Upholding the 'Community method': limits to the commission's power to withdraw legislative proposals-council v commission (C-409/13)

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Abstract

While all institutions traditionally agreed that the Commission can withdraw its legislative proposals for “administrative” reasons (e.g. in the case of an outdated proposal), the Commission’s competence to withdraw a proposal for political reasons was never generally accepted. The present case was the first in which this controversy was put to the Court. Because the Parliament and Council had (informally) clinched a deal in a way that, according to the Commission, undermined the purpose of the original proposal, the Commission withdrew the proposal, preventing the legislator from formally adopting the act. The Court was faced with two competing views on the role of the Commission in the legislative process and chose the golden mean, upholding the “Community method”: the Commission may withdraw its proposal if the legislator intends to alter its essential elements in such a way that the purpose of the original proposal would be defeated. Still, it remains unclear whether the Commission is barred from withdrawing a proposal, in the ordinary legislative procedure, after the conclusion of the first reading.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Law Review
Volume40
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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