Select Committee on European Union Thirty-First Report


1 JULY 2003

By the Select Committee appointed to consider European Union documents and other matters relating to the European Union.



Doc 15878/02 Proposed Council Decision amending Decision 1999/468/EC laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission

Comitology is concerned with the control, by the Member States and the European Parliament, of the implementation by the Commission of EU legislation. EU legislation frequently gives the Commission power to make subordinate regulations or take other action, overseen by committees made up of representatives of the Member States. Many important decisions are made in comitology committees, of which there are three types:

1. Advisory committees—here the Commission has most power. They only have to take account of the committee's views.

2. Management committees—here the Council/the Member States can block the Commission.

3. Regulatory committees—here the Council has most power, as the Commission has to secure the support of a qualified majority of Member States.

The Commission has proposed some major changes:

1. Advisory committees—the Commission would give itself more power, by taking away the right of the European Parliament to rule on the vires of proposals.

2. Management committees—this type of committee would be abolished for matters passed by co-decision of the Council and the European Parliament (which, under the Convention on the Future of Europe's draft Treaty for the EU, would become the norm).

3. Regulatory committees—the European Parliament would be given more power, but the Commission would be able to override the Parliament and the Council/the Member States.

The Convention on the Future of Europe's draft constitutional Treaty touches upon comitology, and proposes a "hierarchy of laws", the impact of which is also considered in this Report.

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