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The comitology procedures focus too much on institutional balance, and not enough on deliberation. Discuss.

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Introduction

"The comitology procedures focus too much on institutional balance, and not enough on deliberation." Discuss. Comitology became an important part of Community decision-making as a result of the increased workload of the Council in implementing all measures themselves. It is governed by Comitology Decision which outlines different procedures in order to ensure that the Commission is acting intra vires. There have been many arguments and criticisms about the democratic legitimacy of this process. In this essay, I will outline the comitology procedures and examine the reforms to the Comitology Decision in determining whether the procedures focus too much on institutional balance and not enough on deliberation. Comitology procedures Although the term comitology also refers to the study of committees and how they operate1, comitology in the European Union sense derives its meaning from comity rather than committee. Comitology is, the "system of procedures involving committees, made up of representatives from Member States and chaired by the Commission,"2 aimed to "enhance legitimacy, rationality and effectiveness of decision-making"3 which are delegated to the Commission. This is a response to "compensate the Council's lack of capacity to implement all measures itself since the 1960s"4. Committees are, therefore, established to "keep an eye on delegated legislation"5 and enables Member States to ensure "their continuing influence over Community decision-making"6. Even though the "first comitology procedure dates back to 1962"7, it wasn't until 19878 that the Council adopted the first Comitology Decision which lays down the "committee procedures to be applied where implementing powers are delegated to the Commission"9. ...read more.

Middle

We see that the reforms, especially the 2006 decision, focus mainly on the inclusion of the European Parliament in decision-making. It was a response to the continuing dissatisfaction of the little role the Parliament, the only directly elected body, played. It was argued that the inclusion of the Parliament under the 2006 decision "increases the democratic legitimacy of 'quasi legislative' measures and thus contributes to a better acceptance of European legislation by citizens".20 This leads onto the question of whether the comitology procedures do not focus enough on deliberation. Too little on deliberation? The concept of deliberative democracy was most notably used by J. Habermas who argued that people only accept laws in democracies because they have had an active role in the debates which led to the adoption of laws. It is, therefore, the process of deliberation that "enables strangers to come together to decide matters of common interest as free and equals"21. It is worth noting that it is difficult to come to a conclusion of what qualifies as enough deliberation. Nonetheless, there are several ways which would indicate a deliberative democracy. These include the "assessment of transparency, openness"22 and whether the structure promotes "a communicative, co-operative mode of problem-solving"23. I have already pointed out that the level of transparency has been improved from the 1999 Decision which had created public access to records of the committees. However, there is still question as to the level of public participation within these decision-making. ...read more.

Conclusion

Vos, "Institutioanl Frameworks of Community Health and Safety Legislation" (1999, Hart, Oxford) pg 122 10 E. Vos, "Institutioanl Frameworks of Community Health and Safety Legislation" (1999, Hart, Oxford) pg 125 11 Article 3, 99/468/EC 12 D.Chalmers, C. Hadjiemmanuil, G. Monti, A. Tomkins, "European Union Law" (2006, Cambridge University Press) pg 160 13 G. Schusterschitz & S. Kotz, "The Comitology Reform of 2006. Increasing the Powers of the European Parliament without Changing the Treaties" (2007) 3 European Consitutional Law Review 74 14 G. Schusterschitz & S. Kotz, "The Comitology Reform of 2006. Increasing the Powers of the European Parliament without Changing the Treaties" (2007) 3 European Consitutional Law Review pg 68 15 87/373EC 16 99/468/EC 17 D.Chalmers, C. Hadjiemmanuil, G. Monti, A. Tomkins, "European Union Law" (2006, Cambridge University Press) pg 165 18 G. Schusterschitz & S. Kotz, "The Comitology Reform of 2006. Increasing the Powers of the European Parliament without Changing the Treaties" (2007) 3 European Consitutional Law Review 89 19 Ibid. 20 G. Schusterschitz & S. Kotz, "The Comitology Reform of 2006. Increasing the Powers of the European Parliament without Changing the Treaties" (2007) 3 European Consitutional Law Review 89 21 D.Chalmers, C. Hadjiemmanuil, G. Monti, A. Tomkins, "European Union Law" (2006, Cambridge University Press) pg 175 22 Joerges & Vos (eds), "EU Committees" (1999, Hart) Chapter 18 by J. Weiler pg 347 23 Ibid, Chapter 17 by C. Joerges pg 318 24 Ibid pg 319 25 Ibid, Chapter 18 by J. Weiler pg 345 26 Ibid, Chapter 17 by C. Joerges pg 320 27 Treaty of Maastricht 1992 28 Joerges & Vos (eds), "EU Committees" (1999, Hart) Chapter 17 by C. Joerges pg 324 ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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