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Streda, 5. júla 2006 - Štrasburg Revidované vydanie

15. Výkon vykonávacích právomocí prenesených na Komisiu (Medziinštitucionálna dohoda) (rozprava)

  Presidente. L'ordine del giorno reca, in discussione congiunta,

- la relazione presentata dall'on. Richard Corbett, a nome della commissione per gli affari costituzionali, sull'accordo interistituzionale sotto forma di dichiarazione comune concernente la proposta di decisione del Consiglio che modifica la decisione 1999/468/CE recante modalità per l'esercizio delle competenze di esecuzione conferite alla Commissione [10126/1/2006 - C6-0208/2006 - 2006/2152(ACI)] (A6-0237/2006)

- la relazione presentata dall'on. Richard Corbett, a nome della commissione per gli affari costituzionali, sulla proposta modificata di decisione del Consiglio che modifica la decisione 1999/468/CE recante modalità per l'esercizio delle competenze di esecuzione conferite alla Commissione [10126/1/2006 - C6-0190/2006 - 2002/0298(CNS)] (A6-0236/2006)


  Margot Wallström, Vice-President of the Commission. Mr President, first of all I would like to thank the European Parliament’s rapporteurs, Mr Daul and Mr Corbett, for their unrelenting efforts in reaching a compromise. I would like to highlight the very good cooperation that has prevailed between our two institutions, especially in the last ten months.

In these difficult and complex negotiations, the Commission, as you know, has been a forceful advocate of the European Parliament’s reinforced control rights over comitology. Tribute also has to be paid in this context to the energy deployed by the UK and Austrian Presidencies.

As a result, the European Parliament and the Commission have succeeded in convincing even the most reluctant Member States to make a major breakthrough in terms of parliamentary control. If the compromise package is endorsed by Parliament tomorrow, Parliament will have a right of veto on the substance of most implementing measures. This applies of course to implementing measures concerning acts adopted under codecision. We can safely say that a decisive battle has been won in favour of more democratic control.

To respond to Parliament’s concerns, the Commission has made several additional commitments. We will further improve transparency and access to comitology documents. We will make sure that the period for consultation only starts when Parliament has received all language versions. We will screen all existing acts adopted under codecision, and, where appropriate, make proposals for adaptation before the end of next year.

Finally, as stated in the trilateral declaration, we have agreed to adapt 25 codecision instruments as a matter of urgency. The Commission will make the corresponding proposals before the end of the year.

The two reports by Mr Corbett were adopted by the Committee on Constitutional Affairs by an extremely large majority, but I wish to say a few words about the sole amendment tabled, in view of your vote tomorrow. This amendment refers to a resolution, a crucial point of which was the systematic adoption of sunset clauses. I believe that this amendment goes in the wrong direction. It undermines the mutual trust that has guided the three institutions during the negotiations. It contradicts the content of the joint declaration, whereby the legislator agrees that the implementing powers should be conferred without time limits. I hope that you will take the Commission’s view into consideration when you vote tomorrow.

I will limit my introductory remarks to these points. I am keen of course to listen to the honourable Members’ comments on this major reform.


  Richard Corbett (PSE), rapporteur. – Mr President, I suspect that there was a plot in this House in scheduling this debate right now, because it was expected that this would be the time at which England would have been playing against France. Mr Daul and I, having been involved in these negotiations, felt we were the victims of this plot. But, as we know, England did not qualify, so perhaps it matters somewhat less – at least for me.

We have before us technically two reports for procedural reasons, but they concern a single package: the proposed revision of the 1999 Council decision on comitology and the joint declarations which, because they constitute a sort of interinstitutional agreement, are subject to a separate report. They are globally a package and together they represent a huge step forward for Parliament – a major transformation of the comitology system.

My constituents back home in Yorkshire would be asking me what comitology is. It is not exactly the subject they are talking about day in, day out in the pubs and clubs of Yorkshire. Every legislature has a system of delegating powers to the executive. In national parliaments that is typically legislation that confers on the government powers to adopt further measures: the statutory instrument in the UK, the arrêté royal in Belgium, decrees in various other countries. The systems change slightly, but it is quite normal to confer powers on the executive, not least to deal with technical details and complex matters once the main legislation has laid down the general principles.

What is unusual in our system in the European Union is that, when we confer such powers on the Commission, we oblige it to act in conjunction with a committee of national civil servants. In many cases those committees have the power to block the Commission and refer the matter back to the Council. We have always found that objectionable: firstly because only committees of national civil servants and not Parliament have the right to scrutinise the Commission and refer questions back, and secondly because matters are referred back only to one branch of the legislative authority – the Council – even when the basic act has been adopted under codecision.

