Friday 25 July 2008

Unelected Lords support unelected Brussels bureaucrats

During the last weeks there have been lively exchanges on this blog about the reasons for the European Union and its future nature. I want to thank the commentators for many valuable remarks from various viewpoints.

Time to glance at the European as it is, for a change.

Let us now present an outside contribution with regard to European Union legislation, one of the main areas of EU activity. Specifically, it looks at the process to initiate EU legislation.

The European Union Committee of the UK House of Lords has published a report ‘Initiation of EU Legislation – Report with Evidence’ (22nd Report of Session 2007–08, published 24 July 2008, HL Paper 150), available at:

The 216 page report continues the tradition of thematic analysis not only of British interest, but generally within the European Union, by the Committee. At the centre, naturally, is the European Commission’s right of legislative initiative concerning Community law, with the Lords largely supportive of the monopoly of initiative of the Commission within the present institutional set-up.

Ergo, the headline of this blog post is true.

Ralf Grahn


  1. Thanks for highlighting this weighty tome.

    As seems normal their Lordships have not made it simple to see how many of those involved are in receipt of EU pensions or other perks.

    Have you any thoughts as to another major concern on the EU legislative procedures, namely if any changes or amendments are made to the original Commission proposed legislation only they retain the right to completely withdraw the entire package at any phase. Does such a power exist elsewhere as far as you know?

  2. Martin Cole,

    One could of course rephrase your first paragraph to say that a number of Their Lordships have first hand experince of European Union affairs.

    If we think about governments, my guess would be that many have the option to withdraw a bill.

    The special thing about the European Commission is that it has, in addition to the monopoly to propose most Community legislation, the (formal) power to decide on amendments, without which the Council has to vote unanimously to overturn it.

    You could look at the testimony of Professors Peers and Rasmussen, if you are interested.

  3. The various elites guard each other's shoulder, it seems. Luckily, one can sometimes sleep knowing that Mr. Ganley and the Heritage Foundation are out to protect our freedom.

  4. Igor, Italy,

    Perhaps I am not wrong in supposing that you detected my choice of headline style.

    In fact, the reports of the House of Lords are worth reading.

    The Commission is not that bad as initiatior of legislation, especially if compared with the member states.

    Sadly, there was no opportunity to mention 'unelected judges', when these fill me with apprehension.


Due deluge of spam comments no more comments are accepted.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.