There are three main bodies involved in making our laws inside the European Union:
. European Council : made up of leaders of the 28 EU member states
. European Commission : made up of ‘representatives’ from the 28 member states
. European Parliament : made up of 751 MEPs, the number of MEPs per nation allocated according to population, ‘sort of’
(we have one MEP for 890,000 people in the UK, however there is an MEP for every 70,000 people in Malta)
The BBC actually explains the process by which the complex ‘EU machine’ generates new laws for us in the UK to live our lives by fairly well :
However what the BBC fails to mention (which being funded by the EU by many millions every year might explain) is the following:
i) The EU Commission… only body to be able to formulate and propose new laws, is completely unelected.
ii) ‘Big Business’ representatives are invited to participate in the formulation of new laws by the EU Commission…
– just possibly this may explain why almost every new EU law favours massive corporations, whilst at the same time effectively penalising and often driving out of business much smaller ones.
Huge multi-national corporations are also in a much better position to implement the never-ending stream of new rules, directives and regulations that the EU chucks out,
– a small, ‘three or four man operation’ simply can’t afford to run a separate department to keep track of them all and make sure that they comply.
iii) The UK used to have two Commissioners, however this was seen as giving us too much influence, so now we only have one. There are 28 Commissioners in total, one per member state, and each effectively has the same influence with regard to new EU law creation, so ‘yes’, we have exactly the same influence in creating new EU law as Malta.
iv) Both the EU Parliament and Council of Ministers must approve all proposed new EU legislation. In theory the European Parliament can reject proposals from the Commission for new laws, but hardly ever does, it only ever amends.
The European Council mostly uses a system of QMV (Qualified Majority Voting), but whatever voting system has been employed, we have been consistently unable to block any new legislation from being passed,
– on each of the 72 times we have voted against a proposal, it has subsequently gone forward and been adopted as a regulation or a directive, to be incorporated into every member state’s law.
Essentially once laws are proposed by the Commission it’s pretty much ‘going through the motions’ before a new regulation or directive is churned out, is just a matter of ‘how long it will take’…
v) Once new EU legislation is approved by both the EU Council and the Parliament, the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which consists of 28 representatives (not necessarily qualified judges, they can be just lawyers)
– then decides whether it should become a regulation, something which must be implemented by member nations at the earliest opportunity, exactly as defined,
– or a directive, which member nations can decide how they will implement, but should be within next two years.
The ECJ is the highest court in the EU, it sits in Luxembourg and supposedly ensures that EU law is interpreted and applied in the same way in all 28 members states.
(Famously France tends to ignore whole rafts of legislation which they don’t like, or which is clearly detrimental to France,
– the UK, being ‘good Europeans’, generally implements everything, usually in a more strict and detailed way than it was even intended, regardless of how damaging it may be to our national interests. Needless to say the French suffer zero penalties for adopting their rather different approach…)
The ECJ has supremacy over every EU nation’s own judicial process, yet a lot of the people who are involved in the ECJ and making final rulings, are either ‘low grade judges’ or not even judges at all.