We also found the system to be thoroughly untransparent and complex with the numerous committees that give rise to the name of comitology. Only an expert could study it and understand it.

Over the years we have obtained small concessions. We now receive every document that is sent to a comitology committee. Since 1999 we have had some power to object within a certain time limit if we think that a measure goes beyond the powers that have been delegated. However, up to now, our fundamental objections have been unanswered. With this agreement there is a transformation of the situation: henceforth Parliament will be able to say no to any implementing measure of a quasi-legislative nature adopted through the comitology system, and if we say no the measure cannot be enacted. The Commission will either have to put forward a new proposal or table new legislation under the codecision procedure. That is a huge step forward for Parliament – and not just for Parliament – in terms of the accountability and transparency of the whole Union system. That is why this agreement is so important.

Nonetheless, there have been some issues with which we have been ill at ease and where we had to negotiate to ensure that our position was fully safeguarded. For instance, we have in this agreement a reference to the Lamfalussy acquis. Indeed, by mentioning it, as regards the Commission, we are actually upgrading that acquis from a mere statement in Parliament by the Commission President and a letter from the relevant Commissioner to the relevant committee chairman, to a declaration by the whole institution. So we have upgraded the relevant parts of the Lamfalussy acquis. That is also important.

We have gained satisfaction on time limits: it is an important step forward that three months can be extended to four, especially – as Commissioner Wallström pointed out – as the clock starts running once we get the text in all the languages. That will give us adequate time to consider these matters.

There has also been this issue of sunset clauses. I think that with this agreement Parliament will not normally need to use sunset clauses. We used them before, because when we delegated powers to the Commission we lost those powers for ever. With very loose control over how they were exercised, it was quite normal that we wanted to use sunset clauses as a way of reasserting control if need be. However, with this agreement we can say no to any implementing measures we dislike, even every single one of them, if we are dealing with quasi-legislative measures.

We therefore do not need to use sunset clauses. The agreement reflects that – in that we acknowledge that the principles of good legislation mean that powers should be delegated without a sunset clause, without a time limit. But the principle that the legislature should, if necessary, be able to set a sunset clause – that is a power we have under the Treaty – is recognised to the extent that the agreement says very clearly ‘without prejudice to the rights of the legislative authority’. As is said, we do have the right, but I believe that we will not need to use it except perhaps in exceptional circumstances that we cannot foresee at present. We recognised that de bonne foi as part of the negotiations, because the other institutions felt very strongly about it, but also, in my opinion, because as a parliament we realised that we will not need to do so.

With this agreement we should be more relaxed about delegating matters to the Commission because we will have that control afterwards. We have the ludicrous situation in our Union where we sometimes have two or three readings on subjects such as the width of tyres for tractors, which in any national context would have been delegated to the government to deal with – this is because we have been reluctant to delegate. With the assurance that we can control what we delegate, there is no reason for us not to delegate much more and more frequently. That is another reason for welcoming this agreement.

That is why my group and our committee, the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, rejected the amendments to which the Commissioner referred. It is only a recital – Parliament is not reaffirming the resolution to which it refers – but I do not see the need for a reference. My group – and I think other groups too – may be voting against this amendment if it is indeed confirmed by the group that tabled it. I will be listening to other speakers with interest in a minute.

There is a remaining issue: the adaptation of existing legislation. Commissioner Wallström referred to the package of 25 measures that will be adapted urgently, with a proposal by the end of this year. Beyond that the Commission has undertaken to carry out a survey of all existing legislation to see what needs to be adapted and will make a proposal. But we have no undertaking from the Council to act within any given timetable, so we as a Parliament will have to watch that very carefully. We have a ceasefire. I do not want to break the ceasefire, but we will have to watch very carefully that the Council looks at this seriously within the necessary timetable. So this may not be completely the end of the story, but nonetheless I think it is a huge breakthrough, a huge advance for Parliament.

I would like to finish in the way that Commissioner Wallström began, which is to thank all those involved. Certainly my thanks are due to the Commission. Its position is completely different to the Commission’s position of a few years ago and I think Commissioner Wallström can take much of the credit for that. The Commission has moved to a position where it was very supportive of our position. I think our positions were virtually identical for most of these negotiations.

