MEPs dangerously pushing legislation out of public view and hampering transparency
13/12/2016 15:42 - webmaster
Smaller political groups, most of which are Eurosceptic, will have less ability to make amendments to the laws that impact on peoples’ lives...This shows Federalist contempt for the electorates of Europe." - UKIP Leader Paul Nuttall MEP
• Responding to the passing of the Corbett Report in the European Parliament today in Strasbourg, UKIP leader Paul Nuttall said:
“This is an explosively dangerous move by the big groups in the European Parliament because it reduces the public visibility of important legislative votes and transfers huge amounts of decision-making power to behind closed doors.
“Though on the surface, a technical report, it will mean that more and more legislation will be fast-tracked without proper public deliberation onto so-called Trilogue meetings of the Commission, Council and Parliament.“There will be less votes in public view, and smaller political groups, most of which are Eurosceptic, will have less ability to make amendments to the laws that impact on peoples’ lives. Eurosceptic groups will thus be denied an even playing field and a fair book of rules. This shows Federalist contempt for the electorates of Europe."
Summary: Report on the general revision of Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Bad for smaller groups
- Political group support can only be applied through the medium and higher thresholds, i.e at least 1/10th of Parliament (75 MEPs)
- Amendment to rule 199 will block an EFDD seat on 2 committees, one relevant for Brexit.
- Election to chairs of committee should be fairer using the D'hondt system
- Minimum of 40 signatories needed to table amendments, alternative motion for resolution, inadmissibility of an agenda item, referral back to committee etc.
Transparency & Trilogue
- The EFDD group put through an amendment asking that all votes be held by RCV, this was rejected and voting to be done by show of hands unless the President decides to use electronic vote.
- Trilogue – only documents intended to be discussed in the Trilogue will be circulated to the negotiating team, if a provisional agreement is made then the documents will be made available to the committee and published.
- Trilogue negotiating team to comprise of Chair of committee (or Vice-Chair), at least shadow rapporteurs from each political group wishing to participate.
- Previously, negotiations with other institutions were done on a case by case basis, now under new rule 73(b) Where Parliament has adopted its position at first reading, this shall constitute the mandate for any negotiations with other institutions. Basically making it much easier.
- A prime example of Trilogue negotiations and a regulation coming back as a 1st reading is the Port Services Transparency Regulation. In March 2016 it was at Plenary for 1st Reading but was referred back for Trilogue negotiations. It is now back on the agenda this plenary following negotiations as a First Reading again.