BETA


2005/2169(INI) Compliance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights in Commission legislative proposals: methodology for systematic and rigorous monitoring

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead LIBE VOGGENHUBER Johannes (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE)
Committee Opinion AFCO VENTRE Riccardo (icon: PPE-DE PPE-DE)
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
RoP 54

Events

2009/09/15
   PT_PARLIAMENT - Contribution
Documents
2009/04/29
   EC - Follow-up document
Details

This Communication aims to assess the practical operation of the methodology for a systematic and rigorous monitoring of compliance with the Charter of fundamental rights.

In presenting the 2005 Communication on a methodology for systematic and rigorous monitoring of compliance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the Commission underlined its determination to "lock in a culture of Fundamental Rights in EU legislation". By setting up the methodology, designed to ensure that Commission departments check systematically and thoroughly that all the fundamental rights concerned have been respected in all draft proposals, the 2005 Communication enshrined the practical means by which intentions would be matched by concrete performance.

The Commission undertook to prepare an appraisal of the internal monitoring in 2007. This is the purpose of the present report, the elaboration of which was delayed in order to take into account two new elements: the coming into being of the Fundamental Rights Agency and the 2009 revision of the Commission's Impact Assessment Guidelines.

Main lessons learned : experience over the years since the adoption of the 2005 Communication has demonstrated that fundamental rights issues can arise in many disparate areas. A few examples can be mentioned to show the diversity of topics. It is, however, the ever growing importance, in terms of legislative activity, of the area of Justice, Freedom and Security (this area includes the fight against criminality and , in particular, terrorism, immigration, asylum, and border control) which has, inevitably, brought into sharp focus that the Community and Union are increasingly touching on areas which, very directly, raise fundamental rights issues. Many of the above issues were reflected in the "asylum package", with the proposal amending the Reception Conditions Directive. The most sensitive issues raised in terms of respect for fundamental rights were those of the detention of asylum seekers, the right to an effective remedy and the rights of the child.

The experience of the asylum package demonstrates that the methodology to monitor the respect of fundamental rights implies not only a procedural element but also a substantive element. The methodology is not an end in itself. Respect for fundamental rights is not simply a mechanism or a procedural obligation; it is a substantive obligation.

Stock-taking : experience over the years since the adoption of the 2005 Communication has demonstrated that the Commission has had to make difficult judgments of necessity and proportionality and that the methodology has had to confront delicate questions as to whether the solutions arrived at meet the required standards. The Commission believes that the standards of necessity and proportionality have been met in its proposals ; its commitment to a culture of fundamental rights respect is real and of substance.

The report also assesses the improvement of the method used by the Commission to improve the taking into account of fundamental rights: in particular, the establishment of new Impact Assessment Guidelines and greater attention paid to this area in the recitals of the proposals.

The report highlights the setting up of the Agency for Fundamental Rights, which aims to support, and indeed reinforce, the Commission’s methodology. The reports and surveys of the Agency could be used as input in the preparation of Commission initiatives and actions. The Agency should also be invited to participate in the consultation process which is normally launched for new possible initiatives.

Moreover, the Communication stated that, as a last resort, the Commission would reserve the right to bring annulment proceedings against an act which it considered incompatible with fundamental rights. To try to avoid this happening, the Commission states that it will use all means at its disposal to ensure respect for fundamental rights but it draws the attention of the co-legislators to their responsibilities in this matter. However, as a last resort, the Commission is ready to contemplate an annulment action.

In conclusion, experience since 2005 has shown that the methodology is well conceived as regards the objective sought but that its practical application needs to be reinforced. The elements outlined in this report, the revision of the Impact Assessment Guidelines, the better targeting of recitals and the harnessing of the Agency, all have their role to play in the better application of the methodology. However, perhaps the most important element which needs to be worked upon is the human element . The fundamental rights reflex has to be promoted in the services of the Commission where proposals and initiatives are created and a " fundamental rights culture " fostered from the earliest stages of the conception of a Commission proposal. Lastly, the commitment to the respect for fundamental rights must be a common goal of all the Institutions involved in the legislative process.

