Addressing the Strasbourg plenary today, UKIP MEP William Dartmouth
said Article 290 of the Lisbon treaty, which allows parliamentarians to delegate legislative power to the Commission, "amounts to a further transfer of power from the elected parliament to the unelected Commission."
Lord Dartmouth was speaking during the reading of the Szájer Report on the power of legislative delegation
, adopted last month by the Legal Affairs Committee.
"Our interpretation of Article 290 is that this gives the Commission the opportunity to supplement or amend legislation," Lord Dartmouth told parliamentarians. "Such an opportunity is far-ranging and wide-sweaping, and is open to almost unlimited interpretation. We would argue that the safeguards for the inappropriate use of the powers thereby delegated to the Commission are clearly insufficient."
"The elitist construct that is the EU has a democratic deficit that has increased, is increasing, and after the Lisbon Treaty will increase further," Lord Dartmouth said. "Article 290 is a product of the illegitimate Lisbon treaty."
Article 290 (TFEU) provides parliamentarians with the possibility to delegate their legislative power to the Commission in a legislative act. According to the Report, this is meant to speed up the process and ensure that the legislation remains simple "without needing to have recourse to repeated legislative procedures, which could be disproportionately cumbersome and take up an inordinate amount of time."
The Lisbon treaty, effective since 1 December 2009, introduces the concept of a 'legislative act', incorporating laws and framework laws. This is defined in Art. 289(3) TFEU as "a legal act adopted by legislative procedure" as opposed to "non-legislative acts", which include regulations, decisions, recommendations and opinions.