Page last updated at 10:12 GMT, Thursday, 22 November 2012

Debate on Common Commercial Policy

MEPs have broadly welcomed technical changes to the EU's common commercial policy, during a debate on 22 November 2012.

The CCP sets out common trade relations between all EU countries and non-EU countries, such as common levels of tariffs and customs duties.

The European Commission is proposing that 10 existing pieces of CCP legislation be made subject to the so-called delegated and implementing acts procedure.

This gives powers to the Commission, subject to scrutiny from the Parliament and Council, to have full executive powers over certain technical details, such as tariff levels, or particular exemptions for certain countries.

Scrutiny of delegated acts was enhanced by the Lisbon Treaty, and the Commission's proposals is designed to ensure that CCP laws are compliant with Treaty obligations.

However, speaking on behalf of the Commission, Algirdas Semeta warned that he could not accept an amendment by MEPs to prolong the parliament's so-called period of objection.

This would give MEPs more time to scrutinise the use of delegated acts by the Commission.

The changes were approved during the daily voting session later in the day.

Useful links:

Democracy Live's guide to how the plenary sessions work.

A disclaimer on the use of simultaneous interpretations, on the European Parliament's website.

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