On 21 March 2011, the Bureau of the Camera Deputaţilor adopted a Decision formally outlining a scrutiny mechanism of the EU documents. The Decision defines scrutiny rules for determining compliance with the principle of subsidiarity and for issuing political opinions.
In addition, according to the replies of the Romanian Parliament 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.
No regulations adopted yet.
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 ...).
In the medium term there are five drafts in preparation, all including the necessary adaptations to the Lisbon Treaty: The Law on cooperation of the Parliament and Government in European Affairs, The Standing Orders of the Chamber of Deputies, The Standing Orders of the Senate, The Rules of Procedure of the European Affairs Committee, The Rules of Procedure of the Parliament for the Subsidiarity Control."
"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 is focused on the activities and proposals of the European Council, the European Commission, the European Parliament, the EU Council, but includes as well the activities and recommendations of the ECB mainly in regard to the future adoption of the single currency by Romania.
1b. Please indicate if the monitoring is comprehensive or applies selectively to certain topics or questions of particular national interest.
The monitoring applies selectively to topics with major national and EU impact.
1c. Briefly describe the procedure and specify the parliamentary bodies involved.
The Joint European Affairs Committee (EAC) is placed in the centre of the parliamentary scrutiny system. With few exceptions, the Committee is empowered to represent the Parliament in EU matters, to participate in drafting Romania’s position on EU proposals and to monitor and intervene in shaping the Government’s actions in the EU decision making process, by way of a mandate on proposals selected for the parliamentary examination.
High profile CFSP / ESDP matters, Revision of the Treaties, Agreements closed by the EU with third parties, and similar issues, but also reasoned opinions on subsidiarity, exercising the veto right of the parliament, actions for annulment before the Court of Justice of the European Union on grounds of a breach of the principle of subsidiarity, recommendations to the Government on initiating or participating in enhanced cooperation with other member states, are to be debated and decided upon in the plenary meeting of both Chambers. On such issuses the EAC shall forward opinions to the Chambers but shall not adopt decisions.
Sectoral Committees are requested by the EAC to provide recommendations, and the EAC has to take them into consideration when adopting a decision.
1d. Do the regulations establish the Government's duty to report to the Parliament / Chamber? If so, in which terms?
Yes. The parliamentary scrutiny system has been designed to start the scrutiny process as early as possible, even in the pre-legislative phase. The Parliament does not have to wait for the Government’s notification or draft position to examine proposals and express opinions and may act independently.
The EAC may select any EU draft document for examining it and issuing an opinion. Once the opinion is issued, it stands as a mandate and the Government is politically compelled to abide.
The Government should inform the Parliament on its main orientations and objectives in EU politics/policies, its initial position on major proposals on the EU agenda and provide explanatory memoranda for the proposals having been selected by the Parliament for scrutiny.
Even if permitted to take decisions changing the mandate established in consultation with the Parliament, without Parliament’s approval, if the course of the negotiations so demands, the Government has to state in writing the reasons for such actions.
A parliamentary reserve mechanism is also provided.
The Prime-minister and ministers have to attend hearings and give evidence upon request, in the EAC or Chambers plenary sittings before or after European Council or Council meetings.
In EU initiatives subject to the open method of coordination, the Government is expected to fully inform the Parliament, attend parliamentary meetings and take into consideration Parliament’s opinions.
1e. In bicameral Parliaments, could you describe the mechanisms for information exchange and coordination between both Chambers?
The fact that the EAC is a joint committee having the final say on the majority of EU matters, greatly simplifies the coordination mechanism of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.
Matters exceeding the EAC competences (EAC can refer such matters to the Chambers’ plenary, on its own initiative) are to be dealt with by the Chambers’ plenary. In this way the problem of each Chamber having different legislative competences is solved.
1f. Please briefly describe the administrative and advisory resources and support available for the task of monitoring the EU institutions.
At administrative level, there are 3 departments with the role of providing expertise to the EAC and the Chambers, when dealing with EU matters: the EAC Secretariat, the EU Law Directorate of the Chamber of Deputies and the European Affairs Directorate of the Senate. The mentioned Directorates are tasked to provide expertise as well to sectoral committees and MPs, in their area of responsibility.
There is a possibility to seek specialised assistance in relevant State Institutions, or employ free lance experts, but it has not yet been used.
2. ENSURING COMPLIANCE WITH THE PRINCIPLE OF SUBSIDIARITY
2a. Please specify the Parliamentary bodies in charge of ensuring such compliance.
The EAC, the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate in joint session, Political Groups, Sectoral Committees, MPs.
At administrative level: the EAC Secretariat, the EU Law Directorate of the Chamber of Deputies and the European Affairs Directorate of the Senate, the Secretariats of the Political Groups, the Secretariats of the Sectoral Committees.
2b. Briefly describe the procedures involved.
The EAC Secretariat would make a preliminary selection of EU legislative proposals to be examined on grounds of subsidiarity compliance risk. All actors having relevant attributions, including individual MPs can forward proposals, with an explanatory statement attached, to add other EU legislative proposals to the list.
The EAC would decide on the final draft of the list. The MPs whose proposals were rejected have a right of appeal to the Standing Bureaus of the Chambers. The Standing Bureaus would decide in joint session, in the presence of the EAC Chairman who has a veto right, with the exception of appeals by Political Groups and Sectoral Committees. The Standing Bureaus of the Chambers decide on the final list of EU legislative proposals to be examined on subsidiarity compliance risk, but cannot withdraw proposals from final draft of the list.
The Standing Bureaus of the Chambers decide on the Sectoral Committees to examine the legislative proposals in their respective area of responsibility.
The sectoral committees adopt recommendations and forward them to the EAC.
The EAC is entitled to start the examination before receiving the recommendations of the sectoral committees, should take into consideration the recommendations, but is not obliged to include the point of view of the sectoral committees in its final opinion. The political groups can give input to the EAC, under a similar procedure.
The sectoral committees and the political groups can appeal to the Standing Bureaus of the Chambers to have their point of view revised, in case of a reasoned opinion proposition that was not accepted by the EAC. The Standing Bureaus of the Chambers decide according to their own rules of procedure to submit to the Chambers’ joint plenary sitting the appeals, together with the draft reasoned opinions adopted by the EAC.
The Chamber of Deputies and the Senate debate and decide in joint session to issue reasoned opinions."