Anne Main – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Anne Main on 2016-04-12.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will place in the Library a list of EU draft legislation that has been forwarded to the European Parliament but which has currently been frozen by European Commissioner Timmermans through the application of Better Regulation principles.

Mr David Lidington

The European Commission has committed itself to withdraw, modify or repeal legislative proposals through a number of processes. In the 2015 Commission Work Programme, there were 80 proposed withdrawals. Of these, 73 have now been delivered. The remaining seven have been modified by the Commission, or were proposals where the Council and the European Parliament had not been able to come to an agreement, but have since made progress. A list can be found in the Official Journal of the European Union [http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=OJ:C:2015:080:FULL&from=EN]. In the 2016 Commission Work Programme, the Commission is working on the withdrawal or modification of a further 20 proposals. The Commission has also reduced the number of new initiatives proposed in its annual work programmes by over 80 per cent compared to 2014.

Under the UK’s new settlement with the EU, the European Commission has agreed for the first time to set specific targets to reduce the overall burden on business in key sectors. The Commission has also committed to ‘establish a mechanism to review the body of existing EU legislation for its compliance with the principle of subsidiarity and proportionality’; in setting priorities for this review, the Commission will be duty-bound to consult the Council and national parliaments. Further information can be found in the Government’s White Paper, “The best of both worlds: the United Kingdom’s special status in a reformed European Union”.