Note on Regulatory procedure with scrutiny (RPS)

In 2006 the parliament gained new powers (under "comitology") to monitor the implementation of legislative measures adopted under co-decision - known as the Regulatory procedure with scrutiny (RPS). The parliament can block implementing measures where they exceed the implementing measures provided for in the basic instrument or "do not respect the principles of subsidiarity or proportionality". These quasi-legislative powers when implementing a measure can be simple or contentious - one such example happened in the uniform visa format comitology working group discussing the age at which children should be fingerprinted.

This Comitology Decision affected the "entire existing acquis" so the Commission produced, for the parliament to consider, a "priority list" of 27 acts plus 225 legislative acts to be adapted in the period 2004-2009 - these included 46 acts where the Commission sought to amend the substance of the basic act. Overall "around" 300 acts now provide for RPS and this led to 154 RPS draft implementing measures being sent to the parliament and a parliament report said that only in a "very few cases" have the draft measures been opposed.

The volume of the additional scrutiny tasks expected to be undertaken by the parliament raises the consistent complaint of the lack of resources available for the whole co-decision process yet again.

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