Poland 
Monday, June 25, 2012 at 4:10PM
[Your Name Here]

Sejm

 

According to the replies of the Polish Sejm to the questionnaire for the 13th Bi-annual Report of COSAC (May 2010): 

"A) REVIEW OF REGULATIONS ADOPTED

1. Have there been any regulations adopted by your Member State in order to incorporate the new powers that are entrusted to the national Parliaments by the Treaty of Lisbon? If so, please specify the regulations in their corresponding categories.

Currently, a regulation is in the pipeline. A draft text amending the current act of 11 of March 2004 on the cooperation between the Sejm and Senate with the government in EU matters is being discussed by the Subcommittee of the EU Affairs Committee designed specifically to deal with this matter. The answers given in the questionnaire reflect the discussion in the subcommittee and are cannot be treated as a final solutions.

2. If no regulation has yet been passed, is any such regulation in the pipeline? Please specify the hierarchy of the provisions that are likely to be adopted in the short or medium term (Constitutional provisions, Legal Statutory provisions, Parliamentary Standing Orders ...).

Currently, the Sejm EU Affairs Committee (its Subcommittee) prepares a draft in order to take into account all the new powers (as mentioned previously). Some changes should be also introduced into Sejm’s Rules of Procedure.

B) THE NEW POWERS OF THE NATIONAL PARLIAMENTS IN THE EU DECISION MAKING PROCESS

The following questions focus on each of the different mechanisms through which the national Parliaments are called to participate in the EU framework. The questions relate to the main elements of the proceedings that, according to the national regulations that have been passed or that are foreseen to be adopted soon, will carry out in each national Parliament the mechanisms established in the Treaties.

1. MONITORING THE ACTIVITIES OF THE EU INSTITUTION 

1a. Please indicate if the monitoring includes all the activities of all the EU institutions. If not, please specify which activities and which institutions will be subject to monitoring (e.g. only legislative proposals from the Commission).

This issue is discussed by the Subcommittee of the EU Affairs Committee which is supposed to prepare an amendment of the existing legal provisions in this field.

1b. Please indicate if the monitoring is comprehensive or applies selectively to certain topics or questions of particular national interest.

It is highly probable that there will be a selection of documents.

1c. Briefly describe the procedure and specify the parliamentary bodies involved.

Under the discussion, however the European Union Affairs Committee will be the most involved parliamentary body.

1d. Do the regulations establish the Government's duty to report to the Parliament / Chamber? If so, in which terms?

The current law disposes that the Government is obliged to present its position on the proposed legislative act within the 14-days framework.  This obligation shall be maintained in the revised text.

In addition the Committee may ask the government for a governmental position on a particular topic when it considers this to be relevant and necessary.

1e. In bicameral Parliaments, could you describe the mechanisms for information exchange and coordination between both Chambers?

Each chamber works separately and its opinions are independent from one another.

1f. Please briefly describe the administrative and advisory resources and support available for the task of monitoring the EU institutions.

The deputies will be seconded by the parliamentary services which are currently under construction.

2. ENSURING COMPLIANCE WITH THE PRINCIPLE OF SUBSIDIARITY

2a. Please specify the Parliamentary bodies in charge of ensuring such compliance.

The EU Affairs Committee is a body responsible for ensuring such compliance. However, if the Committee considers that the principle is not fulfilled, the issue is discussed at the plenary. In that case it is up to the plenary to adopt a reasoned opinion."

 

Senat

 

Article 75(d), (e) of the Rules and Regulations of the Polish Senat specify the procedure for monitoring of the principle of subsidiarity.

 ccording to the replies of the Senat to the questionnaire for the 13th Bi-annual Report of COSAC (May 2010):

"A) REVIEW OF REGULATIONS ADOPTED

1. Have there been any regulations adopted by your Member State in order to incorporate the new powers that are entrusted to the national Parliaments by the Treaty of Lisbon? If so, please specify the regulations in their corresponding categories.

1a. Constitutional provisions

Not applicable.

1b. Legal provisions - Statutory provisions

No.

1c. Parliamentary Standing Orders

No.

2. If no regulation has yet been passed, is any such regulation in the pipeline? Please specify the hierarchy of the provisions that are likely to be adopted in the short or medium term (Constitutional provisions, Legal Statutory provisions, Parliamentary Standing Orders ...).

1. Legal provisions - Statutory provisions

A new bill on the co-operation of the Council of Ministers with the Sejm and the Senate in matters related to Poland’s membership in the EU is going to replace the  Co-operation Act of 11th March 2004. On 12th March the Senate accepted that bill and passed a resolution on its submission to the Sejm.

2. Rules and Regulations

Amendments are being prepared to the Senate’s Rules and Regulations of 23rd November 1990 to enable the use of the new competences entrusted to the national parliaments by the Treaty of Lisbon. On 9th of March took place the first reading of the Senate’s resolution to amend its Rules and Regulations.

B) THE NEW POWERS OF THE NATIONAL PARLIAMENTS IN THE EU DECISION MAKING PROCESS

The following questions focus on each of the different mechanisms through which the national Parliaments are called to participate in the EU framework. The questions relate to the main elements of the proceedings that, according to the national regulations that have been passed or that are foreseen to be adopted soon, will carry out in each national Parliament the mechanisms established in the Treaties.

1. MONITORING THE ACTIVITIES OF THE EU INSTITUTIONS

1a. Please indicate if the monitoring includes all the activities of all the EU institutions. If not, please specify which activities and which institutions will be subject to monitoring (e.g. only legislative proposals from the Commission).

