CCS Wire

Parliament has changed its internal rules to give itself greater procedural flexibility when introducing legislative amendments to certain “re-cast” proposals that do not already have Commission support.

In a change to Rule 80a via the Corbett Report this week (Wed 6 May), which helps to apply the so-called re-cast technique to new or amended legislation, Parliament agreed that lead committees would in effect be free in the future to propose amendments, even in circumstances where the Commission had earlier wished to prevent them. The changes also bring Parliament’s own rules closer into line with the flexibility already existing in the 2001 inter-institutional agreement on the same topic.

The rules change is a consequence of disputes earlier this year regarding the proposed introduction of power plant CO2 standards into the new Industrial Emissions framework law. Environment Committee chairman Miroslav Ousky (in January) and Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering (in March) both blocked progressive climate amendments on the grounds that they did not at that stage have the support of the Commission.

So Parliament’s dilemma, in which kow-towing to the Commission weakens its own democratic mandate and discussion of which occupied 20 mins of plenary voting time on 10 March, has now led to a constructive outcome that will make it easier for MEPs and others to pursue CO2 standards during subsequent stages of the proposal after the summer.

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Procedural rules are an archane topic, I know, but this one is still important (I believe) in re moves for a European law on power plant CO2 standards. If you have any questions, e.g. re the details or links and refs, post them below and I’ll be happy to reply. Similarly, if you disagree with the changes, we can also discuss it below. If you don’t wish to reveal your professional identity, e.g. if you are an EU official, you might use a psydonym.

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