Sunday, March 31, 2019
European Union Decision Making
European Union Decision MakingIntroductionThe European Union (EU) decision make change is quite a tangled perform which involves more than oneness institution most of the cartridge clips. The European council, the European parliament, and the European commissions be the signalise players at bottom this key complex and multi-party process. more(prenominal) than the past five decades the European Parliament (EP) has motivated from cosmos a of importly consultative gather to being a genuine co-legislature. The offset in the European Parliaments powers was accompanied by a revaluation of its stand up committals. The European Parliament (EP) is today gener solelyy seen as a co-legislator with the Council is a comparatively new development. It did not enjoy any government issueive rights of conjunction in the legislative process for more than terzetto decades. As an assembly it started out with scarcely two key powers the supremacy to pass a motion of censure against t he High Authority and the power to be consulted by the Council on selected legislative suggestions. The opinions given in this traditional consultation use were non-binding. The Single European Act (SEA) 1987 represented a key flavor promote for the EP. It manifest the inauguration of a new triangular kin amongst the Council, the mission and the EP by introducing the co-operation surgical procedure, which signifi rout outtly enhanced inter-institutional dialogue, giving the EP the prototypical opportunity to loosen its legislative power and to machinate use of its agenda-setting powers. The verificatory experiences structure of the co-operation procedure, the EPs legislative competencies were increase by the agreement on European Union (TEU) commonly known as the Maastricht Treaty, 1993. Through the co-decision procedures beginning the sh atomic number 18s of the European Parliament (MEPs) were, granted the power of forbid in several policy atomic payoff 18as, for t he source time.The EPs role considerably strengthened by the Treaty of capital of The Netherlands (1999), e oddly as regards its involvement in the legislative process. The procedure of co-decision has been ex disposeed from 15 to 38 Treaty beas or types of Community action and now applies to new atomic number 18as at heart the theaters of transport, environment, energy, development co-operation and veritable cheeks of social affairs. A new element in the Amsterdam Treaty is the reform of the co-decision procedure. close of importly, a legislative act give notice now be adopted at the first reading if either the EP fails to suggest amendments to the tutelage proposal or the Council agrees to the changes suggested by the EP. The EPs powers were accompanied by a revaluation of the EP stand up(a) charges. In the EU policy-making process they reserve become a key element and can be seen as a rattling important contri besidesion to the determining of legislation. Operat ing ModeThe EP Standing delegations ache been described as the legislative backbone of the EP (Westlake 1994, p. 191). Under the proficiency of these military commissions e verything that could maybe be fencet with by the EP, which officially examine only capitulums referred by the Bureau. The proposals in the practical political process, incoming legislative directly go to the prudent charge or committees.EP committees DevelopmentBy 1953, committees direct on played a racy role at bottom the EP from its setting up s take down committees had already installed by the Common Assembly. In 1979, after the direct elections, 16 standing committees were established. By the year of 1999 their yield bit by bit increase to 20. At that take there was a growing feeling, however, that the reduce of committees should be reviewed with the main documental of distri aloneing the new legislative obligations resulting from the Amsterdam Treaty more evenly (Corbett Jacobs Shackleton 20 00, p. 105) The number of EP Standing de ordinateations was subsequently reduced from 20 to 17 after the June 1999 elections. They individually(prenominal) c over a especial(a) area or policy field of the EUs activities and now fork over been reshuffled for the purpose of (Christine Neu think about, 2001) merging issue clusters (external economic transaction has been merged with industry and research and the Committee on Regional polity now deals with policies concerning transport and tourism), emphasizing new priorities (e.g. equal opportunities now has a more prominent role in the Committee on Womens Rights and the identical is true for human rights in the Committee on Foreign personal matters), ensuring greater committee oversight. The EPs committee structure does not correspond to any item model. The Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, CFSP committee is, according to Westlake, clearly modeled on its equivalent in the United States Senate, but has far fewer powers (Westlake 1994, p. 135). get word players in committeesWe usually arrange that committee proceedings are to a large size make by key players in the committee committee chairmen, vice-chairs and rapporteurs, generally whose role is well known, and also plansmen of opinion, tooshie rapporteurs and committee co-ordinators. The chairmen and three vice-chairmen are its formal officeholders within distributively committee. When sensitive votes are held in comprehensive, the chairman presides over the meetings of the committee and can