The monitoring procedure in the Senate is supposed to cover the activities of EU institutions as it is stated in the Lisbon Treaty’s Protocol on the role of national parliaments in the European Union.

Before the Lisbon Treaty entered into force the Senate’s monitoring (in practice the European Union Affairs Committee (EUAC) monitoring) had mainly consisted in examining the Commission legislative proposals as well as getting acquainted with other EU documents, like the Annual Policy Strategy, the Commission Legislative and Work Programme, white  and green papers. Moreover, EUAC dealt with annual reports forwarded by the Court of Auditors.

Following the enacting of the Treaty of Lisbon the monitoring scope has broadened. For the time being the EUAC has been examining all draft legislative acts in the meaning of Article 2 of the Protocol on the role of national parliaments in the European Union.

1b. Please indicate if the monitoring is comprehensive or applies selectively to certain topics or questions of particular national interest.

Because of the overabundance of documents forwarded to the parliament the monitoring scope has to be limited to questions of particular national interest. The EUAC has adopted a system of preliminary selection of EU documents by the Committee Presidium prior to the committee sitting. Finally, the agenda with the list of documents is verified at the EUAC sitting.

1c. Briefly describe the procedure and specify the parliamentary bodies involved.

The parliamentary bodies’ involvement depends on the type of EU document. In general all EU legislative proposals are subject to EUAC examining. At the EUAC sittings the monitoring of the selected EU legislative proposals ends with one of the following final decisions: acceptance, acceptance with remarks or no acceptance.     

According to the new regulations that are foreseen to be adopted, the Senate Speaker, acting at the request of the EUAC chairman (in practice the Committee Presidium), will refer the documents to specialised committees. A competent committee will be obliged to issue an opinion on EU legislative proposal and forward it to the EUAC, which will still take the final decision. If the specialised committee or the EUAC states that the draft in question doesn’t comply with the principle of subsidiarity, the Senate might submit a reasoned opinion to the EU institutions.

The Annual Policy Strategy and the Commission Legislative and Work Programme as well as the bi-annual information on Poland’s participation in EU activities are dealt with at the EUAC and Senate sittings.

1d. Do the regulations establish the Government's duty to report to the Parliament / Chamber? If so, in which terms?

Yes, both  foreseen  regulations mentioned in paragraph A maintain the same government’s responsibilities towards the Parliament and establish the new one. Apart from the presentation of information about Poland’s participation in the EU activities at least once every six months and presentation of information on any matter related to Poland’s EU membership at the EUAC/the Senate request, the government will have to forward to the Parliament legislative proposals other than legal acts according to article 289 and 290 of the TFEU (delegated and executive acts) and other acts issued independently by the Council of the EU or the European Council. In addition, the government will be obliged to refer positions of member states which declare that a draft legislative act affects important aspects of its social security system (art. 48 par. 2 TFEU) or its criminal justice system (article 82 and 83 of TFEU) and as a consequence ask for suspension of the ordinary legislative procedure.

According to the foreseen regulations the Council of Ministers is obliged to refer to both the Sejm and the Senate, the outlines of Poland’s positions on EU legislative proposals no later than within 14 days of the date the proposals were received. Each position should include, apart from the assessment of the foreseen legal consequences of the EU legal act for the Polish legal system and its social, economic and financial consequences for Poland, the evaluation of the legislative proposal’s compliance with the subsidiarity principle.

1e. In bicameral Parliaments, could you describe the mechanisms for information exchange and coordination between both Chambers?

No mechanism.

1f. Please briefly describe the administrative and advisory resources and support available for the task of monitoring the EU institutions.

The EUAC staff supports the EUAC in the monitoring of the EU institutions. The European Union Affairs Unit consists of: the secretariat of committee (3 members of staff) and the team of analysts (4 members of staff).The committee secretariat is responsible for preparing the committee sittings according to the Presidium decisions, which comprises e.g. preparing the agenda, invitation of relevant government representatives, preparing Committee’s final documents. The IPEX correspondent exchanges information with EU member states’ national parliaments via IPEX network.

As far as the role of the analysts is concerned they prepare opinions on the EU legislative proposals as well as opinions onpositions the Council of Ministers is to take in the Council of EU. They are also responsible for evaluating the EU legislative proposals’ compliance with the principle of subsidiarity. 

2. ENSURING COMPLIANCE WITH THE PRINCIPLE OF SUBSIDIARITY

2a. Please specify the Parliamentary bodies in charge of ensuring such compliance. 

For the time being only the EUAC has been involved in checking the compliance with the subsidiarity principle.

 According to the amendments to the Senate’s Rules and Regulations the relevant specialised committee as well as the Senate itself will be engaged in ensuring compliance of particular legislative proposal.

2b. Briefly describe the procedures involved.

According to the regulations that are foreseen to be adopted, the Senate Speaker will refer the EU legislative proposals to the relevant specialised committees of the Senate at the request of the EUAC chairman (in practice the Committee Presidium). The particular committee will be obliged to issue an opinion on EU legislative proposal and forward it to EUAC, which will still take the final decision. If the specialised committee or the EUAC states that the draft in question doesn’t comply with the principle of subsidiarity, the Senate might submit a reasoned opinion to the EU institutions. The Senate takes also the decision on filling a plaint about a draft legislative act’s non-compliance with the subsidiarity principle to the Court of Justice of the EU."

 

Article originally appeared on (http://www.cosac.eu/).
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