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ID number:294804
Published: 08.01.2003.
Language: English
Level: College/University
Literature: 5 units
References: Not used

Whereas in the state the will of the people will usually be expressed in parliament, it was for a long time the representatives of the member states governments meeting in the Council who is playing the decisive role in expressing the will of the European Community. This is because the Community does not consist of a European nation but owes its existence and form to the combined input of its member states.
However parliament is very important role in the European Community legislation process. These are co-decision powers, which are made by Amsterdam Treaty as the general rule. Formally the EC legislative system is based on the principle of institutional balance, which ensures that all the community institutions involved in expressing the will of the EC participate in the legislative process to an equal degree.
the EC legislative process operates on four main levels, with different procedures applying at each of them. For instruments of general validity (regulations and directives), there is the consultation (coordination) procedure, the cooperation procedure, the co-decision procedure and the approval procedure.
Consultation procedure was the earliest legislative process within the Community. It has become less and less important since the cooperation and co-decision procedures came into being, and is now used in instances where neither of the other two procedures are specially required, including the adoption of provisions to combat discrimination on the grounds of gender, race, ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation; strengthening and adding to the rights deriving from EU citinzenship; implementing the common agricultural policy; liberalising certain services; applying for a transitional period of five years in relation to visas, asylum and immigration; relating to competition etc.
The work involved in the consultation procedure is shared between the Commission and the Council: the Commission submits proposals and the Council makes the decisions. Before any decision is taken by the Council, however, various stages must be completed which, depending on the field concerned, also involve the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions in addition to the Commission and the Council.

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