contribute considerably to shaping legislation. The function of the vice-chairmen is generally to stand in for the chairman when he/she is not available. Once a committee has decided to draw up a report or an opinion it nominates a rapporteur (when the committee bears main(a) responsibleness) or a draftsman (when it has to give an opinion for another committee) (Corbett, Jacobs, Shackleton 2000, p. 108, 117). The separate co-ordinators play an important role separately from the official officeholders. A co-ordinator selects by each political conclave who is liable for allocating tasks to the group members as its main spokesperson. By op note political group(s), mainly to reminder the turn of the rapporteur are appointed the supposed shadow rapporteurs.By political groups the EP committees are peaceful on a cross-party basis and the composition process is organized in various shipway through procedural rules, and by way of bargaining. assignment leadership positions within committees is formally based on the dHondt procedure, whereby political groups have the choice of which committee they want to chair in an order unyielding by the size of the group (Christine Neuhold, 2001). The individual (both full and substitute) members are chosen by the political groups with the read of ensuring that each committee reflects the overall political balance among the groups in the EP(Christine Neuhold, 2001).The pivotal role of the committ ee chairmen, a position that has been described as a prized office for MEPs (Hix 1999), can be illustrated by the contrasting examples of two several(predicate) directives. Even though the committee chairs were heavy lobbied in both cases, especially by industry, the outcome was highly differentNormally the selection of rapporteurs and draftsmen is decided within the individual committees by a system, which is more or less the same in all committees. from each one political group has, according to its size, a quota of points. The group co-ordinators then dissertate reports and opinions to be distributed, decide how many points each subject is worth and make bids on behalf of their group, the bids based in theory (but not always in the practical political process) on the alliance between the number of points already used by the group and the original quota (Corbett, Jacobs, Shackleton 2000, p. 117). policy-making groups Significance within committeesIf committees are the legisl ative backbone of the EP, the political parties are its lifeblood or the institutional cement pasting together the different units of the Parliament (Williams 1995, p. 395). Each party group in the EP represents a very heterogeneous collection of established groups and impermanent alliances (Raunio 2000, p. 242). For the legislative period of 1999-2004 eight political groups are represented in the EP (and a number of non-aligned members). In the elections of June 1999 the PES anomic more than 30 seats while the EPP-ED gained 52 and now holds (with 233 seats) a 53-seat majority over the PES. It must be pointed out, however, that these two large political groups together hold more than 66 % of all EP seats. In comparison the European destitute Democratic and Reformist Group (ELDR), which is the third strongest party within the EP, has only 50 members, i.e. 8 % of the seats (EU Committee of the American Chamber of commercialism in Belgium 1999, p. 13).Political groups have their ow n staff, in which the total number of employees to which a group is entitled, is linked to the groups size and based on the number of languages used in the group. (Christine Neuhold, 2001). Within the larger groups between two to three staff members observe and follow the forge done by each committee, whereas one official might be resultantable for observing the live on of three or four committees in smaller groups (Raunio 2000). A material body of functions perform within the groups by the staff. One very main aspect is to follow and to prepare the committee proceedings and to support the rapporteur i.e. the shadow rapporteur in their political work. The animate task this involves varies from committee to committee. For example in the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development the respective administrator is responsible for drawing up voting lists, whereas in the environment committee the Political Group Staff would only bring the voting lists into a percipient form. Whe n trying to co-ordinate their positions or exchanging views the rapporteur might in selected cases not conduct with the shadow rapporteur but with the responsible administrator (Christine Neuhold, 2001).Expertise and openness conditional relation of committee debatesEP committees can exploit a growing pool of expertness. When it comes to bread and butter the rapporteur or draftsman of opinion in the performance of their task the EP Committee secretariate is attributed great importance. The officials help increase the functional capacity of the EP by assisting the individual MEPs and the committees. The committee staff not only provides scientific and technical information, but also gives advice on political issues (Christine Neuhold, 2001). Separately from the Committee Secretariat interest groups are another important source of information. For the representation of interests Lobbyists gradually notice the importance of the EP. MEPs act in so far as affirmable as representati ves of the European people, however if they are elected by local constituencies. They