Committee for European Affairs
(Výbor pro evropské záležitosti)
Legal base: Article 10b of the Constitution of the Czech Republic and Act of 7th May 2004, amending Act No. 90/1995 Coll., on the Rules of Procedure of the Poslanecká sněmovna (Chamber of Deputies), as subsequently amended.
Composition: 15 Members who in a proportional way represent all political parties elected to the Poslanecká sněmovna.
The Committee was first established in May 2004, after the accession of the Czech Republic to the EU. The Committee for European Affairs deliberates on draft EU legislation and may relay such drafts accompanied by its opinion to other competent committees or to the plenary session. The Committee may request the relevant Government Minister to attend the Committee meeting prior to the Council meeting; the Minister shall provide Members of Parliament with information on the position that the Czech Republic will adopt on the matter being deliberated in the Council. There is a scrutiny reserve system set out in the above-mentioned Act, which states that “with the exception of acts or other documents of considerable urgency, the Government shall not adopt a final opinion in Council deliberations until the procedure in the Chamber pursuant to the preceding paragraphs has been completed”. The Committee opinions are not binding for the Government, although the Government must take them into account. The Committee reports that in most cases, co-operation between the Committee and the Government is satisfactory.
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Committee on European Union Affairs
(Výbor pro záležitosti Evropské unie)
Legal base: Article 10b of the Constitution of the Czech Republic and Part Twelve of the Standing Rules of the Senát.
Composition: 9 senators representing the political caucuses in accordance with their proportional strength in the Senát.
The Committee on European Union Affairs in the Senát was first established in 1998. The Committee deals with all EU policies regulated by the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, i.e. policies falling within the former first and third pillars. The area of common foreign and security policy, i.e. former second pillar falls within the competence of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security. Both Committees may ask specialized Committees to deliver their opinion. The fact that a draft legislative act has been selected for scrutiny constitutes an impediment to participation of a Government member in decision-taking with respect to the act in question by a European Union body. The Treaty-based eight-week period for parliamentary scrutiny shall commence with the proposal of a legislative act being made available to the Parliaments of the Member States in all the official languages of the European Union. The Government shall take the Senát's position into account.