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Decision making process and legal documents By Ruth Tammeorg European Documentation Centre Tartu University Library Estonia Community acquis – Acquis communautaire The Community acquis is the body of common rights and obligations

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decision making process and legal documents

Decision making process and legal documents

By Ruth Tammeorg

European Documentation Centre

Tartu University Library

Estonia

community acquis acquis communautaire
Community acquis – Acquis communautaire

The Community acquis is the body of common rights and obligations

which bind all theMember States together within the European Union.

It is constantly evolving and comprises:

  • the content, principles and political objectives of the Treaties
  • the legislation adopted in application of the treaties and the case law of the Court of Justice
  • the declarations and resolutions adopted by the Union
  • measures relating to the common foreign and security policy
  • measures relating to justice and home affairs
  • international agreements concluded by the Community and those concluded by the Member States between themselves in the field of the Union's activities

http://europa.eu.int/scadplus/glossary/community_acquis_en.htm

treaties
Treaties
  • The treaties constitute the European Union’s ‘primary legislation’, which is comparable to constitutional law at national level. They thus lay down the fundamental features of the Union, in particular the responsibilities of the various actors in the decision-making process, the legislative procedures, under the Community system and the powers conferred on them. The treaties themselves are the subject of direct negotiations between the governments of the Member States, after which they have to be ratified in accordance with the procedures applying at national level (in principle by the national parliaments or by referendum).
  • Founding treatiesAccession treatiesOther treaties and protocols

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/treaties/index.htm

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/droit_communautaire/droit_communautaire.htm#1.1

treaties4
Treaties
  • Consolidated versions of the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European UnionOfficial Journal C 115 of 9 May 2008

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/JOHtml.do?uri=OJ:C:2008:115:SOM:EN:HTML

  • Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, signed at Lisbon, 13 December 2007Official Journal C 306 of 17 December 2007

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/JOHtml.do?uri=OJ:C:2007:306:SOM:EN:HTML

  • Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European UnionOfficial Journal C 303 of 14 December 2007

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2007:303:0001:0016:EN:PDF

  • EUROPEAN UNION — CONSOLIDATED VERSIONS OF THE TREATY ON EUROPEAN UNION AND OF THE TREATY ESTABLISHING THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY

Official Journal C 321E of 29 December 2006

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2006:321E:0001:0331:EN:pdf

founding treaties
Founding treaties
  • Treaty on European Union (1992)
  • Treaty establishing the European Economic Community (1957)
  • Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (1957)
  • Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (1951)

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/treaties/index.htm

accession treaties
Accession treaties
  • Treaty concerning the accession of the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania to the European Union (2005)
  • Accession of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia (2003)
  • Accession of Austria, Finland and Sweden (1994)
  • Accession of Spain and Portugal (1985)
  • Accession of Greece (1979)
  • Accession of Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom (1972)

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/treaties/index.htm

other treaties and protocols
Other treaties and protocols
  • Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe (2004)
  • Treaty of Nice (2001)
  • Treaty of Amsterdam (1997)
  • Single European Act (1986)
  • Greenland Treaty (1984)
  • Merger Treaty (1965)

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/treaties/index.htm

slide8

Intergovernmental Conference - Conference of the governments of the Member States convened in order to negotiate amendments to existing treaties

  • The Treaty on European Union contains a provision allowing for the revision of the treaties. Article 48 states that any Member State or the Commission may submit proposals to the Council for amending the treaties. This opens the way, if the Council agrees, for the convening by the President of the Council of an Intergovernmental Conference (IGC).
  • Amending the treaties requires the unanimous agreement of all Member States. It also requires ratification by all Member States in accordance with their own respective internal procedures before a new treaty can enter into force.
  • There have been a number of Intergovernmental Conferences over recent years. These have resulted in successive amending treaties, notably the Single European Act (1986), the Treaty on European Union (1992), the Treaty of Amsterdam (1997) and the Treaty of Nice (2001).
  • The Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community has been signed in Lisbon on 13 December 2007 by the representatives of the 27 Member States. In accordance with its Article 6, the Treaty will have to be ratified by the Member States in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements and will enter into force on 1 January 2009, provided that all instruments of ratification have been deposited, or, failing that, on the first day of the month following the deposit of the last instrument of ratification.
  • http://consilium.europa.eu/cms3_fo/showPage.asp?id=1296&lang=en
the secondary legislation
The ‘secondary legislation’
  • The ‘secondary legislation’ is the third major source of Community law after the treaties (primary legislation) and international agreements.
  • totality of the legislative instruments adopted by the European institutions pursuant to the provisions of the treaties.
  • binding legal instruments (regulations, directives and decisions)
  • non-binding instruments (resolutions, opinions)
  • Other instruments such as the institutions’ internal regulations and Community action programmes.