have to integrate interests with relevance to Europe as a whole and are therefore contacted by actors working within the ten thousand of networks to be demonstrate in the EU system of multi-level governance (Benz 2001, p. 7). Wessels reports that total MEPs have roughly 109 contacts with interest groups from the national and supranational level each year. In total this amounts to some 67,000 contacts and interest groups annually (Wessels 1999, p. 109). A unusual improvement in the EPs activities is a great increase in the governance of humans hearings by the committees. These hearings can serve up numerous purposes they can facilitate the identification of or familiarization with a point issue, assist a committee in the scrutiny of draft legislation, and facilitate identification of preferences. A remarkable example is the drinking water directive a public hearing, involving a wide range of e xperts and interested parties, was conducted on the change of this directive. The key conclusion reached was that there is a critical need to evaluate the existing series of directives and decisions on water quality. Consequently of this hearing particular deficits and problems within this context were recognized and methods of reform were proposed. Relations of EP committees with other EU institutionsThe federation between the EP and other institutions on the European level has evolved extensively with the intro of first the co-operation and later the co-decision procedures. Co-operation marked an end to the old bipolar dealingship between Council and Commission and the beginning of a triangular relationship in which the EPs legislative input was limited at the outset, though it gradually increased later (Westlake 1994, p. 137). Relations with other institutions passim the legislative process during co-decisionThe launch of the co-decision procedure by the Treaty of Maastricht has been regarded as a major ill-treat forward for the EP and the cause for parliamentary democracy at the EU level (Shackleton 2000, p.325). Negotiation between the Council of Ministers and the EP committees has established by the new Treaty provision.As soon as the Amsterdam Treaty took effect these contacts were intensified, mainly as a result of the possibility of concluding the procedure at first reading. Both institutions have paid close attention to the Joint firmness of purpose on the practical arrangements for the new co-decision procedure of May 1999, which encourages appropriate contacts with the aim of bringing the legislative procedure to a conclusion as quick as possible (Christine Neuhold, 2001).Each Council Presidency is in contact with the responsible EP committee, and the respective Minister approaches the committee to present the priorities of the Presidencys programme and also illustrates the particular getments at the end of the six-month period. Even afte r Amsterdam there are no clear procedural guidelines for the first reading. The most contentious question is how to mandate the representatives of the EP for negotiating with the Council. An additional open question is which members of the Council and EP hierarchy should meet with whom. At the first reading as a means of speeding up the procedure the EP sees the possibility of reaching an agreement, but not something that should be legitimate at any cost. Within the conciliation procedure a process of exchange has developed where both sides are open to make concessions, but at a price that differs according to each set of negotiations (Shackleton 1999, p. 331). The procedure has evolved significantly since its introduction by the Maastricht Treaty, where a lot was not indite down and even the basic procedural issues were not always clear.Considering the problems of conciliation, the so-called trialogue meetings are of great significance during its preparation. These sessions, nei ther the Treaty nor the EP Rules of Procedure, have been formed to an extent under the motto necessity is the mother of invention. They were answer back to the gap left in the Treaty between the Councils flake reading and convention of the conciliation committee. The Treaty provisions do not wait what, should happen after the Council has given its view on the EPs second-reading amendments and before the delegations meet in the conciliation committee. There were occasional bilateral contacts between Council and EP during the first year and a half after the Maastricht Treaty came into effect, but no structured dialogue. As a result both institutions seek to find compromises in a room, which could hold over 100 persons. unaccompanied in the second half year after the Treaty came into effect was the conclusion finally drawn that this was not an efficient forum for institutional dialogue and that conciliation needed to be prepared by a smaller group (Shackleton 1999, p. 333). In lig ht of the smaller number of persons taking part in trialogues, namely the vice-president concerned the chairman of the responsible EP committee and the rapporteur At the level of the trialogue and only have to be rubber-stamped in conciliation a large percentage polemic issue is already solved. The starry-eyed function of the trialogue is illustrated by the directive on end of vehicle life. At second reading the EP adopted a total of 32 amendments. In a series of trialogue meetings, compromises were reached regarding a considerable number of amendmentsStudy conducted on the effect the co-decision procedure has on the EP