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Procedure : 2016/2018(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0170/2018

Texts tabled :

A8-0170/2018

Debates :

PV 28/05/2018 - 29
CRE 28/05/2018 - 29

Votes :

PV 30/05/2018 - 13.9
CRE 30/05/2018 - 13.9
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2018)0225

Debates
Monday, 28 May 2018 - Strasbourg Revised edition

29. Interpretation and implementation of the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making (short presentation)
Video of the speeches
PV
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  Presidente. – L'ordine del giorno reca la breve presentazione delle seguenti relazioni: relazione di Pavel Svoboda e Richard Corbett, a nome della commissione giuridica e della commissione per gli affari costituzionali, sull'interpretazione e applicazione dell'accordo interistituzionale "Legiferare meglio" (2016/2018(INI)) (A8-0170/2018).

 
  
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  Pavel Svoboda, zpravodaj. – Pane předsedající, zpráva o výkladu a provádění interinstitucionální dohody o zdokonalení tvorby právních předpisů navazuje na činnost pracovní skupiny vytvořené z členů Výboru pro právní záležitosti a Výboru pro ústavní záležitosti, a proto mi dovolte, abych nejprve poděkoval všem kolegům, kteří se na činnosti této pracovní skupiny podíleli. Stejně tak bych chtěl poděkovat za výbornou spolupráci svému spoluzpravodaji Richardu Corbettovi.

Naším úkolem je samozřejmě vyhodnotit dosavadní interpretaci a provádění dohody, která vstoupila v platnost v dubnu roku 2016. Obecně lze konstatovat, že dosavadní aplikace dohody je uspokojivá a dohoda v zásadě plní svůj účel. Domnívám se, že u všech institucí existovala od počátku dobrá vůle k naplnění účelu dohody, a věřím, že tak tomu bude i nadále.

Jde o dohodu interinstitucionální, a proto součástí našeho hodnocení byla i snaha o zachování a posílení těch prvků spolupráce, ve kterých Evropský parlament může přispět svou expertizou. Jedním z takových témat je dodržování správného právního základu. Neodůvodněné změny právního základu jsou pro Evropský parlament samozřejmě nepřijatelné.

V této interinstitucionální rovině bych také rád zmínil otázku účasti zástupců Evropského parlamentu na jednáních pracovních skupin Rady, také jako příklad určité disproporce, která stále panuje v oblasti informovanosti o jednáních Rady v porovnání s informovaností o jednáních Evropského parlamentu a jeho orgánů. Domnívám se, že z dlouhodobého hlediska by odstranění takovéto disproporce bylo ku prospěchu.

Nicméně je třeba zdůraznit, že zpráva se netýká jen institucionálních záležitostí. Především hodnotí, nakolik se nám podařilo naplnit základní účel dohody, kterým je snaha o zlepšení přijímání právních předpisů. Rád bych tady zmínil několik prvků legislativního procesu, které jsou ve zprávě zmíněny a mohou ilustrovat, jak konkrétně lze naplňovat ony principy better law making – zdokonalení tvorby právních předpisů.

Myslíme si například, že Evropská komise by měla v rámci svého pracovního programu jasně uvádět právní povahu každého svého návrhu a doplnit jej jasným a realistickým harmonogramem. I to by přispělo k lepší srozumitelnosti Evropské unie u jejích občanů.

Jednou ze základních věcí je kvalitní posouzení dopadů navrhované legislativy. Osobně jsem vždy podporoval maximální možné zohlednění dopadů na malé a střední podniky, které nechápu jako jejich zvýhodnění oproti jiným subjektům nebo zaměstnancům, ale jako zohlednění reality. A realitou je, že malé a střední podniky jsou zcela zásadní pro evropskou ekonomiku.

Velkým tématem je gold plating. Pokládám za zjevné, že musíme do budoucna požadovat, aby v rámci implementace unijních předpisů bylo rozpoznatelné, co je ještě unijní předpis a co už je vnitrostátní iniciativa, která zavádí povinnosti nad rámec standardů přijatých na unijní úrovni. To dnes běžný občan prakticky nemá šanci zjistit.

Evropská unie je společenství práva, musí proto dbát na to, aby její právo tvořily skutečně moderní, efektivní, přehledné a srozumitelné normy.

