Endocrine Challenge Debate on 28 September

You can watch the debate and vote here.

 

 

The Environment Committee voted this morning:

  • 36 in favor
  • 26 against
  • 0 abstention
  • Total  voters 62 out of 69 members.

My hunch – but there is no automatic roll call vote – is this vote is split down Party lines.  S&D, Greens, GUE/ Nordic Left,  on one side, EPP and ECR on another.  The Liberals are split down the middle, with Red Liberals backing the S&D block, and Black Liberals backing the EPP.
The EFN would tend to vote for the motion and EFDD would vote against.

That is 52% of the members backing the vote. If translated to  the vote Wednesday in Strasbourg, it would just get over the 50.1% threshold, and 367 votes.

The full Parliament tends to take a more deferential line to the Commission than the Environment Committee so it is going to b a close thing.

Here is a copy of  the Endocrine PPP comitology challenge published today (Thursday 21 September).

Let’s see how the Environment Committee deal with it on 28 September at around 10:30 am.

It needs a simple majority to pass the Environment Committee, and if it does, it then goes to the full Parliament, where it will needs 367 votes or more to block the measure.

If it does, the Commission can withdraw and re-table a new proposal, or withdraw and submit a co-decision proposal.

European Parliament

2014-2019

 

{ENVI}Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

 

<NoDocSe>2017/0000(RPS)</NoDocSe>

<Date>{21/09/2017}21.9.2017</Date>

<TitreType>DRAFT MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION</TitreType>

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rule 106(2), (3) and (4)(c) of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>

<Titre>on the draft Commission regulation amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 by setting out scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine disrupting properties</Titre>

<DocRef>(D048947 – 2017/0000(RPS))</DocRef>

<Commission>{ENVI}Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety</Commission>

Members responsible: <Depute>Jytte Guteland, Bas Eickhout</Depute>

 

 

B8-0000/2017

 

European Parliament resolution on the draft Commission regulation amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 by setting out scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine disrupting properties

 

(D048947/06 – 2017/0000 (RPS))

 

The European Parliament,

 

–    having regard to the draft Commission regulation amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 by setting out scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine disrupting properties (D048947/06) (“draft regulation”),

–    having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market and repealing Council Directives 79/117/EEC and 91/414/EEC[1], and in particular Article 4(1), Article 78(1)(a), the second paragraph of point 3.6.5. of Annex II and point 3.8.2 of Annex II thereof,

–    having regard to the judgment of the General Court of 16 December 2015[2], and in particular paragraphs 71 and 72 thereof,

–    having regard to the European Parliament resolution of 8 June 2016 on endocrine disruptors: state of play following the judgment of the General Court of the European Union of 16 December 2015[3],

–    having regard to the Communication by the Commission on endocrine disruptors and the draft Commission acts setting out scientific criteria for their determination in the context of the EU legislation on plant protection products and biocidal products of 15 June 2016[4],

–    having regard to the Summary Report of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed held in Brussels on 28 February 2017,

–    having regard to European Parliament resolution of 14 March 2013 on the protection of public health from endocrine disrupters[5],

–    having regard to the Commission roadmap of June 2014 entitled “Defining criteria for identifying Endocrine Disruptors in the context of the implementation of the Plant Protection Product Regulation and Biocidal Products Regulation”,

–    having regard to the General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 ‘Living well, within the limits of our planet’ (“Seventh Environment Action Programme”), and in particular the third subparagraph of point 50 thereof[6],

–    having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, amending and repealing Directives 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC, and amending Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006[7],

–    having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on cosmetic products[8], and in particular Article 15 thereof,

–    having regard to the Guidance by the European Food Safety Authority on the “Submission of scientific peer-reviewed open literature for the approval of pesticide active substances under Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009”[9],

–    having regard to President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union Address of 13 September 2017,

