Environment Committee Gains Right to Bring CAP Amendments to Plenary

The European Parliament building in Strasbourg. Photograph: © European Parliament

The Environment committee in the European Parliament has been given a greater say in the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). This includes the right to bring “amendments” (proposals) direct to the Plenary of the European parliament.

Yesterday (Thursday 5th June) the Conference of Presidents (essentially the leaders of the political groupings in the parliament) granted shared competence to the Environment committee over CAP.

This follows the recommendation to do so earlier in the week by an arbitration group in the Parliament – the CCC, or Conference of Committee Chairs, as we covered here on Tuesday (see article below).

CAP | Will Some Power be Wrestled away from Agri Committee this week?

What does this mean?

In practical terms, this now means that ENVI – the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety – is an associate committee to AGRI – the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development. Importantly, the ENVI Committee can now take amendments direct to Plenary. Amendments taken by full committee are considered to have more clout that amendments taken by individual MEPs.

Coordination is also to enhanced, timetables are to be agreed, and real efforts have to be made to come to agreements, based on acknowledged expertise in specific areas.Where uncertainty or disagreement exists, the Conference of Presidents (group leaders in the Parliament) have the final say.

ENVI Committee members will also be allowed to participate at CAP negotiations in EU Commission and member state level.

Why did this happen?

ENVI have been granted extra powers because the CCC and then the Conference of Presidents decided that Article 54 of the Parliament’s rules applies in this case ( and not article 53 or 53+). Article 54 applies “when the matter falls almost equally within the competence of two or more committees, or that different parts of the matter fall within the competence of two or more committees.”

Article 54 applies because of the increased rhetoric  – supposed focus – on environment and climate change in the CAP, as well as the public goods dimension to the CAP already in place since 2003.

For more on this, and on the AGRI reluctance to share (any) power, see this op-ed by Marco Contiero of Greenpeace EU from Tuesday.

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Here’s the text of Article 54

Article 54  in detail – (excluding technical point 1, available at link)

Article 54 of the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament (Associated committee procedure)

– the timetable shall be jointly agreed by the committees concerned;

– the rapporteurs concerned shall keep each other informed and shall endeavour to agree on the texts they propose to their committees and on their position regarding amendments;

– the Chairs and rapporteurs concerned are bound by the principle of good and sincere cooperation; they shall jointly identify areas of the text falling within their exclusive or shared competence and agree on the precise arrangements for their cooperation; in the event of disagreement about the delimitation of competences the matter shall be submitted, at the request of one of the committees involved, to the Conference of Presidents; the Conference of Presidents may decide on the question of the respective competences or decide that the joint committee procedure under Rule 55 is to apply; it shall take its decision in accordance with the procedure and within the deadline set out in Rule 201a;

– the committee responsible shall accept without a vote amendments from an associated committee where they concern matters which fall within the exclusive competence of that associated committee;. if the committee responsible fails to respect the exclusive competence of the associated committee, that associated committee may table amendments directly in plenary; if amendments on matters which fall within the shared competence of the committee responsible and an associated committee are not adopted by the committee responsible, the associated committee may table those amendments directly in plenary;

– in the event of a conciliation procedure in respect of the proposal, Parliament’s delegation shall include the rapporteur of any associated committee.

A decision by the Conference of Presidents to apply the associated committee procedure applies at all stages of the procedure in question.

The rights attaching to the status of “committee responsible” are exercised by the lead committee. In exercising those rights, the lead committee must take due account of the prerogatives of the associated committee. In particular, the lead committee must comply with the obligation to observe the principle of sincere cooperation as regards the timetable and respect the right of the associated committee to determine the amendments submitted in plenary which fall within its exclusive competence.

 

Oliver Moore
About Oliver Moore 185 Articles
DR. Oliver Moore is the communications director and editor-in-chief with ARC2020. He has a PhD in the sociology of farming and food, where he specialised in organics and direct sales. He is published in the International Journal of Consumer Studies, International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology and the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. A weekly columnist and contributor with Irish Examiner, he is a regular on Countrywide (Irish farm radio show on the national broadcaster RTE 1) and engages in other communications work around agri-food and rural issues, such as with the soil, permaculture, climate change adaptation and citizen science initiative Grow Observatory . He lectures part time in the Centre for Co-operative Studies UCC                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Oliver voyage beaucoup moins qu’auparavant, pour ce qui concerne son activité professionnelle. Il peut néanmoins admirer par la fenêtre de son bureau les mésanges charbonnières et les corbeaux perchés au sommet du saule dans le jardin de sa maison au cœur de l’écovillage de Cloughjordan, en Irlande. L’écovillage est un site de 67 acres dans le nord du Tipperary. Il comprend d’espaces boisés, des paysages comestibles, des lieux de vie, d’habitation et de travail, ainsi qu’une ferme appartenant à la communauté. Les jours où il travaille dans le bureau du centre d’entreprise communautaire, il profite d’une vue sur les chevaux, les panneaux solaires, les toilettes sèches et les jardins familiaux.  Ce bureau au sein de l’écovillage constitue en effet un tiers-lieu de travail accueillant également des collaborateurs des associations Cultivate et Ecolise, ainsi qu’un laboratoire de fabrication (« fab lab »).  Oliver est membre du conseil d’administration de la ferme communautaire (pour la seconde fois !) et donne également des cours sur le Master en coopératives, agroalimentaire et développement durable à l’University College Cork. Il a une formation en sociologie rurale : son doctorat et les articles qu’il publie dans des journaux scientifiques portent sur ce domaine au sens large. Il consacre la majorité de son temps de travail à l’ARC 2020. Il collabore avec ARC depuis 2013, date à laquelle l’Irlande a assuré la présidence de l’UE pendant six mois. C’est là qu’il a pu constater l’importance de la politique agroalimentaire et rurale grâce à sa chronique hebdomadaire sur le site d’ARC. Après six mois, il est nommé rédacteur en chef et responsable de la communication, poste qu’il occupe toujours aujourd’hui. Oliver supervise le contenu du site web et des médias sociaux, aide à définir l’orientation de l’organisation et parfois même rédige un article pour le site web.  À l’époque où on voyageait davantage, il a eu la chance de passer du temps sous les tropiques, où il a aidé des ONG irlandaises de commerce équitable – au Ghana, au Kenya, au Mali, en Inde et au Salvador – à raconter leur histoire.  Il se peut que ces jours-là reviennent. Pour son compte Oliver continuera de préférer naviguer en Europe par bateau, puis en train. Après tout, la France n’est qu’à une nuit de navigation. En attendant, il y a toujours de nombreuses possibilités de bénévolat dans la communauté dans les campagnes du centre de l’Irlande.