COMMONS

Margaret Beckett discusses EU decision making

29 April 2016

European Scrutiny Committee is looking at decisions in the European Council, where national ministers from each EU country meet to agree EU laws.

Witness

Wednesday 4 May 2016, Committee Room 15, Palace of Westminster

At 2.15pm

Purpose of session

The Committee is asking people with direct experience of Council negotiations how these play out in practice, how much ministerial input there is into the system, and whether there is sufficient accountability at national level in the process.

Background

Most EU laws, which are proposed by the European Commission, have to be agreed by both the European Parliament and the Council, which is made up of Ministers from Member States. The Council publishes its agendas, meets in public when it deliberates and votes on draft laws and publishes the outcome of votes on draft laws. Nonetheless much negotiation and discussion of the detail is taken outside these public proceedings, by the Council’s preparatory bodies in private meetings (with technical discussions starting in Working Groups and advancing to the most senior preparatory body - the Committee of Permanent Representatives to the EU, known as Coreper).

Further information

Image: Parliamentary copyright

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