Primary responsibility for implementing EU law lies with EU countries. However, in areas where uniform conditions for implementation are needed (taxation, agriculture, the internal market, health and food safety, etc.), the Commission (or exceptionally the Council) adopts an implementing act.
How are implementing acts adopted?
Before the Commission can adopt an implementing act, it must usually consult a committee in which every EU country is represented.
The committee enables EU countries to oversee the Commission's work as it adopts an implementing act – a procedure referred to in EU jargon as ‘comitology’.
As part of the Commission's better regulation agenda, citizens and other stakeholders can provide feedback on the draft text of an implementing act for 4 weeks before the relevant committee votes to accept or reject it. There are some exceptions, for example in case of emergency or when citizens and stakeholders have already contributed. More details in the better regulation toolbox.
An overview of the feedback gathered is presented to the committee, and the resulting discussion is included in the summary record, which is published in the comitology register.
The Commission adopts them on the basis of a delegation granted in the text of an EU law, in this case a legislative act.
The Commission's power to adopt delegated acts is subject to strict limits:
- the delegated act cannot change the essential elements of the law
- the legislative act must define the objectives, content, scope and duration of the delegation of power
- Parliament and Council may revoke the delegation or express objections to the delegated act
How are delegated acts adopted?
The Commission prepares and adopts delegated acts after consulting expert groups, composed of representatives from each EU country, which meet on a regular or occasional basis.
As part of the Commission's better regulation agenda, citizens and other stakeholders can provide feedback on the draft text of a delegated act during a 4‑week period. There are some exceptions, for example in case of emergency or when citizens and stakeholders have already contributed. More details in the better regulation toolbox.
Once the Commission has adopted the act, Parliament and Council generally have 2 months to formulate any objections. If they do not, the delegated act enters into force.
Adopted acts contain an 'explanatory memorandum' summarising the feedback received and how it was used.
A new Interinstitutional Register of Delegated Acts was launched in December 2017. It provides a complete view of the lifecycle of delegated acts and allows users to subscribe in order to receive notifications about the files of their interest. The Register is available in all the EU languages.