slide1
Download
Skip this Video
Download Presentation
The role of the parliament during implementation of Association Agreement and Accession Treaty: the case of Lithuania

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 33

The role of the parliament during implementation of Association Agreement and Accession Treaty: - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 219 Views
  • Uploaded on

The role of the parliament during implementation of Association Agreement and Accession Treaty: the case of Lithuania. Petras Auštrevičius

loader
I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
capcha
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'The role of the parliament during implementation of Association Agreement and Accession Treaty: ' - Rita


An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
slide1

The role of the parliament during implementation of Association Agreement and Accession Treaty: the case of Lithuania

Petras Auštrevičius

Deputy Chairman of the European Affairs Committee of the Seimas (Parliament) of the Republic of Lithuania and former Chief Negotiator of Lithuania for EU Membership

Presentation for the conference on Ukraine-EU Free Trade Area as an instrument of European integration and internal reforms

Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine

9 April 2009, Kyiv

contents
Contents
  • Aims of this presentation
  • Role of the Parliament in the nutshell
  • European integration: from “political will” to day-to-day agenda of the Parliament
  • Principles of cooperation and interaction
  • Legal and institutional basis for cooperation
  • Parliamentary scrutiny
  • Parliamentary method of activities (beforeand after EU accession)
  • Key principles of the EU scrutiny procedure (afterEU accession) and its legal basis
  • Role of the Committee on European Affairs (mini-plenary, decision maker, organizer, priority setting)
  • Approval/ debate on Lithuanian positions on EU issues
  • Involvement of the specialized (standing) committees
  • Preparation of National Positions for the Council
  • (Example of ) Debate on the Communication from theCommission on EU Drugs Action Plan (2005-2008)
  • Opinion on compliance with the principle of subsidiarity
  • Workload of legal approximation in Lithuania (before and after EU accession)
  • Lessons, experiences and challenges
the aim of this presentation is threefold
The aim of this presentation is threefold:
  • to show how the ‘political will’ of the political parties and the Parliament translates into the working programme of the parliament
  • to demonstrate the change in the EU integration related workload and division of labour in the parliament
  • to show how (working) co-operation between the Parliament and the Government was ensured
role of the parliament in the nutshell
Role of the Parliament in the nutshell
  • Parliamentary oversight of AA and Accession negotiations
  • Political debate during ratification and voting for/against ratification
  • Political oversight of the overall progress of implementation, but also a heavy load on the parliament during approximation through passed laws
european integration from political will to day to day agenda i
European integration: from “political will” to day-to-day agenda (I)
  • Stage one: a tradition of written political agreements on ‘foreign policy’ priorities among (mostly parliamentary) political parties in Lithuania. They are renewed every parliamentary term (every four years) – also even after EU/NATO accession
  • Stage two: They are followed up by annual resolutions of the Parliament about EU integration, which accompanies parliamentary plenary debates about Lithuania’s European integration.
  • Importantly, the resolutions always had a list of priority draft laws for EU integration attached. The parliament committed itself to adopt all or majority laws from that list during the next year
  • NB this enabled to avoid introducing the so called ‘fast track’ legislative procedures in the parliament despite quite a heavy load on the parliament during implementation of the Europe Agreement (Association Treaty with the EU) and parallel negotiations for EU membership
  • Since not all of the parliaments of the new EU member states were able to settle legislative approximation within the ‘ordinary’ parliamentary procedure, this qualifies Lithuanian experience as good administrative practice
european integration from political will to day to day agenda ii
European integration: from “political will” to day-to-day agenda (II)
  • Stage three: the Board of the Parliament before every parliamentary session asked for Government’s plans (request to introduce draft laws to the Parliament) and separately for EU integration (legal approximation) related list of laws
  • The list of EU integration (legal approximation) related list of laws, divided in three categories:
    • Urgent (adoption during the parliamentary session is a must)
    • Medium priority (adoption during the session desirable; all laws by the end of session must be at least in the advanced committee stage)
    • Priority (routine) (adoption would be welcome, but advancement ‘as it goes’ would be still acceptable)
european integration from political will to day to day agenda iii
European integration: from “political will” to day-to-day agenda (III)
  • The Government extracted this ‘priority list’ from its National Programme for Adoption of Acquis (NPAA)
  • Stage four: This list would be integrated in the Parliament’s working programme for the parliamentary session, with specific time slots reserved for a) introduction during the plenary, b) committee stage c) first reading, d) second reading
  • Stage five: It would be subject to quarterly, and eventually monthly reporting on progress at the European Affairs Committee by the representatives of the Government
  • Weekly updates on status (stage) would be submitted by the representatives of the Government in the electronic format (by email) to the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament and the Chairman of the European Affairs Committee who would resolve any “bottlenecks” in the Parliament
principles of cooperation and interaction
Principles of cooperation and interaction
  • Reflection of democratic structure of state;
  • Parliamentary control of the Government;
  • Political parties participation;
  • Involvement of civil society;
  • Involvement and participation of social-economic partners and interest groups;
  • Dissemination of information;
legal and institutional basis for cooperation
Legal and institutional basis for cooperation
  • Provisions of the National Constitution and legislation;
  • Requirements for ratification;
  • Administrative traditions of interaction between the Parliament, the Government and social-economic partners;
  • Institutional setup of exchange and dissemination of information;
  • Existing network of associations of the social-economic partners.
parliamentary scrutiny
Parliamentary scrutiny
  • Main actors and partners:

