QI – Nobody Knows?

The “European Parliament Legislative Resolution” is the outcome of the raft of amendments submitted by MEPs to the European Commission’s proposal for a regulation on the approval and market surveillance of two- or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles.

These amendments were finally voted on in the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) committee on the 5th December 2011.

This document is the basis of the European Parliament’s position to the European Commission’s proposal for a First Reading in Parliament which is scheduled for the 19th April 2012.

This document has been forwarded to the Council (representatives of the governments of the Member States), the European Commission and the national parliaments.

Informal negotiations known as trilogues are presently taking place between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission sorting any difference of opinions to the submitted resolution for a first reading.

The IMCO is carrying out its own Impact Assessment on amendments, specifically in relation to: Moving the ABS introduction date forward by a year; Extending ABS cover to Powered Two Wheelers more than 50cc; Earlier introduction of On Board Diagnostics II (OBD II).

We consider the Impact Assessment in the procedures to be advantageous and it should be allowed to run its course and not be used as part of any tactics calling for the Parliamentary vote to be delayed

In the UK we are waiting for DfT (Department for Transport) to publish the outcome of its public consultation on the UK’s impact assessment of the Commission’s proposal.

Now What?

This is where we are at the moment in the process of decision making in the Legislative Procedure, but what of the published resolution, the agreed amendments, the text?

To get a handle on the “European Parliament Legislative Resolution” document we compared this to the previously submitted amendments (304 of them) and our own document – AMATEUR BIKE BUILD – BRUSSELS STYLE July 2011 – just to see what amendments were accepted and also amendments which may have been submitted at a late stage and made it through the vote.

To put these amendments in context, we checked through the original European Commission proposal from October 2010, bearing in mind that some of the amendments are deletions of text from the original proposal.

The problem is that the text in some of the amendments and indeed in the original proposal from the European Commission is open to interpretation, or refers to delegated acts (technical and implementation requirements) that are still in discussion.

As we reported in April last year, this EU Commission proposal is the first to be dealt with since the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty which includes these Delegated Acts.

In our opinion, this is a test case. Put simply, part of implementation of this proposal is all about Parliament and the Commission marking their territories in who has the “power” over European Legislation.

While these delegated Acts seem to be out of sync with any rational decision making, the proposal has been presented, MEPs have voted through their amendments, negotiations are taking place between Parliament – Council – European Commission – the EU Parliament is to vote on the proposal while these delegated acts are in draft format and being discussed within a separate stakeholders working group (MCWG).

This is the system of decision making that is in place.

There are different ways of getting to grips with this process and challenging this proposal. You can

  • work through the system, with the risk of being accused of becoming part of it;
  • take a position from the outside commenting on the flaws of the system and trying to beat it down;
  • or try to do both as a balancing act

At Right To Ride we prefer the first option, because years of experience has taught us that direct confrontation and discussion with legislators is more effective and there is more chance that they will actually listen.

Lobby

Certainly if you have the urge, write to your MEP and ask for his/her opinion on the European Commission’s proposal, their own position and what their political groups position is on the “European Parliament Legislative Resolution” document – A7-0445/2011.

What many have not really appreciated about the European Parliament and MEPs is that although they are allowed to vote individually, as a rule of thumb, it is common practice for MEPs to vote along Group lines.

For example within the IMCO there is the rapporteur Wim van de Camp from the EPP (European People’s Party) and shadow rapporteurs each representing their own group, as a consequence, the voting positions within the IMCO Committee were taken along Group lines.

When writing to your MEPs, we suggest that you ask them what their position is but also what their Group position is.

As mentioned, nobody knows what will be presented for a First Reading in the EU Parliament, scheduled for April 19th (which could be postponed until May), whether there will be agreement at the First Reading or the procedure moves into a Second Reading or even to a conciliation procedure with a Third Reading.

Until the text is published for a First Reading, we should keep questioning what is being proposed.

Read this article in full and download the document on specific issues at Right To Ride EU –Click Here

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