions. It received 250 opinions in 2009 compared to 115 in 2007. About 10% contained comments on subsidiarity and/or proportionality, with in most cases only one national chamber expressing a view.

        The chambers with a particular interest in subsidiarity questions were the French Sénat, the Austrian Bundesrat, the German Bundesrat and the Dutch, Portuguese and Greek Parliaments. Some opinions did not question the respect of subsidiarity as such, but indicated that the Commission's justification was not sufficient.

        The Commission is committed to strengthening further the relations with national Parliaments within the framework of the political dialogue developed since 2006, and the subsidiarity control mechanism is a key element of this process. An overview of how the mechanism is operating will be presented in the next subsidiarity report.

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    2011-06-21
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    • The Committee on Legal Affairs adopted the own-initiative report by Sajjad KARIM (ECR, UK) on better legislation, subsidiarity and proportionality and smart regulation.

      It endorses the strategic approach adopted by the Commission in its Communication on Smart Regulation in the European Unionand points out that all European institutional actors have a role in promoting and delivering better lawmaking, in accordance with the principles and guidance contained in the Smart Regulation agenda and the Interinstitutional Agreement on better law-making. Members urge the incoming Presidencies and the Commission to set in motion the process of renegotiating the Interinstitutional Agreement so as to agree on key changes in preparation for future negotiations with the Council of Ministers on adapting the Interinstitutional Agreement to the new provisions of the Lisbon Treaty. Every effort should be made to ensure that Parliament and Council are treated as equals in the law-making process.

      National parliaments: the committee welcomes the closer involvement of national parliaments in the European legislative process, following the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty, with over 300 submissions received so far. It considers however that the current timescales allowed for national parliament engagement are often insufficient, and that the form of national parliament responses is often such that they are not classified as reasoned opinions or objections on subsidiarity grounds. It calls accordingly on Parliament's Secretary General to investigate methods of improving the way in which national parliament submissions are integrated into the working practices of the Parliament. Members also point to the lack of material criteria for establishing that there has been a breach of the subsidiarity or proportionality principle, and underline the need for the material conditions for the application of those principles to be specifically defined at EU level.

      Reducing administrative burdens and ensuring proper implementation: Members express concern that the programme to reduce administrative burdens may not reach its target of reducing administrative burdens by 25 % by 2012 and point out that Parliament and the Council should act promptly in order to approve proposed measures. They encourage the High-Level Group of Independent Stakeholders on Administrative Burdens to enter into a dialogue with SMEs from across Europe, to identify the barriers most frequently referenced for preventing them from trading with other Member States within the Single Market, and propose measures to remove or reduce these obstacles to increased growth. The committee stresses the need for the programme to continue post-2012 to cover the life of the current Commission, with a more ambitious and clearly defined target and an enhanced remit to enable the programme to extend beyond simply administrative burdens and to address regulatory burdens and costs arising from EU legislation as a whole, including regulatory 'nuisances'.

      Policy formulation: Members call on the Commission to make better use of White Papers presenting draft legislative proposals for consideration, stating that this would reduce the frequency with which proposals have to undergo substantial, if not wholesale, revision during the legislative process. It would also aid evaluation of the proportionality of suggested legislation, which is often difficult when only outline proposals are presented initially in Green Paper form.

      Welcoming the Commission's commitment to review its consultation procedure, the report states that the current asymmetric methods and forms of consultation do not encourage responses from all interested stakeholders. It makes several suggestions in this regard, including: (i) a common approach involving a standard form for responses to consultations which would simplify matters for respondents and encourage receipt of a more detailed selection of responses (ii) mainstreaming multilingualism in the running and publication of the results of public consultations, as a prerequisite for extensive involvement of all the European stakeholders; (iii) simplifying consultation documents so as to aid responses from the relevant stakeholders, with the introduction of a 'clarity test'; (iv) improved  communication by the Commission after the consultation period has closed, and feedback on the main issues raised by all respondents.

      The committee moved on to underlines the importance of guaranteeing the independence and credibility of the analyses carried out in the Commission's impact assessments so as to secure the overall goals of the smart regulation agenda, and reiterated Parliament's position on the issue as set out in its resolution of 8 June 2011 . It suggests that impact assessments should identify the particular effects - both positive and negative - that measures will have on competitiveness and growth within the EU and that these effects should as far as possible be fully quantified. In addition, when formulating new legislation, the Commission is asked to place the utmost importance on its possible impact on small and medium-sized enterprises, and to exempt SMEs from regulation where provisions would disproportionately affect them and there is no robust reason for including them in the scope of the legislation. The committee takes the view in this regard that the SME test adopted in the Small Business Act has a key role to play, and expects the Commission to make full use of the test.

      Ex-post evaluation: Members demand that the Council require Member States to draw up and publish tables illustrating the correlation between directives and national transposition measures, since such tables are essential in order to provide transparency on how national law transposes the obligations in EU directives, and can play a useful role in identifying discrepancies and cases of gold-plating. They also stress that the recasting technique should always be used when amending legislation.

      Lastly, the committee welcomes the personal support the President of the Commission has given to the Smart Regulation agenda, considering the issue to be of sufficient importance that real political leadership is required from the Commission to keep this issue high on the political agenda, and in this regard suggests that the agenda be brought forward as a key part of the portfolio for one of the College of Commissioners. For its part, Parliament should investigate methods to increase the importance attached to better law-making within its committees, and the use of inter-committee meetings to address this issue requires further consideration.

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    2011-06-28
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      MESSERSCHMIDT Morten
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links added
other added
  • body
    EC
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    commissioner
    BARROSO José Manuel
procedure added
dossier_of_the_committee
JURI/7/04985
reference
2011/2029(INI)
title
Better legislation, subsidiarity and proportionality and smart regulation
legal_basis
  • Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 119-p2
stage_reached
Procedure completed
subtype
Annual report
type
INI - Own-initiative procedure
subject

code AGPLv3.0+, data ODBLv1.0, site-content CC-By-Sa-3.0
© European Union, 2011 – Source: European Parliament