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/droit_communautaire/droit_communautaire.htm#1.3

preparatory acts
Preparatory acts
  • Legislative proposals and opinions from the Commission.
  • Member States’ initiative
  • Council common position
  • European Parliament’s legislative resolution
  • Opinions of the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/droit_communautaire/droit_communautaire.htm#1.5

case law
Case-law
  • Judgments of the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance
  • Opinions of the Court of Justice
  • Orders of the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance
  • Submissions of the advocates-general

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/droit_communautaire/droit_communautaire.htm#1.3

decision making process of european union legislative procedures
Decision-making process of European Union. Legislative procedures
  • In contrast to the national systems, in which the will of the nation is expressed in Parliament, the European Union accords a major legislative role to the representatives of the Member States meeting in the Council. As the institutions have developed, the European Parliament has seen its powers increase: the Council now shares its legislative powers with Parliament for the adoption of general legal instruments of a binding nature (regulations and directives). The decision-making procedures comprise the assent procedure, the co-decision procedure, the cooperation procedure and the consultation procedure.
assent procedure code avc
Assent procedure (Code AVC)
  • The assent procedure, which was introduced by the Single European Act, gives Parliament the possibility of expressing its approval or disapproval of certain Council instruments. There are certain matters on which the Council cannot legislate unless Parliament gives its consent by an absolute majority of its members. The assent procedure, which represents as it were a right of veto for Parliament, was originally intended to apply only to the conclusion of association agreements and the examination of applications to join the European Community. The areas in which the assent procedure applies at present are as follows:
    • enhanced cooperation (Article 11(2)),
    • specific tasks of the ECB (Article 105(6)),
    • amending the Statute of the European System of Central Banks (Article 107(5)),
    • Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund (Article 161),
    • uniform procedure for elections (Article 190(4)),
    • certain international agreements (Article 300(3)),
    • violation of human rights (Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union),
    • accession of new Member States (Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union)

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/droit_communautaire/droit_communautaire.htm#2.1

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/droit_communautaire/procedure_avis_conforme.gif

co decision procedure code cod
Co-decision procedure (Code COD)

The co-decision procedure, which was introduced by the Treaty on European Union, was conceived as an extension of the cooperation procedure. However, while in the latter the Council can, acting unanimously, disregard the opinion of Parliament, in the co-decision procedure there is no such possibility: in the event of disagreement, a conciliation committee made up of representatives of the Council and of Parliament has to arrive at a text that is acceptable to the two institutions. The co-decision procedure now puts these two institutions on an equal footing in the legislative roles. Under this procedure, the Council cannot adopt a common position if the process of conciliation with Parliament fails. If no agreement is reached, the legislative process is liable to be broken off.

Co-decision has become by far the most important procedure in legislative practice.

It concerns many areas, for example:

non-discrimination on grounds of nationality (Article 12),

combating discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation (Article 13(2)),

freedom of movement and of residence (Article 18(2)),

free movement of workers (Article 40),

social security for migrant workers (Article 42),

right of establishment (Article 44(1), Article 46(2), Article 47(1) and (2)),

visas, asylum, immigration and other policies relating to the free movement of persons (Article 67(4) and (5))

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/droit_communautaire/droit_communautaire.htm#2.2

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/droit_communautaire/procedure_de_codecision.gif

cooperation procedure code syn
Cooperation procedure (Code SYN)
  • The cooperation procedure was introduced by the Single European Act to step up the role of the European Parliament compared with the consultation procedure. Parliament can make amendments to a Council common position but, unlike the co-decision procedure, the final decision lies with the Council alone.
  • The cooperation procedure applies exclusively to the following areas:
    • rules for the multilateral surveillance procedure (Article 99(5)),
    • prohibition on privileged access to financial institutions (Article 102(2)),
    • prohibition on assuming liability for Member States’ commitments (Article 103(2)),
    • measures to harmonise the circulation of coins (Article 106(2)).
  • Since the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam, all other areas previously subject to this procedure have come under the co-decision procedure
  • http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/droit_communautaire/droit_communautaire.htm#2.3
  • http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/droit_communautaire/procedure_de_cooperation.gif
the consultation procedure code cns
The consultation procedure (Code CNS)
  • Since the introduction of the cooperation procedure and the co-decision procedure, the importance of the consultation procedure has steadily declined. The characteristic feature of the consultation procedure is a division of tasks between the Commission and the Council that can be summed up in the phrase ‘the Commission proposes, the Council disposes’. However, before the Council can take a decision, certain stages have to be completed, in the course of which, besides the Commission and the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions may also have their say, depending on the subject of the regulations in question.

The consultation procedure now applies only to cases that are not expressly subject to the cooperation or co-decision procedures.

