The Jean Monnet Program


Propose and have adopted the European APA and apply it in full to current committee procedures



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Propose and have adopted the European APA and apply it in full to current committee procedures.249 This poses no problems in the light of the Treaty and could have the positive effect of obliging the Commission to forward proposals for measures not only to Parliament but to the public by publishing them in the Official Journal, with an invitation to submit comments to which it would have to reply, without being bound by them in terms of the outcome. The Council would have the same obligations, if, after discussions in the committee, it decided to modify the content of the Commission's proposal. Interested groups would thus be able to participate in the administrative procedure, which would allow them first, to express their ideas, and second, to bring informed actions before the ECJ for infringement of essential procedural requirements (under the APA)250 and for manifest error of appraisal (minimum check on legality) if they are directly and individually affected. It goes without saying that they could always contest the substance before the national courts after the adoption of the implementing measures.

The committee procedure would have everything to gain in terms of credibility, as would Community regulation.


The combined proposal would consist in setting up specialised offices and applying the European APA to them. This would circumvent the constitutional problem, simplifying and enhancing the regulatory process. The transition to a fully fledged system of agencies would become even easier. This would form an interim system allowing attitudes to change with a view to introducing the definitive solution.251
Finally, the existence of a central European authority for the adoption, implementation and enforcement of regulatory commitments in certain areas is perhaps more important than the location of this authority. It is essential that agencies should exist; inside or outside the Commission is secondary. In this respect, the proposal of a European network of national regulators must be further explored.252 It is a simple formula, not presupposing any delegation of authority and consequently without any institutional implications. It has also the advantage of being operational in all the cases. It responds to the necessity of an europeanization of the regulatory process, without any centralization movement.

To link up with the premises set out at the very beginning of this paper, let us go back over them again. The EU has an unwritten constitution in the form of the Treaties and the Community method born of their application. It is an original creation, which is both noble and functional; noble, because adherence to its philosophy is voluntary, and functional, because it has generated a vast and successful integration process. It must be preserved and adapted to new realities. The process of regulation is one such area that requires adaptation. There are others that the IGC will attempt to resolve with a view to enlargement. There are still others that the White Paper on governance will highlight, including the crucial problem, connected with this paper, of opening the EU to its citizens and improving public dialogue. A number of proposals are already on the table. They should gradually be implemented, beginning with the easiest to introduce and moving on to the more difficult, which will require an amendment of the Treaties.


For all these reasons, I would be happy if these considerations could make a modest contribution to the current debate, all the more so if all involved could agree that the EU's Institutions need not only an administrative facelift to move on, but also far‑reaching structural changes.




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