- European Affairs Committee;

- Foreign Affairs Committee;

- Line committees;

  • Legal basis for Parliamentary Scrutiny;
  • Agreed procedures and existing traditions.
parliamentary method of activities before accession
Parliamentary method of activities (before accession)
  • Approval of positions;
  • Hearings and discussions;
  • Meetings with interested parties;
  • Visits to the hot spots;
  • Joint Parliamentary Committee (Seimas and the European Parliament).
slide12

Key principles of the EU scrutiny procedure(after accession)

Seimas regularly receives

early information on EU matters

Seimas powers cover

both legislative proposals

and other EU documents

WELL INFORMED

WIDE COVERAGE

Seimas not only deliberates

national position, but is also

involved in its shaping

All Members of the Seimas take

part in deliberations of EU matters

(in competent specialised committees)

FULLY INVOLVED

ACTIVE

CONSTRUCTIVE

Seimas scrutinises the

Government while

adopting EU legal acts and

implementing them in Lithuania

Seimas seeks broad consensus

in shaping national position

towards EU matters

CONTINUITY

legal basis
Legal basis
  • Constitutional Act on the Membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union;

(adopted on 13 July 2004, came into force on 13 August 2004)

  • Statute of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania;

(amendments of 13 November 2004)

  • Law on Government;

(amendments of 26 November 2004)

  • Government Resolutions.
slide14

Role of the Committee on European Affairs

(Article 1802 of the Statute of the Seimas)

Mini plenary on EU matters

  • One of two constitutional committees with a power to speak on behalf of the entire chamber:
  • Committee on European Affairs – I and III pillar matters
  • Committee on Foreign Affairs – II pillar matters
slide15

Role of the Committee on European Affairs

Decision-maker

(Article 61 of the Statute of the Seimas)

inter alia,

  • considers within its remit major issues, within the competence of the Seimas, pertaining to the membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the EU and submits conclusions related to them;
  • participates in the process of the preparation and evaluation of proposals to adopt EU legal acts, presents Seimas opinion regarding the position to the Government and evaluates the presentation of the national position in the EU institutions.
slide16

Role of the Committee on European Affairs

Organiser

(Article 61 of the Statute of the Seimas)

inter alia,

  • assists the Seimas in exercising parliamentary scrutiny of the activities of the Governmental and other institutions, related to EU matters;
  • supervises timely and proper adoption of laws implementing EU legal acts during the legislative procedure;
  • co-ordinates the activities of the Seimas committees and commissions when considering EU issues and presenting conclusions thereon;
  • organizes European weeks and debates on major issues of the EU agenda in the plenary.
slide17

Unique composition of the Committee on European Affairs

(Article 441 of the Statute of the Seimas)

  • 15-25 MPs in accordance with the principle of proportional representation of the Seimas political groups, including
    • committee chairmen or their deputies,
    • leaders of political groups or their deputies,
    • members of the political groups, responsible for EU matters,
  • Committee members may belong to other committees,
  • Committee Chairman - Deputy Chairman of the Seimas, responsible for EU affairs; Chairman has several deputies, one of whom is the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs,
  • Subcommittees and special groups might be established.
slide18

Initiatives of the Committee on European Affairs

  • Each adviser and assistant of the Committee on European Affairs supervises one or two formations of the Council;
  • Every Seimas specialized committee (15) has at least one EU adviser;
  • In January 2003 the Seimas established its office in the European Parliament.
  • In September 2002 European Information Centre of the Seimas was opened.
slide19