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/droit_communautaire/droit_communautaire.htm#2.4

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/droit_communautaire/procedure_de_consultation.gif

documents of the european commission
Documents of the European Commission
  • COM documents: Legislative proposals, White Papers, Green Papers
  • SEC documents
  • C documents
  • Register of Commission documents

http://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/recherche.cfm?CL=en

documents of the european parliament
Documents of the European Parliament
  • Agendas
  • Draft reports and opinions
  • Reports adopted in committee
  • Part-session minutes
  • Attendance register and results of roll-call votes
  • Texts adopted by Parliament
  • Resolutions
  • Written declarations
  • Debates in plenary
  • Bulletins
  • Parliamentary questions
  • Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament with Index
  • Documents from previous parliamentary terms

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/activities/plenary/reports.do?language=EN

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegWeb/application/registre/simpleSearch.faces

documents of the council of the european union
Documents of the Council of the European Union
  • http://www.consilium.europa.eu/cms3_fo/showPage.asp?id=1279&lang=EN
documents of the european council presidency conclusions
Documents of the European Council. Presidency Conclusions

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/cms3_fo/showPage.asp?id=432&lang=ET&mode=g

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/summits/index.htm

documents of the european economic and social committee eesc
Documents of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

http://eesc.europa.eu/documents/opinions/avis_en.asp?type=en

  • EESC Register of documents

http://eesc.europa.eu/activities/press/registry/index_en.asp

documents of the court of justice and of the court of first instance
Documents of the Court of Justice and of the Court of First Instance
  • Judgments
  • Orders
  • Opinions
  • Summaries

http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=en

slide28
Document registers of the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission
  • http://europa.eu/documents/registers/index_en.htm
slide29

General publications of the European Union Official InformationThe authoritative source of EU law –The Official Journal of the European Union (OJ)

  • Published every working day in all official languages of the European Union (EU).
  • L series for legislation
  • C series for information and notices
  • S series Supplement for public procurement
  • Electronic section to the C series the OJ C E.     
  • Annex. Debates of the European Parliament
  • The Special Edition of the Official Journal in the languages of the new Member States 2004, 2007
  • http://europa.eu/eur-lex/en/accession.html
  • http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/enlargement/enlargement_2007.html
general publications of the european union official information bulletin of the european union
General publications of the European Union. Official Information Bulletin of the European Union
  • http://europa.eu/bulletin/en/welcome.htm
slide31
General publications of the European Union Official InformationGeneral Report on the Activities of the European Union
  • http://europa.eu/generalreport/en/welcome.htm
where to find eu documents europa on the web http europa eu documents european law
WHERE TO FIND EU DOCUMENTS – Europa on the Web (http://europa.eu) Documents. European law
  • EUR-LEX, the portal to European Union law
  • ŒIL, the Legislative Observatory
  • Pre-Lex, monitoring of the decision-making process between institutions
  • Case law
  • Summaries of legislation

http://europa.eu/scadplus/scad_en.htm

eur lex the portal to european union law
OFFICIAL JOURNAL

SEARCH

General search

Search terms

Date or time span

Author

Classification headings

Keywords (EUROVOC)

Search by file category

Treaties

Legislation

Preparatory acts

Case-law

Parliamentary questions

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/index.htm

Search by document number

Natural number

CELEX number

Consolidated text

Search by publication reference

Official Journal

European Court Reports

EUR-LEX, the portal to European Union law
il the legislative observatory
ŒIL, the Legislative Observatory

The Observatory analyses and monitors the interinstitutional decision-making

process in the European Union, the role of the European Parliament in shaping

European legislation and the activities of the various institutions involved in the

legislative procedure.

Search by:

  • Words
  • Reference
  • Agent in procedure
  • Subjects Countries
  • Progress of the procedure

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/

pre lex the database on inter institutional procedures
Pre-Lex - the database on inter-institutional procedures

Follows the major stages of the decision-making process between the Commission and

the other institutions:

  • stage of the procedure
  • decisions of the institutions
  • persons' names
  • services responsible
  • references of documents
  • …etc
  • and monitors the works of the various institutions involved (European Parliament, Council, ESC, Committee of the Regions, European central Bank, Court of Justice, etc.).PreLex follows all Commission proposals (legislative and budgetary dossiers, conclusions of international agreements) and communications from their transmission to the Council or the European ParliamentLinks allow users to access directly the electronic texts available (COM documents, Official Journal, Bulletin of the European Union, documents of the European Parliament, press releases, etc.).

http://ec.europa.eu/prelex/apcnet.cfm?CL=en

case law database curia since 17 06 1997 earlier case law is available on eur lex
CASE-LAW database Curia (since 17/06/1997)Earlier case-law is available on EUR-Lex

Contains:

  • full texts: the full text of judgments, Opinions of the Court, Advocates General’s Opinions and orders of the Community Courts, delivered since 17 June 1997 and published in the ‘Reports of Cases before the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance’ or in the ‘European Court Reports - Reports of European Community Staff Cases’.
  • ‘summary’ documents: summaries of decisions published in the ‘Reports of Cases before the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance’ or in the ‘European Court Reports - Reports of European Community Staff Cases’ are available in all official languages.
  • ‘information’ documents: information on decisions of which the full text is not published in the ‘Reports of Cases before the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance’
  • ‘OJ’ documents :notices for publication in the ‘Official Journal of the European Union’ relating to cases brought, adjudged or removed from the register, published since 1 January 2002.

http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=en

summaries of legislation
Summaries of Legislation
  • This site provides user-friendly fact sheets which summarise EU legislation. The fact sheets are divided into 32 subject areas which are the Activities of the European Union. You will find not only summaries of existing measures, but also a follow-up of legislative proposals in policies as diverse as External Relations and Employment and Social Affairs.

http://europa.eu/scadplus/scad_en.htm