I would like to thank the British and the Austrian Presidencies: the British Presidency that initiated the resumption of the Council’s consideration of this matter, the Austrian Presidency that took it forward so ably. Of course I would like to thank my fellow negotiator, Mr Daul, the Chairman of the Conference of Committee Chairmen. We went through many meetings together over a six-month period. I am very glad that tonight I can report to this packed House – at least those Members who are not watching the football! – that we have a very important result which I think is not just good for this Parliament, but is actually good for our Union.


  Presidente. Onorevole Corbett, finalmente anch'io ho capito che cos'è la comitatologia, e quando sarò nello Yorkshire andrò in tutti i pub a spiegare di cosa si tratta.


  Alexander Radwan, im Namen der PPE-DE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Lassen Sie mich vorab Kommissar Frattini zum gestrigen Fußballspiel von deutscher Seite gratulieren und mich dann aber relativ schnell dem Thema zuwenden! Was ich heute zu diesem Thema sagen werde, ist auf keinen Fall persönlich gemeint, sondern es soll einer gewissen Legendenbildung entgegenwirken.

Wir debattieren dieses Thema heute nicht, weil es die Kommission wollte, und auch nicht, weil es der Rat wollte — der leider Gottes vor dieser Debatte den Plenarsaal verlassen hat. Wir sprechen über dieses Thema, weil es in den Ausschüssen, die mit diesen Vereinbarungen arbeiten müssen — und hier bestehen große Unterschiede in diesem Haus —, entsprechende Entscheidungen gab.

Es wurde erwähnt, dass die britische Präsidentschaft dieses Thema auf die Tagesordnung gesetzt hat. Dies war der Fall, weil — und darum geht es hier in der Komitologie — bestimmte Ausschüsse des Parlaments, etwa der Wirtschafts- und Währungsausschuss, nicht mehr bereit waren, einen Blankoscheck auszustellen, etwas zu delegieren, ohne entsprechende Kontrollrechte zu haben. Und darum ist das, was heute thematisiert wird, kein Geschenk an das Parlament, sondern es ist das Mindeste, was dem Parlament in einem demokratischen Verfahren zusteht.

Umso erstaunter bin ich über die Entwicklungen der letzten Zeit! Frau Kommissarin, zu Beginn haben Sie gesagt, dass Sie für Demokratie sind, und am Schluss haben Sie darauf hingewiesen, dass die sunset clause nicht ganz angemessen sei. Es ist das unmittelbare Recht eines Parlaments, entsprechende Gesetzgebung zeitlich zu befristen, und ich halte es für unerträglich, wenn man von Seiten der Kommission oder des Rates entsprechende Äußerungen macht oder darauf hinwirkt, dem Parlament dieses Recht vorzuenthalten.

Ich möchte den Rat nur daran erinnern, dass er im Rahmen des Verfassungsentwurfes in den entsprechenden Diskussionen sogar einem call back der Delegation zugestimmt hat, doch davon will er heute nichts mehr wissen. Es wurden Fortschritte erzielt, das ist unbestreitbar, und jetzt muss auf diesen Fortschritten aufgebaut werden. Die Vereinbarung muss sich in der Praxis bewähren. Die Ausschüsse — und in diesem Falle spreche ich von meinem eigenen — haben beispielsweise erlebt, dass die Kommission dem Parlament kurz vor den Sommerferien erstmals eine Vorlage zur Konsultation übersandt hat. Nach den Sommerferien war die Frist von acht Wochen abgelaufen, und dann hieß es: Wir erwarten Ihre Entscheidung in drei Monaten. Die Praxis muss entscheiden, dass die Vereinbarung praktikabel ist und wir nicht auf unsere Rechte verzichten!

Mein Wunsch an die Kommission und noch viel mehr an den Rat wäre, dass diejenigen, die in der Dritten Welt für Demokratie und Mitbestimmungsrechte werben — und hier sind ja die Außenministerien federführend —, diesen Maßstab zumindest auch gegenüber dem Europäischen Parlament anlegen. Dann wären wir einen großen Schritt weiter!


  Pervenche Berès, au nom du groupe PSE. – Monsieur le Président, mon collègue Richard Corbett a parlé d'un bon résultat. Ayant quitté un écran de télévision où s'affichait un score de 1-0, dans un esprit totalement européen, je considère qu'effectivement, c'est un bon résultat. Richard Corbett a évoqué la situation des citoyens du Yorkshire. Loin de moi l'idée de le décourager, mais je voudrais quand même le convaincre, qu'il lui reste encore un petit peu de travail à faire pour que chacun des membres de cette Assemblée soit convaincu de l'enjeu et de l'importance de la comitologie, comme des résultats obtenus dans le cadre de la négociation qui vient de s'achever. Sur ce point, je fais confiance à son sens de la pédagogie.