2007/05/11
   EC - Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2007/05/03
   EC - Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2007/03/15
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2007/03/15
   EP - Decision by Parliament
Details

The European Parliament adopted a resolution based on the own-initiative report drafted by Johannes VOGGENHUBER (Greens/EFA, AT) in response to the Commission communication on monitoring of compliance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the Commission's legislative proposals. The report was adopted by 485 votes in favour to 87 against with 29 abstentions. Parliament stressed the need to overcome the crisis in the constitutional process, to preserve the central achievements of the constitutional treaty, and to establish the Charter of Fundamental Rights as legally binding. It welcomed the Commission's proposals on the consolidation and improved transparency of the procedure on compliance with fundamental rights in its legislative proposals, and called on the Commission to make the monitoring process more transparent and to consult with relevant actors in civil society, particularly those potentially affected by the Commission proposal. The Commission's proposed 'systematic' monitoring made it absolutely necessary for every legislative proposal to be thoroughly checked and for the result to be substantiated.

Genuinely systematic and rigorous protection of fundamental rights called not only for scrutiny to identify any legal errors in weighing up the respective importance of the freedom of the individual and the requirements of the public interest, but also for political analysis on every occasion to ascertain which of the various solutions that weigh up these interests correctly produced the best balance between determination of the objective and restriction of fundamental rights (optimisation in terms of fundamental rights).

Parliament rejected the Commission's reservations on bringing annulment proceedings 'on the basis of case-by-case political scrutiny' and strongly emphasised the absolute priority of the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms over all political considerations.

It pointed out that, even though general consultation procedures existed, independent external bodies which were specifically concerned with fundamental rights issues must be more extensively involved. The Commission must devise a specific arrangement for enabling such bodies to be consulted during the procedure for drafting legislative proposals which had an impact on fundamental rights. Parliament called on the Council to strengthen the systematic monitoring of fundamental rights also in areas covered by intergovernmental cooperation, to publish the results and likewise to secure the support of the Fundamental Rights Agency.

Member State parliaments, in particular in the fields of police and judicial cooperation and the common foreign and security policy, were requested to verify the compatibility of all decisions and measures with the Charter of Fundamental Rights, so that the indivisibility of fundamental rights is preserved and the systematic and thorough monitoring of fundamental rights in all the Union's policies could be ensured. The Council and the Commission should submit a yearly report on the fundamental rights policy of the Union to Parliament and the national parliaments, and engage in a systematic, open and permanent dialogue on the safeguarding of fundamental rights in the Union.

Lastly, Parliament called on the Commission and the Council to report to Parliament on the follow-up given to the reports by the network of national experts.

Documents
2007/03/15
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2007/03/14
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2007/02/12
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
Documents
2007/02/12
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary
Documents
2007/02/01
   EP - Vote in committee
Details

The committee adopted the own-initiative report drawn up by Johannes VOGGENHUBER (Greens/EFA, AT) in response to the Commission communication on a methodology for systematic and rigorous monitoring of compliance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the Commission's legislative proposals. The report argued for an overall improvement in the monitoring process, calling for more transparency, consultation with relevant actors in civil society, thorough scrutiny throughout the legislative procedure as well as "political analysis on every occasion" in order to ascertain which solution produces "the best balance between determination of the objective and restriction of fundamental rights".

Among its recommendations, the committee called on the Commission to submit an explanatory report providing legal grounds for upholding fundamental rights when legislative proposals are being drawn up. The Commission was also urged to create a new category entitled 'Effects on fundamental rights' in its impact assessment, to ensure that all aspects of fundamental rights are considered. At the same time, MEPs called on the Council to strengthen the systematic monitoring of fundamental rights in areas covered by intergovernmental cooperation, to publish the results and, together with the Commission, to submit a yearly report on the fundamental rights policy of the Union to the European Parliament and national parliaments. The committee also wanted the Commission and the Council to report to Parliament on the follow-up given to these reports by the network of national expert groups. The national parliaments, for their part, were urged to verify the compatibility of their legislative acts with the Charter of Fundamental Rights especially in the fields of police and judicial cooperation as well as the common foreign and security policy.

In addition, the Commission was urged to devise a specific arrangement enabling civil society organisations to be consulted during the procedure for drafting legislative proposals having an impact on fundamental rights. The report also said that the procedure on compliance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights should be extended into the whole legislative procedure as well as into the comitology system, that the position of Parliament should be strengthened and that the role of the future Fundamental Rights Agency should be made "more precise".