 
  
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  Richard Corbett, Rapporteur. – Mr President, I would like to thank my co-rapporteur. This was very much a team effort, not just between two co-rapporteurs but between two committees and indeed among multiple political groups. Our task, of course, was to assess the implementation of this important interinstitutional agreement that we made with the Commission and the Council two years ago and, overall, our assessment is a positive one, even if there are still two strands being negotiated on international agreements and on the delimitation between implementing acts and delegated acts – they will come back to this Parliament – but what has been agreed so far has, on the whole, been well implemented.

We have moved to having greater transparency in the legislative process. We have moved towards having better legislative planning. We have moved to improve our legislative procedures. We have improved the consultation of stakeholders and we have looked at and improved the process of impact assessments, which are very important. All this, of course, is a question of getting the right balance and take impact assessments and the whole issue of what we are trying to do with them. Yes, we want to be better informed about the potential impacts of laws that we adopt in this Parliament on those who will be affected by them. Absolutely right. But it’s not just how laws affect small and medium-sized enterprises as some campaigners seem to sometimes imply, it is about how the legislation affects other stakeholders – consumers, workers, third parties, government finances, the environment. It’s a question of getting all of these things in balance.

Secondly, this is not about deregulation, it’s about better regulation. When we adopt legislation it is usually for good reason and especially at European level. If we adopt legislation at European level, it is not, as some in the media sometimes portray, the European Commission spewing out regulations on hapless Member States who don’t even know that it’s being inflicted upon them. No, there is a high threshold to adopt legislation at European level. It needs the approval of this Parliament and of the Council, the Council composed of national ministers, members of national governments, accountable to their national parliaments, who need the high threshold of a qualified majority representing 65% of the population to approve anything. So the idea that we inflict legislation on hapless Member States is nonsense. We only legislate at European level where there is a high degree of consensus that it is advantageous to do so. That is an important political safeguard and I would remind those people, usually sat over there, but I see none of them are here tonight, those people who claim that the EU inflicts all this red tape and bureaucracy on small and medium-sized enterprises.

I’d add one further thing. When we get it right, European legislation is an exercise in cutting red tape for businesses, because having one set of rules instead of 28 different, divergent set of rules in a single market, makes things simpler for businesses. They don’t have to adapt to every single segment of the market, adapting their product, changing it, changing the labelling, changing the marketing everywhere. They have life simplified when we get European legislation right. So it is not about deregulating it’s about regulating better. At the moment we see actually an example of a Member State, my own country, beginning to discover the multiple problems that arise if you begin, as it intends to do, to diverge and its regulations from the rest of its main market, all the multiple extra costs that will arise, all the extra difficulties, all the economic problems that will ensue.

I leave you with that final thought.

 
  
 

Procedura "catch-the-eye"

 
  
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  Sirpa Pietikäinen (PPE). – Mr President, one thing that I would like to highlight, to continue what Mr Corbett has already said, is that the impact assessment needs to be developed further. This is not a question of deregulation, but of a better and adaptive regulation. Issues that are still lacking with regard to the impact assessment include a better understanding of the impact on citizens, especially on gender, which was agreed in the Beijing Declaration but is still not in the majority of the legislative action budgets.

As we are discussing sustainable finance next, what would be crucial is to add the cost of not acting and not regulating. Quite often in environmental and climate cases, people do see the cost if you have to invest or regulate or de-invest, let us say, away from diesel cars. But, then again, there is no comparison with what the huge cost of climate change will be if we do not act, and I hope this can be added in the future.

 
  
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  Anthea McIntyre (ECR). – Mr President, first of all, I would like to thank the co-rapporteurs for their work on this file. As the Employment Committee’s draftsman, I welcome the fact that several of our proposals have been taken on board, but I want to talk about the annual burden survey (ABS), which I think is one of the most innovative elements of the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making (IIA).