committees has shown that co-decision has led to a structural preoccupancy of the bulk of the work load on only three out of 20 Permanent Committees. The three committees dealt with the majority of the draft legal acts submitted under co-decision were (Christine Neuhold, 2001) Committee on the Environment (36.7 %) Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs an d industrial Policy (25.9 %) Committee on Legal Affairs (16.9 %). As regards the amount of time needed to conclude a co-decision procedure, the analysis reflects that the Committee on the Environment with the heaviest co-decision burden of all committees stabilized the amount of time required for adoption. The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and Industrial Policy and the Committee on Legal Affairs have even reduced the time needed for the adoption of legislative acts considerably since co-decision was introduced in 1993 (Maurer 1999, p. 29). Role of EP committees within the death penalty processOne more significant issue is the process of implementing legislation. In the system of comitology, EP committees play only a marginal role. Comitology is a short-hand term for the process by which certain powers of implementation are delegated to the Commission. The comitology committees are composed of representatives of part State governments and as such(prenominal) are no t democratically elected (Bradley 1997). Since installation of the first comitology committees, the EP has put forward far-reaching demands as regards its involvement in the comitology system. Translating them into political science terms, they could be summarised in the following manner (Hix 2000) clear definition of legislative and executive matters so that the executive authority would be strictly responsible for implementing measures when implementing acts have been adopted by way of co-decision in the legislative process, the EP should be put on an equal footing with the governments of the Member States limitation of the executive powers of the Member State governments (at least to a certain extent) the right of the EP to examine all draft implementing acts before they are adopted with the implementation timetable the right of the EP to veto legislation before it is implemented.Connection to EU citizens the problem of accountability and responsibilityThe concept of accounta bility for this study is defined in two ways primary, to be responsible is seen to be in a position of stewardship and therefrom to be called to answer questions about ones activities and administration. This is very much connected to ensuring a certain degree of openness and transparency within the decision making process. Choices and debates have to be broken down in such a way that citizens are able to understand them and have a certain degree of insight into decision-making processes. Second, to be responsible is perceived as being censurable or dismissible (Bealey 1999, p. 2 Lord 1998). Because of the fact that they are directly elected, the members of the EP are directly accountable to their electorate. Though, the electoral procedures of the EP are indefinite as regards the principle of political equality. Concerning accountability, it is also doubtful whether electors are adequately informed about the EPs activities, and they seem to have insufficient motivation to monit or the EP by participating in elections the average turnout of 49 % in the 1999 EP elections speaks for itself(Christine Neuhold, 2001).The complex EU decision-making procedures are not transparent and sometimes rather backbreaking to describe and understand, when the process reached by a majority. European parties be unsuccessful to organize dependable factions and the relationships between the EP and other EU institutions, specially the Council, are difficult to comprehend. One of the problems the EP is presently facing is that the EP does not have the authority of a legislature. As a co-legislator together with the Council, it cannot be held accountable for decisions it makes on its own (Benz 2000, p. 16). Additionally, there is no European government that can be held accountable to the EP. The EP has to give the rights of its vote of approval to the Commission and to the Commission President. By vote of censure, it can also force the entire Commission to resign. The EP hence h as the power to vote the Commission out of office. Though, it is not the EP but the European Council that selects the President and the members of the Commission. In consequence the composition of the executive is not based on the results of European elections. Changes to the Treaties do not have to be ratified by the EP, nor are members of the EP present at Intergovernmental Conferences held with the aim of Treaty reform (Raunio 2000, p. 231). By this study it has been reflected, complex forms of inter-institutional bargaining make it difficult to pinpoint what decisions were taken by whom. Main decisions are taken in smaller groups such as the trialogue that abide for the achievement of consensus with other institutional actors such as the Council. However, the conclusion of complex deals obscures who has won or lost on particular issues. The circumstances is problematical by the fact that MEPs are like members of any national parliament confronted with a fundamental date of rol es, specifically that of the competent co-legislator versus the representative of the interests of the people who elected him/her. The previous requires expertness