Je tiens à remercier nos négociateurs, Richard Corbett et Joseph Daul, pour le résultat auquel nous sommes parvenus, mais aussi Alexandre Radwan et tous les membres de la commission économique et monétaire sans lesquels cette négociation n'aurait pas été engagée.

Sur le fond, je souhaite mettre la Commission en garde: vous avez dorénavant un devoir important à l'égard du Parlement, celui de mettre en œuvre les mesures d'exécution dans un cadre qui est aujourd'hui clairement redéfini. Régulièrement, nous sommes interpelés sur la nécessité de surveiller la façon dont les États membres appliquent ou mettent en œuvre les législations dont nous délibérons ici. Eh bien, dans le même esprit, nous devrons vérifier que, de son côté, la Commission fait ce qu'il faut pour que les mesures d'exécution voient le jour dans des délais raisonnables. Nous devrons également revoir le règlement du Parlement européen pour adapter nos procédures à ces nouveaux droits que nous devons pouvoir exercer pleinement.

Chacun se réjouira ce soir du résultat de la négociation. Pour autant, je voudrais à présent revenir sur trois questions qui, à mon sens, restent ouvertes.

La première est celle du statut des observateurs du Parlement européen au sein des comités d'expertise de la Commission. En effet, si nous voulons pleinement exercer ce droit de regard, ce droit de rappel en matière de comitologie, nous devons pouvoir, dans les mêmes conditions que les représentants du Conseil, suivre au jour le jour les travaux des comités compétents en matière d'exécution.

Deuxième question, s'agissant des sunset clauses, ou clauses couperet, le minimum que nous avons obtenu dans la déclaration constitue la garantie dont nous avions besoin pour accepter l'accord.

Troisième question enfin, sous forme d'un avertissement à la Commission: lorsque le Parlement européen, dans le domaine quasi législatif, refusera une mesure d'exécution telle qu'elle aura été proposée par la Commission, la Commission n'aura pas seulement la possibilité de proposer une nouvelle formulation, elle aura le devoir de le faire, sinon le niveau 1 ne pourra pas être mis en œuvre.


  Andrew Duff, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, my group is pleased to offer its strong support for this important reform, which is a further signal that Parliament is making great progress with its constitutional development. I would like to add thanks to all the main contributors to the complex negotiations.

The Regulatory Committee has proved to be the most troublesome aspect of comitology and way beyond the effective scrutiny of Parliament. The present package has three consequences for Parliament.

First, it puts it on an equal footing with the Council. Second, it should encourage Parliament to trust the Commission more to exercise and make prudent use of the executive authority that properly belongs to it. Parliament can surrender some of its preoccupations with minutiae, opening up opportunities for it to focus on politics rather than the technical aspects.

Finally, the change will force Parliament to sharpen up and upgrade the way the committees sift and scrutinise the product of comitology. We need to be fully prepared to shoulder our greater responsibilities with skill and care.


  Satu Hassi, Verts/ALE-ryhmän puolesta. – Arvoisa puhemies, kuten esittelijä Corbey totesi, kyseessä on läpimurto. Se on tervetullut ja olen siitä iloinen. Parlamentin tähänastinen valvontaoikeus komitologiamenettelyssä onkin ollut lähinnä farssi. Komissio on monesti laiminlyönyt jopa velvollisuutensa toimittaa päätökset parlamentille tiedoksi.

Parlamenttihan haastoi äskettäin komission oikeuteen siitä, että komissio ylitti komitologiamenettelyssä valtuutensa. Asia lähti liikkeelle vihreiden aloitteesta ympäristön, kansanterveyden ja elintarvikkeiden turvallisuuden valiokunnassa, kun komissio oli valtuutensa ylittäen myöntänyt poikkeusluvan kielletylle palonestoaineelle deka-BDE:lle. Nyt tämä tapaus korjataan kahdella tavalla. Parlamentti saa tuleviin komitologiapäätöksiin oikeuden estää ne jäsentensä enemmistöllä. Tämä deka-BDE-tapaus korjaantui kesäkuun lopulla, kun komissio tosiasiallisesti pyörsi tämän päätöksen, mikä tarkoittaa, että tämä vaarallinen aine poistuu elektroniikkalaitteista. Olen iloinen siitä.