In its first annual burden survey, the Commission undertook a survey of businesses’ perceptions of regulation. I am sure that was worthwhile but we must be much more ambitious in implementing the annual burden survey. The point is, we may create a simple piece of legislation at EU level, easy for businesses and others to understand and comply with, but when it is transposed into international legislation it does not always stay like that: additional, or completely unrelated, elements are added to the legislation. The ABS should identify these cases of gold-plating. Member States must always be free to adopt higher standards where only minimum standards are defined in Union law. That is not gold-plating. By using the ABS to bring transparency to the legislative process, we can ensure that legislation remains simple, clear and enforceable and we can make sure that Europe is not blamed for unpopular legislation that has, in fact, been created by Member States.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL). – Senhor Presidente, no acordo interinstitucional “Legislar melhor” a dita competitividade passa a ser o primeiro e absoluto critério na determinação da oportunidade e conteúdo da legislação da União Europeia. Nenhuma novidade, apenas a assunção de um princípio há muito adotado, agora despido de qualquer retórica social ou ambiental.

Não são os interesses das PME o que se pretende defender, são os interesses, sim, do grande capital, dos grandes grupos económicos, das principais potências europeias. Como se esperava, as avaliações de impacto foram e são subvertidas e menosprezadas. Confirmam-se mais gravosas limitações à democraticidade do processo legislativo e decisório, aberta que foi a porta para uma maior concentração de poder na Comissão Europeia e para a limitação da capacidade de intervenção dos legisladores, muito especialmente dos deputados.

Vejam-se as perversas alterações ao Regimento do Parlamento Europeu que limitam a capacidade de intervenção dos deputados. Também a transparência do processo legislativo foi, como convém, diminuída. É que é na sombra que os poderes fácticos se afirmam e é a eles que serve este acordo, é para eles que se quer legislar melhor.

 
  
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  Heidi Hautala (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, this February the General Court of the European Union in its decision De Capitani v European Parliament ruled that for democratic legitimacy, co-legislators – that is Parliament and the Council – must be held accountable for their actions to the public. Citizens cannot, according to the General Court, exercise their democratic rights if they are not in a position to even follow the legislative procedures and have access to relevant information, and the Court ruled that this also goes for the trilogue documents, including the four column documents on request.

The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union obliges us to work as openly as possible. If we fail to agree to fulfil our transparency obligations to the citizens, we run the risk that the European Court of Justice will once again condemn us. Let’s not make it happen. And on Wednesday we should all support the report by Mr Svoboda and Mr Corbett, and hopefully we can include an oral amendment about the importance of the implementation of the De Capitani v European Parliament judgment.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η έκθεση των συναδέλφων σχετικά με τη διοργανική συμφωνία για τη βελτίωση του νομοθετικού έργου θεωρώ ότι παρουσιάζει ιδιαίτερο ενδιαφέρον. Φυσικά, θα πρέπει να έχουμε υπόψη ότι η νομοθεσία πρέπει να υπηρετεί τους πολίτες και όχι, φυσικά, τα διάφορα κέντρα εξουσίας. Ταυτόχρονα, θα πρέπει να είναι μια νομοθεσία, η οποία να ενισχύει τον δημοκρατικό έλεγχο, και για αυτό θα πρέπει να υπάρχει ταυτόχρονα επιβολή της διαφάνειας. Επίσης, πρέπει να αξιοποιήσουμε και την πρωτοβουλία των πολιτών, οι οποίοι επίσης θέτουν θέματα για τα οποία πρέπει να αναληφθεί νομοθετική πρωτοβουλία εκ μέρους της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης. Η νομική βάση που θα επιλέγεται αποτελεί οπωσδήποτε ένα σοβαρό ζήτημα. Θεωρώ ότι υπάρχουν θέματα που πρέπει να εξεταστούν, όπως είναι η αξιολόγηση του αντικτύπου, η παρέμβαση του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου σε ζητήματα διεθνών συμφωνιών και επίσης η παρέμβαση του Κοινοβουλίου σε ζητήματα που έχουν σχέση με τις κατ’ εξουσιοδότηση πράξεις.

 
  
 

(Fine della procedura "catch-the-eye")

 
  
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  Violeta Bulc, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, the Commission is pleased to see the continuing interest in the better law-making agreement and welcomes the report prepared by Mr Richard Corbett and Mr Pavel Svoboda. It raises some important issues and will deepen further our interinstitutional cooperation.