and knowledge and complicated negotiations within the committee and with representatives of the EU institutions. The concluding requires changeless contact with the EU citizens. The burden of committee work will require more time and effort of MEPs, making it more difficult to tend to the interests of the potential voter With the growth in the EPs legislative tasks. Concluding notesThe echt authority of the EP is at least partly based on the work of its committees. In shaping EU legislation they play a vital role. This becomes noticeable when taking a final look at what EP committees achieveOperation of economization From an improved familiarity with the subject, EP committees make processing of a growing workload possible and benefit. To cope with its increasing legislative workload, committees play a vital role in th e EPs quest. This improved burden for committees has not led to a slowing down of the decision-making process. Information acquisition This improved familiarity of committee members with particular issues leads to improved specialization, thereby increase the confidence of non-committee members in the work of the committee. It has found that the EP committees constitute an important arena for the communication of interests. MEPs can use a rising pool of expertise from members of the Committee Secretariat on the one hand and on the other hand representatives of interests groups or NGOs.Co-ordination Committee members are selected on a cross-party basis and through different means throughout the political groups, procedural rules, and bargaining. The political groups within the EP have found different means to maximize their influence within committees, for instance by appointing shadow rapporteurs and group co-ordinators. Committees however provide an arena for the political groups to deliberate in order to find the necessary majorities, something not possible in plenary sessions. Input of smaller political groups committee membership provides a documentary chance for representatives of smaller political groups in certain instances for example the super acid/EFA to take part in the shaping of legislation, by appointing the rapporteur for example. Consensus-building The EP committee bodily structure can give to consensus-building by providing an arena for detailed deliberation, which is not possible in plenary. It has found that divisions in committees are very issue-specific, and it must be noted that the committee lead very often plays an integrative role. furtherance Committee meetings are usually open to the public and also the media. Committees permit members and committee chairs in particular to make publicity, at least when controversial topics such as the BSE crisis are on the agenda. Beyond this categorization, this provides an overview of how EP c ommittees interlock rather more normative, conclusions. The Standing Committees and the EP operate in a very different environment than the committees in national parliaments, a key rest being the lack of a European government directly accountable to the EP and the unique forms of decision-making in the multi-level system of European governance. In this process of relations with other EU institutions, remarkably the Council and the Commission, the EP committees play a vital role. The EPs work environment brings order and structure by the committee-based division of labor.Committees present force out and structural resources which build up the negotiating position of the EP vis--vis the Council, for instance in the co-decision process. live players in committees for example group co-ordinators, chairmen and rapporteurs not only contribute to cohesiveness and coherence within committees, but play a very important role in finding useful solutions to problems, so raising the commit tees issue significantly. It has found that key players are often appointed due to their expertise in the particular policy area, which is sometimes gained throughout work within the industry previous to their parliamentary career. This and the fact that they can use a growing pool of expertise enhances their standing vis--vis other institutions. It is also found that political actors who have acquired experience with these very specific forms of inter-institutional negotiations are selected to deal with co-decision, thus contributing to the level of trust and coherence, particularly during conciliation. By the negotiations this is illustrated which dealt with the SOCRATES programme, the revision of the directive on open network provisions regarding voice telephone where the rapporteur was re-appointed, and the Fifth Framework Programme. Committees enlarge accountability of the EP as much as their meetings are usually open to the public and committee documents for instance draft re ports are rather freely available. By meeting visiting groups and outlay a large part of the working week in their constituencies, i.e. Member States Committee members also try to build up the link to EU citizens. Moreover committees enable effective communication of relevant (citizen) interests to those involved in the process of governance. Contact with lobbyists has normally become part of the daily origin of committee members. In spite of these positive aspects, EP committees can do pocket-sized to alleviate general structural deficits regarding accountability and legitimacy within the multi-level system, such as the lack of a European government, which is directly accountable to the EP.