  Maria da Assunção Esteves (PPE-DE). – Também eu estou a sofrer neste momento com o jogo entre Portugal e a França, que, ao contrário das previsões do Sr. Colbert, é assim mesmo e não entre a França e a Inglaterra.

O tema que hoje aqui se debate do controlo democrático dos actos regulamentares é um sinal dos novos tempos da democracia europeia. A Europa já não é intergovernamental e mero espaço de negociação. A Europa é unidade e espaço de integração. Deseja-se a si mesma como democracia e ambiciona uma legitimidade própria, que é muito mais do que a soma das legitimidades dos Estados.

Neste caminho para um tempo novo estão envolvidos os procedimentos de decisão e de execução. Afinal, é nestes procedimentos que se concentra o desafio da legitimidade e legitimação de todas as ordens políticas. O desafio da transparência, o desafio da responsabilidade, o desafio da eficácia, o desafio da aceitação e da confiança dos destinatários. O controlo parlamentar dos actos regulamentares já avançado numa Constituição que continua à espera é mais do que levar à correspondência o poder democrático de legislar e o poder democrático de controlar.

As instituições europeias estão aqui a assumir que a Europa deve ter o perfil de uma verdadeira democracia europeia e que uma verdadeira democracia europeia não é compatível com actos de execução, burocraticamente alienados da opinião pública e das suas instituições representativas. Este é apenas um pequeno passo, um pequeno passo na construção inafastável de um centro europeu forte e democrático, com cadeias de decisão abertas a um escrutínio de legitimidade permanente.

Seria desejável fazer intervir os parlamentos nacionais na nomeação dos peritos nacionais para os comités. Numa democracia europeia, que se tem como ideal e como projecto, a comitologia designará a realidade de um trabalho em rede que reforça e não esmorece a legitimidade da união política.


  Friedrich-Wilhelm Graefe zu Baringdorf (Verts/ALE). – Herr Präsident! Es ist gut, dass wir als Parlament jetzt in das Komitologieverfahren der Kommission hineingrätschen können. Das ist ein Fortschritt und ein großer Erfolg der Verhandlungsführer. Wir danken ihnen dafür!

Nur gibt es da einen Schönheitsfehler: Das Ganze bezieht sich auf das Mitentscheidungsverfahren und nicht auf das Anhörungsverfahren. Im Landwirtschaftsausschuss haben wir noch Anhörungsverfahren, und gerade jetzt bei der Bio-Verordnung wird wieder einmal die Vorgehensweise der Kommission sichtbar, immer mehr in die Kompetenz des Komitologieverfahrens hineinzuziehen. Dann haben wir jedoch nicht die Möglichkeit, hineinzugrätschen, und das muss geändert werden. Das ist ein Mangel dieses Abschlusses.

Wenn wir den Verfassungsvorschlag durchgebracht haben, hat auch der landwirtschaftliche Bereich das Mitentscheidungsverfahren. Aber er ist eben noch nicht durch. Ich hoffe, dass nicht an diesem Punkt jetzt noch einmal herumgefummelt wird, wenn über die Umsetzung geredet wird, und wir dann im Anhörungsverfahren bleiben und mit diesem Verfahren leben müssen, das der Kommission weiterhin Rechte zugesteht, die mit einem demokratischen Standard nicht zu vereinbaren sind.


  Margot Wallström, Vice-President of the Commission. Mr President, the comments by Members here demonstrate how much thought and enthusiasm has gone into this important reform, and quite rightly so. We have injected more transparency and more democracy into the procedures.

From now on the European Parliament should be in a position to delegate implementing powers in all conscience to the Commission without giving up its legitimate rights of scrutiny. According to the new procedure, if Parliament were to object to the substance of an implementing measure, the Commission would be prevented from adopting it in that form.

With these substantially improved control rights we see no need for the legislator to set a time limit for the delegation of implementing powers to the Commission. On the contrary, I believe that this package should provide a stable solution for the future. This was, of course, the purpose of the negotiations.

Let me come finally to some practical issues, because if you endorse the deal tomorrow we will have to continue our good cooperation. This will be done in several ways: firstly, thanks to the Commission’s forthcoming alignment proposals; secondly, via the promised upgrade of the comitology register; and thirdly, through the revision of our 2000 bilateral agreement on the procedures for implementing the comitology decisions.

I look forward to continuing to work with you on these issues and I thank you for your contributions to the debate.


  Presidente. La discussione è chiusa.

La votazione è prevista per domani alle 12.00.

Posledná úprava: 12. septembra 2006Právne oznámenie