Eniko Gyori, Hungary’s minister of state for EU affairs, criticises the European Parliament for holding up legislation over the issue of correlation tables and says that the Council of Ministers’ resistance is based on the grounds that the treaty leaves it to member states to choose the method of transposition (“The (many) battles of Lisbon”, 14-19 April).
She cites, by way of example, a recent vote to update legislation on vaccinations against blue-tongue disease in animals, claiming that the Parliament refused it because of a lack of correlation tables, thus insinuating irresponsibility on the part of Parliament.
On the substance of the argument she is economical with the facts in respect of the vote on the blue-tongue vaccination report.
The Parliament approved the legislation on 7 April, authorising the new vaccinations against blue-tongue disease in time for a possible seasonal outbreak. This included a proposal by the European Commission to include correlation tables. The Council is, however, refusing to authorise it as long as correlation tables remain included.
As regards the broader argument, the Parliament has never contested the right of member states to choose the method of transposition of EU directives. The only thing we are insisting on, in the interests of national legislators and EU citizens at large, is greater transparency in the way that national governments choose to implement the provisions of EU directives.
This is part of a commitment to better legislation that all three EU institutions signed up to in 2003 but has manifestly failed to materialise in practice due to fears in national capitals that they will be exposed and face infringement proceedings for failing to properly transpose requirements of EU law. This is a poor excuse when there are such low levels of awareness of EU decision-making and the origins of many national regulatory requirements. Correlation tables may sound like a technocratic nicety, but the term belies a hugely important area of law-making that is totally lacking in transparency, which both European and national legislatures should take more seriously.
What is equally incomprehensible is that the commitment of the Hungarian minister for EU affairs, repeated on several occasions in meetings in the Parliament, to make the case for correlation tables with her peers in the Council appears to be contradicted by her views publicly expressed in European Voice last week. This can only serve to undermine the trust between the two institutions that is necessary to improve the quality and timeliness of legislation.
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
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