Table of Contents

EU Administrative Governance

EU Administrative Governance

Edited by Herwig C.H. Hofmann and Alexander H. Türk

This book is a unique contribution to the understanding of the reality of government and governance in the European Union (EU).

Chapter 13: Comitology and the Courts: Tales of the Unexpected

Kieran St. C. Bradley

Subjects: law - academic, european law


Kieran St. C. Bradley I INTRODUCTION: ‘BUT WHY IS COMITOLOGY INTERESTING ?’ In some quarters, eyes glaze over, feet shuffle and fingers scuttle discreetly towards the nearest unattended paperclip at the mere mention of the word ‘comitology’. This is a pity, when it is not actually a mistake. After all, while primary legislation determines what should happen in principle, secondary legislation adopted under a comitology procedure frequently determines what really happens in fact. Can it be of no interest to practising politicians, for example, to know how the policy they have so carefully crafted is turned into concrete action? How could the student of political science be indifferent to the impact of comitology on the distribution of powers amongst the institutions, and between these and the Member States?1 Will not the historian be enthralled by the story of the most significant, enduring and often controversial organic development in the decisionmaking structures originally laid down in the Treaties? Be that as it may, the interest for the lawyer is clear enough. Literally hundreds of legally binding decisions are taken each year under comitology procedures, many of which very directly affect the well-being and interests of citizens and economic operators. The somewhat random selection of subjects thrown up by the Court cases considered in the present chapter includes such matters as the free movement of third country nationals, the presence of genetically modified ingredients in organic foods and of veterinary medicines in animal foodstuffs, the maximum allowable concentration...

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