Lastly, MEPs rejected the Commission's reservations on bringing annulment proceedings 'on the basis of case-by-case political scrutiny', and proposed to assign to the Committee on Civil Liberties the task of monitoring the consequences of legislative proposals relevant to fundamental rights and to make Parliament's resolutions applicable to Member State affairs.

2006/12/08
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2006/11/23
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2006/10/18
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2005/11/17
   EP - VENTRE Riccardo (PPE-DE) appointed as rapporteur in AFCO
2005/09/29
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament
2005/07/12
   EP - VOGGENHUBER Johannes (Verts/ALE) appointed as rapporteur in LIBE
2005/04/27
   EC - Non-legislative basic document published
Details

PURPOSE : to set out a methodology for ensuring compliance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights in Commission legislative proposals.

CONTENT : The Charter was incorporated into the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, signed on 29 October 2004. This document sets out a methodology for ensuring the Charter is properly implemented in Commission proposals, which methodology has a threefold objective:

-to allow Commission departments to check systematically and thoroughly that all the fundamental rights concerned have been respected in all draft proposals;

-to enable Members of the Commission, and the Group of Commissioners on Fundamental Rights, Anti-discrimination and Equal Opportunities in particular, to follow the results of the scrutiny and to promote a “fundamental rights culture”;

-to make the results of the Commission’s monitoring of fundamental rights more visible to other institutions and to the general public. The Commission should be seen to set an example, which will also give it credibility and authority in monitoring respect for fundamental rights in the activities of the two branches of the legislature.

The checks are already carried out when the lead department draws up the draft and, in particular, during the interdepartmental consultation where the Legal Service checks for compliance as an integral part of its verification of legality.

However, to further reinforce and systematise the practical aspects of scrutiny at the interdepartmental consultation stage, fundamental rights will be brought into even sharper focus in two key documents submitted together with the draft legislative proposal:

-the impact assessment, which should include as full and precise a picture as possible of the different impacts on individual rights

-the explanatory memorandum, which for certain legislative proposals should contain a section on the legal basis for compliance with fundamental rights.

The impact assessment provides the Commission, right from the start of the drafting process, with a complete picture of the various impacts which the process can have on the individuals and groups whose rights may be involved, depending on the different options envisaged.

On the other hand, an impact assessment cannot be used to contain the legal scrutiny, i.e. the legal definition of the impacts identified in the light of the provisions of the Charter and the European Convention on Human Rights, and the case-law. The legal scrutiny calls for specific expertise and should concern an advanced draft proposal. It should as far as possible be initiated within the lead department itself and then continued during the interdepartmental consultation procedure through the formal involvement of the Legal Service; it should if necessary be summarised in the explanatory memorandum, and thus be made publicly visible.

The lead department will also ensure that the Directorate-General for Justice, Freedom and Security is involved in the interdepartmental consultation when a proposal is liable to raise issues relating to fundamental rights, notably in the light of the impact assessment. Similarly, it will ensure that the relevant external relations Directorate-General is associated where a proposal might affect the fundamental rights of third-country nationals outside the Union.

The Legal Service will keep the Group of Commissioners regularly informed of significant cases where fundamental rights have been subject to internal monitoring. In very special cases where proposals require a careful balance between several opposing fundamental rights, the Group may also produce policy guidelines, within the margins for political discretion afforded by the provisions of the Charter.

Documents

Votes

Rapport Voggenhuber A6-0034/2007 - par. 2/1 #

2007/03/15 Outcome: +: 468, -: 93, 0: 35
DE FR ES IT PL RO BE AT HU PT BG NL SK EL DK SE SI FI MT EE LU LT IE CY CZ LV GB
Total
80
60
41
50
49
27
20
16
16
18
15
21
11
15
13
16
6
8
5
6
6
5
9
3
19
2
59
icon: PPE-DE PPE-DE
212

Denmark PPE-DE

For (1)

1

Slovenia PPE-DE

3

Finland PPE-DE

2

Malta PPE-DE

2

Estonia PPE-DE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg PPE-DE

3

Lithuania PPE-DE

1

Ireland PPE-DE

3

Cyprus PPE-DE

1
icon: PSE PSE
166

Slovakia PSE

2

Slovenia PSE

For (1)

