Proceedings of European Parliament

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Ordinary legislative procedure

The ordinary legislative procedure gives the same weight to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union on a wide range of areas (for example, economic governance, immigration, energy, transport, the environment and consumer protection). The vast majority of European laws are adopted jointly by the European Parliament and the Council.

The codecision procedure was introduced by the Maastricht Treaty on European Union (1992), and extended and made more effective by the Amsterdam Treaty (1999). With the Lisbon Treaty that took effect on 1 December 2009, the renamed ordinary legislative procedure became the main legislative procedure of the EU´s decision-making system.

In the beginning, the 1957 Treaty of Rome gave Parliament an advisory role in the legislative process; the Commission proposed and the Council adopted legislation.

The Single European Act (1986) and the Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon Treaties successively extended Parliament's prerogatives. It can now co-legislate on equal footing with the Council in a vast majority of areas (see Ordinary legislative procedure) and consultation became a special legislative procedure (or even a non-legislative procedure) used in a limited number of cases.

This procedure is now applicable in a limited number of legislative areas, such as internal market exemptions and competition law. Parliament´s consultation is also required, as a non-legislative procedure, where international agreements are being adopted under the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).

Formerly know as the assent procedure, it was introduced by the 1986 Single European Act in two areas: association agreements and agreements governing accession to the European Union. The scope for the application of the procedure was extended by all subsequent modifications of the Treaties.

As a non-legislative procedure, it usually applies to the ratification of certain agreements negotiated by the European Union, or is applicable most notably in the cases of serious breach of fundamental rights under Article 7 Treaty on European Union (TEU) or for the accession of new EU members or arrangements for the withdrawal from the EU.

As a legislative procedure, it is to be used also when new legislation on combating discrimination is being adopted and it now gives the European Parliament a veto also when the subsidiary general legal basis is applied in line with Article 352 TFEU.

Alongside the main legislative procedures, there are other procedures carried out in Parliament in specific areas.

Opinion under Article 140 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (monetary union)

The Commission and the European Central Bank draw up reports for the Council on the progress in fulfilling their obligations as regards economic and monetary union of Member States with a derogation.After Parliament has delivered its opinion, the Council on the Commission's proposal, decides which Member States with a derogation fulfil the conditions for adoption of the single currency on the basis of the criteria laid down in Article 140(1) TFEU and ends these Member States' derogations. In this procedure, Parliament votes for the amendments en bloc and cannot table amendments.

Procedures relating to dialogue between management and labour

The Union's objectives include promotion of dialogue between the two sides of industry, with a view to the conclusion of agreements and conventions.Under Article 154 TFEU, the Commission has the task of promoting the consultation of management and labour at Union level and thus submits to Parliament possible guidelines for Union action after consulting the two sides of industry.

Any Commission document or any agreement between management and labour is referred to the Parliament committee responsible. Where management and labour have reached an agreement and have requested jointly that the agreement be implemented by a Council decision on a proposal from the Commission under Article 155(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the committee responsible shall table a motion for a resolution recommending the adoption or rejection of the request.

Procedures for the consideration of voluntary agreements

The Commission informs Parliament when it intends to make use of voluntary agreements rather than legislation. The committee concerned may draw up an own-initiative report under Rule 48. The Commission informs Parliament when it intends to conclude a voluntary agreement. The committee responsible may table a motion for a resolution recommending adoption or rejection of the proposal and under what conditions.

Codification

Official codification means the procedure to repeal the acts being codified and replacing them by a single act. The consolidated version includes all modifications since the act first came into force. It does not contain any modification to the substance of the act. Codification helps to clarify EU legislation that has undergone frequent modifications. Parliament's committee responsible for legal affairs examines the Commission's proposal for codification. If there is no modification of substance, the simplified procedure for adoption of a report under Rule 46 applies. Parliament shall take a decision by means of a single vote, without amendment or debate.

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