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The Ordinary Legislative Procedure and Secondary Acts

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________________ Introduction The paper will discuss briefly the 3 binding instruments of legislative and secondary acts, which are regulations, directives and decisions. This paper will also discuss the ordinary legislative procedure, outlining the process and the role of each institution. The focus then shifts to examine the two types of secondary acts mainly, delegated and implementing acts. This paper will also analyse the regime for the acts based on the language, showing that it?s more complex than it seems. An act of legislation may take form in 3 ways: Firstly, Article 288 TFEU provides that a Regulation shall have general application and be directly applicable to all member sates. They can be addressed to member states, companies and EU institutions. They become legally valid in the member states without any need for implementation. In fact, it is illegal for member states to try to implement it into national law as seen in the Variola case. They can be relied on by an individual or company against the state (vertical direct effect) or against another individual or company (horizontal direct effect). Secondly, Article 288 also specifies that Directives are binding as to the result to be achieved upon each member state to which it is addressed. Directives are particularly useful when the aim is to harmonise the laws within a certain area or to introduce complex legislative change, this is because discretion is left to member states as to how the directive is to be implemented. ...read more.


and (10) TFEU requires that, the president of the Council in agreement with the President of the European Parliament together with members or representatives of the Council and an equal number of representatives from the Parliament form a committee and are required to ?reach an agreement on a joint text? within six weeks of its being convened on the basis of the positions of the European parliament and the Council at the second reading (Art. 294(10) TFEU). The Committee is also required to reconcile both positions on the basis of examination of all aspects of the disagreement. An agreement is reached by a qualified majority vote of the representatives of the Parliament and the Council. The Commission is also required to take part in the conciliation committee?s proceedings and shall take all necessary initiatives with a view to reconcile the positions of the European Parliament and the Council (Art. 294(11) TFEU). At this stage the commission cannot withdraw its proposal. If the committee approves a joint text, the act gets adopted in a third reading by a majority of the votes in the European Parliament and by a qualified majority in the Council. If however, the committee fails to reach an agreement or one of the two institutions fails to approve the proposed act within six weeks, it is deemed not to have been adopted (Art. 294(12) and (13) TFEU). It is however important to note that even though no provision of this effect is contained in the Treaties or any other source of legislation, informal trilogue meetings take place between the Parliament, Council and the Commission before or after vote in the parliamentary committee responsible. ...read more.


The problem is to decide when an act is ?amends? or ?supplements? a legislative act; if it does so then it is a delegated act if it doesn?t then it?s an implementing act. The commission reasoned that ?amend? connoted those instances where there was a formal amendment to a basic instrument, which would then demand use of delegated acts. Also that whether a measure ?supplemented? the basic instrument was to assess whether the future measure specifically added non-essential rules which changed the structure of the legislative act. In practice, it becomes difficult to apply and interpret which is delegated or implementing (Craig, 2012). For example, there might be a complex primary act dealing with fishery and a secondary measure specifies in greater detail one part of the primary act relating to the requirement for the independent agencies that pay money pursuant to the primary regulation. Such measures will be adding something to the act but is what is being added, ?amending or supplementing the primary act? Some might say it is implementing while others might say it is delegating (Craig, 2012). Perhaps only the court can give the most practical distinction if and when it gets to face the question. In conclusion, this paper has briefly discussed regulations, directives and decisions as the 3 binding instruments of EU legislative acts, outlined the ordinary legislative procedure and role of each institution in the process. The paper has also examined delegated and implementing acts as the secondary acts and has analysed their complexity based on the language. ...read more.

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