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Monday
Jun252012

Sweden

According to the replies of the Swedish Riksdag 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.

New procedures have been developed in the Swedish Parliament with regard to checking the compliance with the principle of subsidiarity of new legislative acts, and with regard to treaty amendments. The new provisions have been added to the Riksdag Act, which is semi-constitutional.

1. MONITORING THE ACTIVITIES OF THE EU INSTITUTIONS

The Treaty of Lisbon has not resulted in any changes in the procedures of the Swedish Parliament regarding 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).

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

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

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

Comment to question 1 B 1a-1d

The Treaty of Lisbon has not resulted in any changes to the procedures of the Swedish Parliament regarding monitoring of the activities of the EU institutions. In principle, all activities are monitored with an emphasis on pre-legislative and legislative matters.

In practice, the Swedish Parliament’s procedures already include the following main points:
Information:

The Swedish Parliament receives all documents directly from the EU institutions and the Government is to inform the Riksdag on its position on EU matters that it deems significant.

Monitoring:

 Monitoring is comprehensive and covers all areas of cooperation within the EU. The specialised committees are to monitor EU activities within their respective spheres of responsibility as part of their everyday tasks and to engage in EU matters at an early stage of proceedings from the pre-legislative phase until a decision is to be taken in the Council.

Deliberation:

The Government is obliged to deliberate with the specialised committees in any EU matters decided by the committees.

Consultation:

The Government is to consult the Committee on EU Affairs on all matters put on the Council’s agenda prior to decisions, at all stages of the proceedings, in order to acquire a mandate for the Swedish position in negotiations. This applies to all configurations of the Council, as well as to meetings in the European Council. Prior deliberations, subsidiarity checks and other activities in the specialised committees in relation to EU matters are taken into due account by the Committee on EU Affairs.

Reporting:

The Government is obliged to keep the Swedish Parliament informed on developments within the framework of EU cooperation and to report back on its own actions. These obligations are carried out both orally and in writing in the Plenary, in the specialised committees and in the Committee on EU Affairs.

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

The secretariats of the specialised committees, the Committee of EU Affairs and the Chamber, including the EU coordination unit, the IPEX correspondent and the permanent representative to the EU institutions are all involved in the task of monitoring the EU institutions.

2. ENSURING COMPLIANCE WITH THE PRINCIPLE OF SUBSIDIARITY

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

The Plenary and the specialised committees ensure the compliance with the principle of subsidiarity.

2b. Briefly describe the procedures involved.

According to new provisions in the Riksdag Act, the Plenary refers the proposal to the committee that possesses specialised knowledge of the field to which the draft legislative act applies. The committee in question is to carry out the subsidiarity check. If the committee concludes that a legislative act conflicts with the principle of subsidiarity, the committee presents a statement to the Plenary containing a proposal for a reasoned opinion addressed to the Presidents of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission. The Plenary adopts a reasoned opinion of the Swedish Parliament. The Committee on the Constitution is to monitor the Swedish Parliament’s application of the principle of subsidiarity, and once a year it is required to inform the Plenary of its observations."

For more information on ensuring compliance with the principle of subsidiarity, click here.