02 MAR 2011
By Andrew Willis
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Member states and interest groups stand to lose considerable power to the European Commission under new rules surrounding the implementation of EU legislation, experts on the subject say.
The rules, which come into force on Tuesday (1 March), are designed to overhaul decision-making in the 300-odd EU committees that vote on the detailed implementation of EU laws - a procedure known as 'comitology'.
Through ratification of the EU's Lisbon Treaty, member states handed greater control over hundreds of daily decisions such as food labeling and trade-protection measures to the commission, Daniel Gueguen, a leading public affairs consultant, told EUobserver.
"The reason why the new system will be worse is its increasing complexity. The commission gets more power to the detriment of member states and lobbyists," said Mr Guéguen, the author of a recent book on the subject.
Asked whether the move amounted to an intentional power-grab by the commission, Mr Guéguen said: "There is no doubt. It's not official but in practice yes. They are the only people who have the time to understand the complexity of the issues. The European Parliament may think it is getting more power but in practice it will not."
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