Indeed, the Commission will put in hold delegated acts and implementing acts under the regulatory procedure with scrutiny during the European elections period.
Delegated acts and draft measures adopted under the regulatory procedure with scrutiny (RPS) are acts of European secondary legislation whose approval by the Commission can be subsequently vetoed by the European Parliament and the Council. In view of next year European elections, this vetoing capacity will be hindered during the recess period of the Parliament.
For this reason, the European Commission has drafted an agreement on the withholding of delegated acts and draft measures adopted under RPS during the European election recess period in 2019. This draft agreement is based on a 2016 Common Understanding on delegated acts, and a 2008 Interinstitutional Agreement on measures adopted under RPS, which provides for recesses during winter and summer periods, and also European elections.
When adopted, the agreement will establish that, after the recess, which starts on 15 March 2019, the Commission will not formally transmit any delegated act or draft measures adopted under RPS to the European Parliament or the Council. This period will come to an end and, thus, the acts will be transmitted again: (i) on 10 July 2019, for final draft measures under RPS; (ii) on 18 July 2019, for delegated acts; and (iii), finally, on 26 August 2019 for certain delegated acts in the area of financial services.
Nonetheless, delegated acts adopted under the urgency procedure will not be subject to the recess. The same applies to the measures adopted under the regulatory procedure that fall within the urgency procedure. Other special cases involving a specific deadline set out by an EU legal act may also take place. This being the case, the Commission will inform the Parliament and the Council by the end of January 2019 of all the cases in which such an occurrence could arise.
Around the same time, the Commission will compile all delegated acts and draft measures adopted under RPS which are planned to be adopted between 18 February and 23 August 2019 and will sent the list to the Parliament and the Council. By so-doing, secretariats of both institutions will have time to prepare themselves for the delegated acts which will be adopted shortly before the recess period and for those which will be adopted during the recess period but will only formally be transmitted after it. For these latter acts, the Commission will informally send them to the Parliament and the Council upon adoption.
In order to avoid unnecessary delays, for these acts, the European Parliament and the Council will endeavour to avoid an extension of the objection period while recognising that in some specific cases, an extension might nevertheless be needed. The Parliament and the Council will endeavour to decide before the expiry of the objection period that they will not object.
Finally, note that the recess period will not be applied to implementing acts. The committee secretariats will continue to receive all drafts for implementing measures through the comitology register.
To recall, comitology represents more than 90% of the legislative activity of the EU reaching around 2.500 acts per year.
Our Managing-Partner, Emiliano Alonso, devotes a chapter to Comitology in his book El lobby en la Unión Europea. Manual del buen uso de Bruselas (Madrid, 2016). You can find the last edition of the book (2016) here and, if you have questions with that regard, do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at +32(0)2 230 70 42.