1

Finland PSE

2

Estonia PSE

3

Luxembourg PSE

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1

Ireland PSE

1

Czechia PSE

2
icon: ALDE ALDE
85

Austria ALDE

1

Hungary ALDE

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2

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1

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5
icon: NI NI
7

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2
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16

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icon: UEN UEN
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3

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Rapport Voggenhuber A6-0034/2007 - par. 2/2 #

2007/03/15 Outcome: +: 455, -: 115, 0: 21
DE FR ES IT RO BE HU AT BG NL PT EL SK DK SI IE FI EE LU LT PL MT SE LV CY CZ GB
Total
77
61
39
50
27
19
15
16
16
21
17
15
10
13
6
8
8
6
6
5
49
5
16
2
4
20
60
icon: PPE-DE PPE-DE
209

Denmark PPE-DE

For (1)

1

Slovenia PPE-DE

3

Ireland PPE-DE

2

Finland PPE-DE

2

Estonia PPE-DE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg PPE-DE

3

Lithuania PPE-DE

1

Malta PPE-DE

2

Cyprus PPE-DE

1
icon: PSE PSE
166

Slovakia PSE

2

Slovenia PSE

For (1)

1

Ireland PSE

1

Finland PSE

2

Estonia PSE

3

Luxembourg PSE

For (1)

1

Malta PSE

Abstain (1)

3

Czechia PSE

2
icon: ALDE ALDE
85
2

Austria ALDE

1

Slovenia ALDE

2

Ireland ALDE

For (1)

1

Estonia ALDE

2

Luxembourg ALDE

For (1)

1

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1

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1
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
31

Spain Verts/ALE

1

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1

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1

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2

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1

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1

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1

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1

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1

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5
icon: NI NI
6

Italy NI

1

Austria NI

Abstain (1)

1
2

United Kingdom NI

Against (2)

2
icon: UEN UEN
30

Denmark UEN

Against (1)

1

Lithuania UEN

1

Latvia UEN

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1
icon: ITS ITS
16

France ITS

Abstain (1)

4

Italy ITS

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2

Belgium ITS

2

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Against (1)

1

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Against (1)

1
icon: IND/DEM IND/DEM
16

France IND/DEM

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1

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2

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1

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3

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2

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1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
32

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2

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1

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1

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3

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1

Rapport Voggenhuber A6-0034/2007 - résolution #

2007/03/15 Outcome: +: 485, -: 87, 0: 29
DE FR ES IT BE RO NL HU AT PT BG SK EL IE CZ DK PL SE FI EE LU GB LT SI MT LV CY
Total
80
63
41
52
20
27
21
15
15
19
16
11
14
9
20
13
49
16
8
6
6
58
5
6
5
2
4
icon: PPE-DE PPE-DE
210

Ireland PPE-DE

3

Denmark PPE-DE

For (1)

1

Finland PPE-DE

2

Estonia PPE-DE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg PPE-DE

3

Lithuania PPE-DE

1

Slovenia PPE-DE

Abstain (1)

3

Malta PPE-DE

2

Cyprus PPE-DE

1
icon: PSE PSE
166

Slovakia PSE

2

Ireland PSE

1

Czechia PSE

2

Finland PSE

2

Estonia PSE

3

Luxembourg PSE

For (1)

1

Slovenia PSE

For (1)

1
icon: ALDE ALDE
86
2

Austria ALDE

1

Ireland ALDE

For (1)

1

Sweden ALDE

For (1)

1

Estonia ALDE

2

Luxembourg ALDE

For (1)

1

Slovenia ALDE

2

Cyprus ALDE

For (1)

1
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
38

Spain Verts/ALE

2

Italy Verts/ALE

2

Belgium Verts/ALE

2

Austria Verts/ALE

2

Denmark Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Sweden Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Finland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

United Kingdom Verts/ALE

5

Latvia Verts/ALE

1
icon: NI NI
7

Italy NI

1

Austria NI

1

Slovakia NI

1
2

United Kingdom NI

Against (2)

2
icon: UEN UEN
31

Denmark UEN

Against (1)

1

Lithuania UEN

1

Latvia UEN

For (1)

