EU LAw Making PRocess
The European Union (EU) is built upon a unique institutional system. The origins can be traced back to the 1957 Treaty of Rome, which created the then European Economic Community (EEC). The Treaty of Rome was primarily concerned with stimulating economic growth by creating a common market for the movement of goods, people and services between the member states. Since then the political, economic and legislative powers have greatly extended and the current European Union, built upon the "institutional triangle" of Commission, Council and Parliament, directly influences all our lives. References to the “common market” are now replaced by references to the “single market”.
The European Commission is the administrative driving force of the EU. The President and other members of the Commission are appointed by the member states after they have been approved by the European Parliament.
The CouncilThe Council of the EU is the EU's main decision-making body. It is the embodiment of the Member States, whose representatives are brought together regularly at ministerial level. Council meetings are prepared by the Committee of Permanent Representatives which is made up of ambassadors to the Union from Member States' own governments. These ambassadors act as a link between the Member States & the EU. Their preparatory work and the agreements they make on non-contentious proposals mean that when the ministers meet much has been agreed and only matters still in dispute need to be negotiated.
The European Parliament
The European Parliament is directly elected (every five years) by citizens.
It has three functions, it:
The European Union's Treaties
The EU's treaties give authority to the institutions of the Union, to operate together to create law. There are two main treaties. These can be accessed at:
Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)
This deals mainly with the elimination of trade barriers and other trade issues. Most EU regulations and directives affecting chemical hazards are made under one or other of the articles of this treaty. This is why they now include the letters "EU" in them, or “EC” if made under the former “Treaty establishing the Europeans Community” (TEC), or "EEC" if made under the precursor "European Economic Community" treaty.
E.g. REACH is Regulation (EC) No. 19707/2006 and was made under Article 95 of the TEC, which deals with "Approximation of Laws" (now article 114 of the TFEU).
Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TEU)
This deals mainly with political and monetary union.
Law-making in the European Union is usually now the result of interaction between the ''institutional triangle" (Parliament, Council and Commission).
The rules for their decision-making are laid down in the Treaties and cover every area in which the European Union acts.
The main procedure used is the “ordinary legislative procedure”, formerly know as the:
Most of the law that interests CHCS (for example amendments to REACH and CLP) are now made using the ordinary procedure. This provides for two successive readings, by Parliament and the Council, of a Commission proposal and the convocation, if the two co-legislators cannot agree, of a "conciliation committee", composed of Council and Parliament representatives, with the participation of the Commission, to reach an agreement. This agreement is then submitted to Parliament and the Council for a third reading with a view to its final adoption. Conciliation is very rarely needed.
Arising from these processes, there are three 'categories' of European law that have binding force:
A Plain Language Guide To Eurojargon
If you want to know what comitology is, or what the official languages of the EU are, then "A Plain Language Guide To Eurojargon" may be the answer.
CHCS AGM & Annual Lectures - Celebrating 25 Years of CHCS
There is still plenty of time to register for the event, which takes place on 20 November at Hilton Hotel, NEC, Birmingham. Free of charge for CHCS members.