Documents considered by the Committee on 23 October 2019 Contents

1Adoption of detailed rules under the Common Agricultural Policy

Committee’s assessment

Politically important

Committee’s decision

Not cleared from scrutiny; further information requested; drawn to the attention of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

Document details

Report from the Commission on the exercise of the power to adopt delegated acts conferred on the Commission pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 on the financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy, Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 establishing rules for direct payments to farmers under support schemes within the framework of the common agricultural policy and Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products .

Legal base

Department

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Document Number

(40849), 12599/19, COM(19) 433

Summary and Committee’s conclusions

1.1 The framework for the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is set out under four Regulations adopted by the European Parliament and Council. Those Regulations in turn delegate the power to the European Commission to set detailed rules, known as “delegated acts”.1 The Commission’s document explains how the Commission has exercised that power since the most recent CAP framework was adopted in December 2013. This information should inform how and where power is delegated to the Commission under the post-2020 CAP.

1.2 Over 100 delegated acts have been adopted by the Commission in this area covering matters such as:

1.3 The Commission concludes that it has exercised its delegated powers correctly, an assessment with which the Minister of State (George Eustice MP) agrees in his Explanatory Memorandum (EM). The Minister adds that the information is primarily of use to the EU institutions as they decide how and where to delegate the power under the CAP post-2020. As the UK will not participate in that policy, the Minister identifies no direct implications for the UK arising from the Report.

1.4 Turning to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, the Minister’s remarks are limited to standard phrases regarding withdrawal on 31 October 2019 and concerning the UK’s policy to reduce its attendance at EU meetings. Since the EM was submitted, the UK and EU have concluded a deal, although that deal has yet to be ratified by either the UK or the EU. Under the deal, the previously negotiated provisions2 on a transition period, potentially extendable until 31 December 2022, remain in place. This means that the UK would be subject to new delegated acts but would not be involved in their formulation. In contrast to many other EU laws—which can take a number of years to proceed from inception to application—delegated acts are often immediately applicable.

1.5 It should also be noted that the financing (direct payment and rural development) elements of the CAP would not apply to the UK under any transition period extended beyond 31 December 2020 but that market-relevant elements would be. The majority of the delegated acts referred to in the Commission’s document were adopted under the Regulation on the Common Organisation of the Market.

1.6 While the Minister’s EM was submitted prior to the UK and EU agreeing in principle a revised negotiated withdrawal deal,3 securing such a deal has been Government policy. It is therefore highly disappointing that the Minister makes little reference to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU in his EM, particularly given the direct applicability to the UK of delegated acts made during any post-Brexit transition period.

1.7 The question of the direct applicability to the UK of new EU tertiary legislation during the transition period is, we believe, an important matter as it concerns democratic control over UK law. We ask the Minister to set out:

1.8 We retain this document under scrutiny and look forward to a response within ten working days. This document is drawn to the attention of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.

Full details of the documents

Report from the Commission on the exercise of the power to adopt delegated acts conferred on the Commission pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 on the financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy, Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 establishing rules for direct payments to farmers under support schemes within the framework of the common agricultural policy and Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products : (40849), 12599/19, COM(19) 433.

Previous Committee Reports

None.


1 Delegated acts are legally binding acts that enable the Commission to supplement or amend non-essential parts of EU legislative acts, for example, in order to define detailed measures. The Commission adopts the delegated act—having consulted with experts from Member States—and if Parliament and Council express no objections within two months, it enters into force.

2 Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, as endorsed by leaders at a special meeting of the European Council on 25 November 2018.




Published: 29 October 2019