1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
32

France GUE/NGL

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2

Spain GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

1

Netherlands GUE/NGL

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1

Portugal GUE/NGL

2

Greece GUE/NGL

3

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1

Czechia GUE/NGL

3

Denmark GUE/NGL

1

Sweden GUE/NGL

2

Finland GUE/NGL

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1

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1

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2
icon: IND/DEM IND/DEM
15

France IND/DEM

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1

Netherlands IND/DEM

2

Czechia IND/DEM

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1

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3

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2

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5
icon: ITS ITS
16

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History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

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  • date: 2005-04-27T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2005/0172/COM_COM(2005)0172_EN.pdf title: COM(2005)0172 type: Non-legislative basic document published celexid: CELEX:52005DC0172:EN body: EC commission: DG: url: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/legal_service/ title: Legal Service Commissioner: BARROSO José Manuel type: Non-legislative basic document published
  • date: 2005-09-29T00:00:00 body: EP type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: False committee: AFCO date: 2005-11-17T00:00:00 committee_full: Constitutional Affairs rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: VENTRE Riccardo body: EP responsible: True committee: LIBE date: 2005-07-12T00:00:00 committee_full: Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs rapporteur: group: Verts/ALE name: VOGGENHUBER Johannes
  • date: 2007-02-01T00:00:00 body: EP committees: body: EP responsible: False committee: AFCO date: 2005-11-17T00:00:00 committee_full: Constitutional Affairs rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: VENTRE Riccardo body: EP responsible: True committee: LIBE date: 2005-07-12T00:00:00 committee_full: Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs rapporteur: group: Verts/ALE name: VOGGENHUBER Johannes type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
  • date: 2007-02-12T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A6-2007-34&language=EN type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading title: A6-0034/2007 body: EP type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • date: 2007-03-14T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20070314&type=CRE type: Debate in Parliament title: Debate in Parliament body: EP type: Debate in Parliament
  • date: 2007-03-15T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=13275&l=en type: Results of vote in Parliament title: Results of vote in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P6-TA-2007-78 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T6-0078/2007 body: EP type: Results of vote in Parliament
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docs
  • date: 2006-10-18T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE378.675 title: PE378.675 type: Committee draft report body: EP
  • date: 2006-11-23T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE371.720&secondRef=02 title: PE371.720 committee: AFCO type: Committee opinion body: EP
  • date: 2006-12-08T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE382.240 title: PE382.240 type: Amendments tabled in committee body: EP
  • date: 2007-02-12T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A6-2007-34&language=EN title: A6-0034/2007 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading body: EP
  • date: 2007-05-03T00:00:00 docs: url: /oeil/spdoc.do?i=13275&j=1&l=en title: SP(2007)1901/2 type: Commission response to text adopted in plenary
  • date: 2007-05-11T00:00:00 docs: url: /oeil/spdoc.do?i=13275&j=0&l=en title: SP(2007)2139 type: Commission response to text adopted in plenary
  • date: 2009-04-29T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/registre/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2009/0205/COM_COM(2009)0205_EN.pdf title: COM(2009)0205 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2009&nu_doc=205 title: EUR-Lex summary: This Communication aims to assess the practical operation of the methodology for a systematic and rigorous monitoring of compliance with the Charter of fundamental rights. In presenting the 2005 Communication on a methodology for systematic and rigorous monitoring of compliance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the Commission underlined its determination to "lock in a culture of Fundamental Rights in EU legislation". By setting up the methodology, designed to ensure that Commission departments check systematically and thoroughly that all the fundamental rights concerned have been respected in all draft proposals, the 2005 Communication enshrined the practical means by which intentions would be matched by concrete performance. The Commission undertook to prepare an appraisal of the internal monitoring in 2007. This is the purpose of the present report, the elaboration of which was delayed in order to take into account two new elements: the coming into being of the Fundamental Rights Agency and the 2009 revision of the Commission's Impact Assessment Guidelines. Main lessons learned : experience over the years since the adoption of the 2005 Communication has demonstrated that fundamental rights issues can arise in many disparate areas. A few examples can be mentioned to show the diversity of topics. It is, however, the ever growing importance, in terms of legislative activity, of the area of Justice, Freedom and Security (this area includes the fight against criminality and , in particular, terrorism, immigration, asylum, and border