The Role of Committees in the Policy-Process of the European Union

The Role of Committees in the Policy-Process of the European Union

Legislation, Implementation and Deliberation

Edited by Thomas Christiansen and Torbjörn Larsson

This book provides a comprehensive account of the role of the advisory, legislative and implementation committees involved in the policy-making process of the European Union. This is an aspect of EU politics that is often overlooked and remains under-researched, even though such committees can have wide-ranging influence in the policy-process.

Chapter 10: The Role of the European Court of Justice in the Area of Comitology

Alexander Türk

Subjects: law - academic, european law, politics and public policy, european politics and policy


Alexander Türk INTRODUCTION The evolutionary development of EC policy implementation has been driven by practical necessity and political arrangements rather than designed around any preconceived constitutional model (Hofmann and Türk, 2006). The huge volume of legal acts to be adopted, scientific and technical uncertainty in many areas and the need to deal quickly with unexpected circumstances made it necessary for the Council to confer implementing powers on the Commission on a large scale. At the same time the Member States wanted to retain some influence over the exercise of implementing powers by the Commission. Community acts delegating implementing powers to the Commission therefore provided that the Commission had to consult committees comprised of representatives of the Member States before adopting the necessary implementing rules.1 This system was soon referred to as ‘comitology’.2 The prominent role which comitology occupies in the implementation phase has confronted the Court of Justice with a multitude of legal problems, such as the definition and scope of implementing powers and the legitimacy of comitology committees to name just two. The answers to these questions were often not contained in the provisions of the E(E)C Treaty, but had to be developed by the Court of Justice. This chapter will discuss the case-law of the Court of Justice in the area of comitology in order to elucidate how the Court has regulated comitology and thus influenced the potential of comitology committees as arenas for interplay between formal and informal implementation...

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