Involvement of the specialized (standing) committees(Article 49 of the Statute of the Seimas)

inter alia,

  • participate in the process of the preparation and co-ordination of proposals to adopt EU legal acts, when necessary submit conclusions regarding the national position to the Seimas, the Seimas Committee on European Affairs, and the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs;
  • consider other EU documents, when necessary submit conclusions regarding these documents to the Seimas, the Seimas Committee on European Affairs, and the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs;
  • submit conclusions regarding the compliance of proposals to adopt EU legal acts with the principle of subsidiarity;
slide20

EU coordination on the level of the standing committeesstaff

  • Coordination meeting every or second week on the level of committee advisers;
  • Advisers of the line committees have to monitor the EU agenda the national and EU institutions;
  • Legal basis – bylaw (statute) of the Chancellery of Seimas.
slide21

Preparation of National Positions for the Council

Proposal from the Commission

or other EU institution

Preparation of a Lithuanian position

GovernmentSeimas

Preliminary position

Deliberates a national position

in accordance with the

scrutiny model

Develops a national position

in accordance with the scrutiny model

Recommendation, opinion

Minister presents

at the Council

Agreed Lithuanian position

slide22

EU scrutiny procedure

position

Government

Seimas

Committee on European Affairs

or

Committee on Foreign Affairs(only in CFSP)

Seimas opinion

Specialised

Committee(s)

(13)

conclusion

Seimas recommendation

Plenary

Law Department

(conclusion)

slide23

Identification of priorities

(Article 1804 of the Statute of the Seimas)

  • After the receipt of an Annual Legislative and Work Programme of the European Commission,the Seimas committees within one month debate it and submit to the Committee on European Affairs and the Committee on Foreign Affairs their reasoned conclusions regarding the relevance of the proposals presented in this programme to Lithuania, assigning them to one of the following categories:

1) very relevant

2)   relevant

3)   moderately relevant

  • 2009 Legislative Program of the European Commission (20 very relevant, 17 relevant (2007 – 24 and 31)).
  • The Committee on European Affairs and the Committee on Foreign Affairs in a joint meeting summarise the conclusions of the specialised committees and communicate them to the Government.
  • When submitting the positions, the Government draws the attention of the Seimas to very relevant and relevant proposals by marking them with special marks.
slide24

Approval/ debate on Lithuanian positions on EU issues

(Article 1807 of the Statute of the Seimas)

  • An institution responsible for the preparation of a coordinated Lithuanian position with regard to a proposal to adopt an EU legal act submits it to the Seimas right after its preparation, but not later than 3 days prior to the debate on the position at the EU institutions.
  • In case of very relevant and relevant proposals, the institution must submit to the Seimas a coordinated position with filled-in sub-paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, and 11 within 15 working days from the receipt of the proposal.
  • The special information system administered by the Office of the Government (LINESIS) indicates the changes of the position made in the course of its preparation.
slide26

Debate on the Communication from the Commission on EU Drugs Action Plan (2005-2008)

European Commission

National position

30/03/05

Updated national position

10/05/05

Proposal

14/02/05

Position presented by Government

Committee on European Affairs

Opinion of NGOs

Joint meeting on 29/04/05

Meeting on 25/03/05

Meeting on 16/03/05

Drug Addiction Prevention Commission;

Committee on Health Affairs;

Updated opinion

Request for

conclusions

Parliamentary reservation;

initial opinion

slide28

2005

2006

2007

2008

Laws

Resolutions (governmental)

Orders / ministerial

50

26

166

55

29

187

45

61

213

67

61

203

Total

LT legal acts

EU legal acts:

(1) in total

(2) transposed

242

2104

297

271

2311

359

319

2391

378

331

2271

361

Workload of legal approximation in Lithuania (after EU accession)

workload of legal approximation conclusions
Workload of legal approximation: conclusions
  • Parliament is important, but transposition through secondary legislation is more efficient – especially once framework legislation is in place
  • Post accession workload: significant decrease during the first year of EU membership, but back to pre-accession level in 2005 and onwards
slide31

Lessons and experiences

  • The EU scrutiny system works fairly well primarily because of the active stand of the Committee on European Affairs (2 weekly meetings with an average of 5 agenda points per meeting);
  • Further improvements and adjustments in practical procedures of the EU committee activities;
  • Transposition of EU legislation mainly through secondary legislation, transposition through laws only about 20%;
  • Good cooperation with the Government, swift feedback;
  • Effectiveand real time access to EU documents through LINESIS;
  • Reasonable interest to be further encouragedof specialised committees.
slide32

Challenges

  • Political will
  • Euro-capacity’s sustainability
  • Lack of timely translated documents;
  • Huge flow of information;
  • Loaded agenda of committee meetings resulting in lack of thoroughanalysis;
  • Setting of the agenda of specialised committees

Priority issue: domestic vs. EU.

ad