control) which has, inevitably, brought into sharp focus that the Community and Union are increasingly touching on areas which, very directly, raise fundamental rights issues. Many of the above issues were reflected in the "asylum package", with the proposal amending the Reception Conditions Directive. The most sensitive issues raised in terms of respect for fundamental rights were those of the detention of asylum seekers, the right to an effective remedy and the rights of the child. The experience of the asylum package demonstrates that the methodology to monitor the respect of fundamental rights implies not only a procedural element but also a substantive element. The methodology is not an end in itself. Respect for fundamental rights is not simply a mechanism or a procedural obligation; it is a substantive obligation. Stock-taking : experience over the years since the adoption of the 2005 Communication has demonstrated that the Commission has had to make difficult judgments of necessity and proportionality and that the methodology has had to confront delicate questions as to whether the solutions arrived at meet the required standards. The Commission believes that the standards of necessity and proportionality have been met in its proposals ; its commitment to a culture of fundamental rights respect is real and of substance. The report also assesses the improvement of the method used by the Commission to improve the taking into account of fundamental rights: in particular, the establishment of new Impact Assessment Guidelines and greater attention paid to this area in the recitals of the proposals. The report highlights the setting up of the Agency for Fundamental Rights, which aims to support, and indeed reinforce, the Commission’s methodology. The reports and surveys of the Agency could be used as input in the preparation of Commission initiatives and actions. The Agency should also be invited to participate in the consultation process which is normally launched for new possible initiatives. Moreover, the Communication stated that, as a last resort, the Commission would reserve the right to bring annulment proceedings against an act which it considered incompatible with fundamental rights. To try to avoid this happening, the Commission states that it will use all means at its disposal to ensure respect for fundamental rights but it draws the attention of the co-legislators to their responsibilities in this matter. However, as a last resort, the Commission is ready to contemplate an annulment action. In conclusion, experience since 2005 has shown that the methodology is well conceived as regards the objective sought but that its practical application needs to be reinforced. The elements outlined in this report, the revision of the Impact Assessment Guidelines, the better targeting of recitals and the harnessing of the Agency, all have their role to play in the better application of the methodology. However, perhaps the most important element which needs to be worked upon is the human element . The fundamental rights reflex has to be promoted in the services of the Commission where proposals and initiatives are created and a " fundamental rights culture " fostered from the earliest stages of the conception of a Commission proposal. Lastly, the commitment to the respect for fundamental rights must be a common goal of all the Institutions involved in the legislative process. type: Follow-up document body: EC
  • date: 2009-09-15T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.connefof.europarl.europa.eu/connefof/app/exp/COM(2009)0205 title: COM(2009)0205 type: Contribution body: PT_PARLIAMENT
events
  • date: 2005-04-27T00:00:00 type: Non-legislative basic document published body: EC docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2005/0172/COM_COM(2005)0172_EN.pdf title: COM(2005)0172 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2005&nu_doc=172 title: EUR-Lex summary: PURPOSE : to set out a methodology for ensuring compliance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights in Commission legislative proposals. CONTENT : The Charter was incorporated into the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, signed on 29 October 2004. This document sets out a methodology for ensuring the Charter is properly implemented in Commission proposals, which methodology has a threefold objective: -to allow Commission departments to check systematically and thoroughly that all the fundamental rights concerned have been respected in all draft proposals; -to enable Members of the Commission, and the Group of Commissioners on Fundamental Rights, Anti-discrimination and Equal Opportunities in particular, to follow the results of the scrutiny and to promote a “fundamental rights culture”; -to make the results of the Commission’s monitoring of fundamental rights more visible to other institutions and to the general public. The Commission should be seen to set an example, which will also give it credibility and authority in monitoring respect for fundamental rights in the activities of the two branches of the legislature. The checks are already carried out when the lead department draws up the draft and, in particular, during the interdepartmental consultation where the Legal Service checks for compliance as an integral part of its verification of legality. However, to further reinforce and systematise the practical aspects of scrutiny at the interdepartmental consultation stage, fundamental rights will be brought into even sharper focus in two key documents submitted together with the draft legislative proposal: -the impact assessment, which should include as full and precise a picture as possible of the different impacts on individual rights -the explanatory memorandum, which for certain legislative proposals should contain a section on the legal basis for compliance with fundamental rights. The impact assessment provides the Commission, right from the start of the drafting process, with a complete picture of the various impacts which the process can have on the