The Commission proposes to update trade legislation procedures: the Omnibus II proposal
The Commission today took the second step to update the way decisions on trade policy are adopted in the EU. This follows changes brought about in the Lisbon Treaty and the adoption of new legislation governing EU decision-making, the so-called "Comitology Regulation", that entered into force on 1 March. Once adopted by the Council and the European Parliament, today’s proposal will improve democratic scrutiny in a broad range of trade legislation where the decision-making procedures are based on the 1999 comitology decision.
Why are changes needed?
Omnibus II reflects the changes brought about by the Lisbon Treaty that requires an update in the way a broad range of trade legislation is adopted. It introduces "delegated powers" which are granted to the Commission to set out technical requirements for, and to adjust existing legislation, provided they do not touch the core of the legislation agreed by the Council and Parliament. Under the new rules, the delegation may be revoked by the Council or Parliament and the Council or Parliament may object the exercise of the delegated power in specific circumstances. The Omnibus II proposal reviews whether procedures currently based on the 1999 comitology decision should be converted into delegated powers.
The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission agreed that trade policy would be subject to the standard procedures for the control of the Commission's implementing acts and delegated acts where appropriate. This was part of the agreement on Regulation 182/2011 of 16 February 2011 governing the Commission's exercise of implementing powers. As part of the agreement, the Commission agreed to review all existing legislation and to propose amendments where necessary. The adoption of the Omnibus II proposal completes the Commission's work on this review as far as trade policy is concerned.
A similar review is being prepared in different policy areas.
What is different about this proposal "Omnibus II"?
The Omnibus I proposal reviewed whether procedures currently not based on the 1999 comitology decision should be converted into implementing powers or delegated acts. Implementing powers are needed where decisions to implement rules established in basic regulations are required, while delegated acts supplement or amend the basic regulation itself.
The Omnibus II proposal reviews whether procedures currently based on the 1999 comitology decision should be converted into delegated powers. Delegated powers are granted to the Commission to supplement or amend legislation. This delegation may be revoked by the Council or Parliament and they may reject the exercise of the delegated power when it is actually exercised.
What legislation will the Omnibus II proposal affect?
The proposal covers 10 regulations in total and includes
-Instruments governing textile and steel trade,
-the Regulation establishing the EU's Generalised System of Preferences,
-the Economic Partnership Agreement Market Access Regulation,
-the regulation preventing trade diversion of certain key medicines,
-a number of regulations managing bilateral agreements and,
-a regulation managing trade sanctions imposed against the United States.
The Commission proposes to modify the procedures for the adoption of legal decisions taken under these regulations but does not propose to amend the substance of these regulations. In this proposal, the Commission proposes to introduce a number of procedures for the adoption of delegated acts.
What does it mean for decisions taken before this new legislation enters into force?
All decisions taken between now and the entry into force of the new procedures remain valid.
What are the next steps?
This proposal will now be discussed with the Council and the European Parliament and adopted according to the co-decision procedure.
For further information