In its short lifetime, the agreement has delivered some real improvements in how the institutions work together, as mentioned by Mr Corbett, for example the Joint Declaration on Legislative Priorities and the new interinstitutional register for delegated acts. We are also still busy working together on various follow-up actions such as the criteria to distinguish delegated acts from implementing acts, as mentioned already, the traceability of the legislative procedure through joined databases and the cooperation and information sharing on international agreements, as already pointed out. I hope this will also come to fruitful completion this year.

The report contains several criticisms, many of them aimed primarily at the Council. But, as you know, our agreement contains a monitoring mechanism to which the three institutions are committed. These issues will be for our next three-part, detailed stocktaking meeting, the first of which took place last December in Strasbourg and which already addressed some of the issues.

We should also recall that the agreement was a delicate compromise between the three institutions and it is important to bear this in mind as we identify how to follow up on issues where Parliament now calls for more ambition. A number of issues have indeed already been addressed. To improve transparency and predictability since 2017 the Commission Work Programme provides further information as far as available on the initiatives in its work programme. This information includes indications on the type of act, planned adoption, legal basis and whether an impact assessment will be carried out.

As a general rule, the Commission is committed to present an impact assessment in support of its legislative proposals and I can assure you that when an impact assessment is necessary, we do it. There were, of course, a limited number of cases where, typically for reasons of political urgency, we have not been able to. When this is the case, we explain the reasons why. Your resolution states that the Commission should complement its original impact assessment when deemed necessary. I want to underline that it is not an obligation, but a possibility. The Commission will launch a stocktaking of its better regulation tools in the course of this year, and this will include the regulatory scrutiny board. This will be accompanied by various consultation activities and we will, of course, be in touch with Parliament to hear your views. We intend to publish a report with findings in the first half of 2019.

Also, as stipulated by the interinstitutional agreement, I encourage Parliament to pursue the endeavours in their own impact assessment work related to the substantial amendments. The first best is that Parliament and the Council, in line with the commitments, assess their own amendments. The Commission may do this for them if it considers this appropriate. We assess in the impact assessment what kind of policy instruments we need for a specific initiative. We have to look at all the possible options and we have specific guidance for that in our better regulation toolbox. Sometimes soft law is just better to achieve the desired policy objective because it is more proportionate and better respects the principles of subsidiarity.

Let me use this opportunity to clarify that all responses to Parliament’s resolution are endorsed by the College and hence are political in nature. They constitute a particular form of communication to Parliament. Own-initiative legislative resolutions receive a specific attention. As foreseen in the Treaty, if the Commission does not submit a proposal, it always informs Parliament of the reasons for such a choice.

I would like to thank the rapporteurs again for their comprehensive work and to state that the Commission is ready to engage collectively with Parliament and the Council to give even greater effect to the agreement in our regular meetings.

 
  
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  Presidente. – La discussione è chiusa.

La votazione si svolgerà mercoledì 30 maggio 2018.

Dichiarazioni scritte (articolo 162)

 
  
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  Michaela Šojdrová (PPE), písemně. – Oceňuji viditelný pokrok, kterého jsme v tvorbě unijní legislativy díky této interinstitucionální dohodě dosáhli. Pozitivně vnímám především ustanovení, která přispívají ke zvýšení transparentnosti, například zřízení databáze pro delegované akty. Vítám i to, že zpráva upozorňuje na tzv. gold plating. Skutečnost, že členský stát do svého právního řádu provede unijní legislativu šířeji, než je nutné, není samo o sobě negativní. Členské státy mohou touto cestou například zajišťovat občanům ještě vyšší standard ochrany. Ne vždy je ale širší vnitrostátní úprava ze strany občanů vítaná a problém je v tom, že občané nedokáží rozlišit mezi tím, které změny v novém zákoně přináší EU a které stát. Gold plating v takových situacích přiživuje euroskepsi a má zčásti na svědomí posílení populistických nálad v EU. Proto považuji za nesmírně důležité, aby Komise monitorovala, že členské státy skutečně při transpozici směrnic či přijímání adaptačních zákonů jasně rozlišují ustanovení, která vyplývají z unijní legislativy a která jdou nad její rámec. Musíme nastolit takovou praxi, která nám umožní vyvést občany z představy, že „za všechno může EU“.

 
Last updated: 7 September 2018Legal notice