individuals and groups whose rights may be involved, depending on the different options envisaged. On the other hand, an impact assessment cannot be used to contain the legal scrutiny, i.e. the legal definition of the impacts identified in the light of the provisions of the Charter and the European Convention on Human Rights, and the case-law. The legal scrutiny calls for specific expertise and should concern an advanced draft proposal. It should as far as possible be initiated within the lead department itself and then continued during the interdepartmental consultation procedure through the formal involvement of the Legal Service; it should if necessary be summarised in the explanatory memorandum, and thus be made publicly visible. The lead department will also ensure that the Directorate-General for Justice, Freedom and Security is involved in the interdepartmental consultation when a proposal is liable to raise issues relating to fundamental rights, notably in the light of the impact assessment. Similarly, it will ensure that the relevant external relations Directorate-General is associated where a proposal might affect the fundamental rights of third-country nationals outside the Union. The Legal Service will keep the Group of Commissioners regularly informed of significant cases where fundamental rights have been subject to internal monitoring. In very special cases where proposals require a careful balance between several opposing fundamental rights, the Group may also produce policy guidelines, within the margins for political discretion afforded by the provisions of the Charter.
  • date: 2005-09-29T00:00:00 type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2007-02-01T00:00:00 type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading body: EP summary: The committee adopted the own-initiative report drawn up by Johannes VOGGENHUBER (Greens/EFA, AT) in response to the Commission communication on a methodology for systematic and rigorous monitoring of compliance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the Commission's legislative proposals. The report argued for an overall improvement in the monitoring process, calling for more transparency, consultation with relevant actors in civil society, thorough scrutiny throughout the legislative procedure as well as "political analysis on every occasion" in order to ascertain which solution produces "the best balance between determination of the objective and restriction of fundamental rights". Among its recommendations, the committee called on the Commission to submit an explanatory report providing legal grounds for upholding fundamental rights when legislative proposals are being drawn up. The Commission was also urged to create a new category entitled 'Effects on fundamental rights' in its impact assessment, to ensure that all aspects of fundamental rights are considered. At the same time, MEPs called on the Council to strengthen the systematic monitoring of fundamental rights in areas covered by intergovernmental cooperation, to publish the results and, together with the Commission, to submit a yearly report on the fundamental rights policy of the Union to the European Parliament and national parliaments. The committee also wanted the Commission and the Council to report to Parliament on the follow-up given to these reports by the network of national expert groups. The national parliaments, for their part, were urged to verify the compatibility of their legislative acts with the Charter of Fundamental Rights especially in the fields of police and judicial cooperation as well as the common foreign and security policy. In addition, the Commission was urged to devise a specific arrangement enabling civil society organisations to be consulted during the procedure for drafting legislative proposals having an impact on fundamental rights. The report also said that the procedure on compliance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights should be extended into the whole legislative procedure as well as into the comitology system, that the position of Parliament should be strengthened and that the role of the future Fundamental Rights Agency should be made "more precise". Lastly, MEPs rejected the Commission's reservations on bringing annulment proceedings 'on the basis of case-by-case political scrutiny', and proposed to assign to the Committee on Civil Liberties the task of monitoring the consequences of legislative proposals relevant to fundamental rights and to make Parliament's resolutions applicable to Member State affairs.
  • date: 2007-02-12T00:00:00 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A6-2007-34&language=EN title: A6-0034/2007
  • date: 2007-03-14T00:00:00 type: Debate in Parliament body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20070314&type=CRE title: Debate in Parliament
  • date: 2007-03-15T00:00:00 type: Results of vote in Parliament body: EP docs: url: https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=13275&l=en title: Results of vote in Parliament
  • date: 2007-03-15T00:00:00 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P6-TA-2007-78 title: T6-0078/2007 summary: The European Parliament adopted a resolution based on the own-initiative report drafted by Johannes VOGGENHUBER (Greens/EFA, AT) in response to the Commission communication on monitoring of compliance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the Commission's legislative proposals. The report was adopted by 485 votes in favour to 87 against with 29 abstentions. Parliament stressed the need to overcome the crisis in the constitutional process, to preserve the central achievements of the constitutional treaty, and to establish the Charter of Fundamental Rights as legally binding. It welcomed the Commission's proposals on the consolidation and improved transparency of the procedure on compliance with fundamental rights in its legislative proposals, and called on the Commission to make the monitoring process more transparent and to consult with relevant actors in civil society, particularly