Frequently Asked Questions

What is "comitology"?
What are "comitology committees"?
How are comitology committees set up?
How do comitology committees work?
What are the different types of comitology procedures?
What is the role of the European Parliament and Council?
What is the appeal committee?
What does the comitology register contain?
What happens to my "document request"?
How is data on committees managed?
Who manages the comitology register?

What is comitology?

The term "comitology" is shorthand for the way the Commission exercises the implementing powers conferred on it by the EU legislator, with the assistance of committees of representatives from the EU Member States.

The Commission departments submit draft implementing acts to the "comitology committees" in order to obtain their opinion.

See the Regulation No 182/2011 External Link of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission's exercise of implementing powers (in force since 1 March 2011).

What are comitology committees?

"Comitology committees" assist the Commission in executing its implementing powers by giving an opinion on draft implementing measures before they are adopted.

They include representatives from all EU Member States and are chaired by a Commission official.

How are comitology committees set up?

Comitology committees are set up on the basis of regulations, directives or decisions by the EU legislator ("basic legal acts") to assist the Commission in exercising its implementing powers.

The "basic legal act" defines the content and scope of the implementing powers and determines the type of comitology procedure to be applied in each case.

How do comitology committees work?

Each committee adopts its own rules of procedure based on the Standard Rules of Procedure External Link adopted by the Commission.

Most committees meet several times a year in Commission premises (usually in Brussels).

Before each meeting, the Commission sends out the invitation, the agenda and the draft implementing act to the national authorities. After the meeting, the Commission publishes the voting results and the summary record of the meeting in the Comitology Register.

What are the different types of comitology procedures?

Under the Comitology Regulation, the committees use two types of procedures. The choice of procedure for a committee is made by the EU legislator, depending on the nature of the implementing powers, in the basic legal act:

  • examination and
  • advisory

Moreover, the regulatory procedure with scrutiny, based on Article 5a of the Comitology Decision External Link of 1999, as amended in 2006, is still applied for all basic legal acts which make reference to it.

What is the role of the European Parliament and Council?

Only the Member States have a role to play in controlling how the Commission exercises its implementing powers. The European Parliament and the Council have for all procedures a general right of information as regards the activities of the Committees as well as a right to scrutinize draft implementing acts based on legislation decided jointly by the Parliament and Council (i.e. via the ordinary legislative procedure External Link).

What is the appeal committee?

In some specific cases, the Commission can refer a draft implementing act to the "appeal committee" (in particular, where the committee which was consulted according to the basic legal act voted against the draft).

The appeal committee is chaired by the Commission. It is a comitology committee, albeit of a higher level of representation. It provides the opportunity to reconsider the draft implementing act or to make changes if need be.

What does the comitology register contain?

The Comitology Register contains a list of all comitology committees as well as background information and documents relating to the work of each committee.

The Register includes, inter alia, the following documents:

  • Agendas of committee meetings
  • Draft implementing acts submitted to committees (where, in some cases, these are not yet made public, only the reference thereto is provided)
  • The results of voting
  • Summary records of the meetings and the lists of authorities representing the Member States
  • Where relevant, other related documents, which are discussed at Committee meetings

Documents prior to 2008 are available from the old comitology register.

Most documents can be directly downloaded.

What happens to my "Document request"?

You can request documents which are not downloadable directly from the Register.

The request will be sent to the Commission department responsible for the document. That department will contact you by e-mail, usually enclosing the document.

More information on your right of access to documents External Link.

How is data on committees managed?

The data entered by the Commission department acting as secretariat for the committee includes

  • the basic legal act(s) to be implemented
  • the link to EurLex (database of legislation, etc)
  • the type of committee procedure used.

The data is checked by the Secretariat General (unit responsible for Institutional Issues).

Who manages the REGISTER OF COMITOLOGY?

The register is monitored by the Secretariat General (unit responsible for Institutional Issues).

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