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The European Council, in agreement with the European Union Parliament, has adopted a regulation laying down new rules for the control by member states of the Commission’s exercise of its implementing powers. This new regulation will enter into force from March 1 2011. It aims to put article 291 of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union (TFEU) into practice and it replaces the previous Council decision 1999/468 on the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission. This new agreement means that implementing powers are conferred on the Commission where uniform conditions for implementing legally binding EU acts by the member states are needed.

Delegated acts as provided for in article 290 of TFEU cover almost the same type of measures as those adopted so far under the “regulatory procedure with scrutiny” which the Council introduced into the “comitology” decision in 2006. Thus, EU legislators may delegate to the Commission the power to supplement or amend certain non-essential elements of a legislative act.  They may also decide to revoke this delegation or to object to a delegated act.

Two new procedures, an advisory and an examination procedure will be implemented by the new regulation. The advisory procedure applies as a general rule for the adoption of implementing acts in other fields. The Commission must take the utmost account of the committee’s opinions, which are adopted by a simple majority. The examination procedure applies in particular for the adoption of measures of general scope and specific measures with a potentially important impact. It aims to ensure that the Commission’s implementing acts are supported by a qualified majority of the committee. However, if a negative opinion is delivered, the Commission may either submit its draft act to an appeal committee for further discussions or amend the text. If the examination procedure committee does not deliver an opinion, the Commission may adopt the draft act under certain conditions.  The new procedures will be run with the help of committees composed of the representatives of the member states and chaired by the Commission. The Commission must also try to find solutions that receive the widest possible support of these committees.