those potentially affected by the Commission proposal. The Commission's proposed 'systematic' monitoring made it absolutely necessary for every legislative proposal to be thoroughly checked and for the result to be substantiated. Genuinely systematic and rigorous protection of fundamental rights called not only for scrutiny to identify any legal errors in weighing up the respective importance of the freedom of the individual and the requirements of the public interest, but also for political analysis on every occasion to ascertain which of the various solutions that weigh up these interests correctly produced the best balance between determination of the objective and restriction of fundamental rights (optimisation in terms of fundamental rights). Parliament rejected the Commission's reservations on bringing annulment proceedings 'on the basis of case-by-case political scrutiny' and strongly emphasised the absolute priority of the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms over all political considerations. It pointed out that, even though general consultation procedures existed, independent external bodies which were specifically concerned with fundamental rights issues must be more extensively involved. The Commission must devise a specific arrangement for enabling such bodies to be consulted during the procedure for drafting legislative proposals which had an impact on fundamental rights. Parliament called on the Council to strengthen the systematic monitoring of fundamental rights also in areas covered by intergovernmental cooperation, to publish the results and likewise to secure the support of the Fundamental Rights Agency. Member State parliaments, in particular in the fields of police and judicial cooperation and the common foreign and security policy, were requested to verify the compatibility of all decisions and measures with the Charter of Fundamental Rights, so that the indivisibility of fundamental rights is preserved and the systematic and thorough monitoring of fundamental rights in all the Union's policies could be ensured. The Council and the Commission should submit a yearly report on the fundamental rights policy of the Union to Parliament and the national parliaments, and engage in a systematic, open and permanent dialogue on the safeguarding of fundamental rights in the Union. Lastly, Parliament called on the Commission and the Council to report to Parliament on the follow-up given to the reports by the network of national experts.
  • date: 2007-03-15T00:00:00 type: End of procedure in Parliament body: EP
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  • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/legal_service/ title: Legal Service commissioner: BARROSO José Manuel
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  • date: 2005-04-27T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/registre/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2005/0172/COM_COM(2005)0172_EN.pdf celexid: CELEX:52005DC0172:EN type: Non-legislative basic document published title: COM(2005)0172 type: Non-legislative basic document published body: EC commission: DG: url: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/legal_service/ title: Legal Service Commissioner: BARROSO José Manuel
  • date: 2005-09-29T00:00:00 body: EP type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: False committee: AFCO date: 2005-11-17T00:00:00 committee_full: Constitutional Affairs rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: VENTRE Riccardo body: EP responsible: True committee: LIBE date: 2005-07-12T00:00:00 committee_full: Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs rapporteur: group: Verts/ALE name: VOGGENHUBER Johannes
  • date: 2007-02-01T00:00:00 body: EP committees: body: EP responsible: False committee: AFCO date: 2005-11-17T00:00:00 committee_full: Constitutional Affairs rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: VENTRE Riccardo body: EP responsible: True committee: LIBE date: 2005-07-12T00:00:00 committee_full: Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs rapporteur: group: Verts/ALE name: VOGGENHUBER Johannes type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
  • date: 2007-02-12T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A6-2007-34&language=EN type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading title: A6-0034/2007 body: EP type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • date: 2007-03-14T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20070314&type=CRE type: Debate in Parliament title: Debate in Parliament body: EP type: Debate in Parliament
  • date: 2007-03-15T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=13275&l=en type: Results of vote in Parliament title: Results of vote in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P6-TA-2007-78 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T6-0078/2007 body: EP type: Results of vote in Parliament
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  • body: EP responsible: False committee: AFCO date: 2005-11-17T00:00:00 committee_full: Constitutional Affairs rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: VENTRE Riccardo
  • body: EP responsible: True committee: LIBE date: 2005-07-12T00:00:00 committee_full: Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs rapporteur: group: Verts/ALE name: VOGGENHUBER Johannes
links
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  • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/legal_service/ title: Legal Service commissioner: BARROSO José Manuel
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2005/2169(INI)
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Compliance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights in Commission legislative proposals: methodology for systematic and rigorous monitoring
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Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 052
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1.10 Fundamental rights in the Union, Charter