–    having regard to the  second draft Guidance document of 17 July 2012 for the implementation of the hazard-based criteria to identify endocrine disruptors (EDs) in the context of Regulations (EC) No 1107/2009 and (EU) No 528/2012, developed by the European Food Safety Authority, the European Chemicals Agency, and the Joint Research Centre (“draft guidance”);

–    having regard to Article 5a(3)(b) of Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission[10],

–    having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety,

–    having regard to Rule 106(2), (3) and (4)(c) of its Rules of Procedure,

  1. whereas in accordance with point 3.8.2. of Annex II of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009, an active substance is only to be approved if it is not considered to have endocrine disrupting properties that may cause adverse effect in non-target organisms, unless the exposure of non-target organisms to that active substance under realistic proposed conditions of use is negligible (“cut-off criterion” for the environment);
  2. whereas in accordance with the second paragraph of point 3.6.5. of Annex II of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009, the Commission is to present to the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health a draft of the measures concerning specific scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine disrupting properties by 14 December 2013;
  3. whereas the Standing Committee delivered a positive opinion on the draft regulation on 4 July 2017, with three Member States voting against, and four Member States abstaining;
  4. whereas the last paragraph of the draft regulation stipulates that “if the intended plant protection mode of action of the active substance being assessed, consists of controlling target organisms other than vertebrates via their endocrine systems, the effects on organisms of the same taxonomic phylum as the targeted one, shall not be considered for the identification of the substance as having endocrine disrupting properties with respect to non-target organisms”;
  5. whereas the General Court in its judgment in case T-521/14 clearly stated that «la spécification des critères scientifiques pour la détermination des propriétés perturbant le système endocrinien ne peut se faire que de manière objective, au regard de données scientifiques relatives audit système, indépendamment de toute autre considération, en particulier économique»[11](paragraph 71);
  6. whereas it is not scientific to exclude a substance with an intended endocrine mode of action from the identification of being an endocrine disrupter for non-target organisms;
  7. whereas the draft regulation can therefore not be considered to be based on objective science linked to the endocrine system, as required by the Court; whereas the Commission hereby exceeds its implementing powers;
  8. whereas the actual intention of this last paragraph is clearly spelled out in the summary report of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed held in Brussels on 28 February 2017 which states that “furthermore, the rationale behind the provision on active substances with an intended endocrine mode of action (below called growth regulators (GR)) was explained. … The provision on GR allows that the cut-off criteria will not be applied to substances with an intended endocrine mode of action …”;
  9. whereas it is thus clear that the actual intention of this last paragraph is to effectively create a derogation from the cut-off criterion laid down point 3.8.2 of Annex II of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009;
  10. whereas it is apparent from recitals 6 to 10 as well as from Article 1(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 that the legislature, when addressing the complex issue of setting the rules on approving active substances, had to strike a delicate balance between the different and potentially conflicting objectives, i.e. agricultural production and the internal market, on the one hand, and the protection of health and the environment, on the other;
  11. whereas the General Court stated the following in the judgment referred to above: «Dans ce contexte, il importe de relever que, en adoptant le règlement n° 528/2012, le législateur a procédé à une mise en balance de l’objectif d’amélioration du marché intérieur et de celui de la préservation de la santé humaine, de la santé animale et de l’environnement, que la Commission se doit de respecter et ne saurait remettre en cause…. Or, dans le cadre de la mise en œuvre des pouvoirs qui lui sont délégués par le législateur, la Commission ne saurait remettre en cause cet équilibre, ce que cette institution a d’ailleurs en substance admis lors de l’audience.»[12] (paragraph 72);
  12. whereas this was echoed by the European Parliament in its resolution of 8 June 2016 which stresses that “the General Court ruled that the specification of scientific criteria can only be carried out in an objective manner on the basis of scientific data related to the endocrine system, independently of any other consideration, in particular economic ones, and that the Commission is not entitled to change the regulatory balance laid down in a basic act via the application of powers delegated to it pursuant to Article 290 [of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)];
  13. whereas the same limitations of power apply for the Commission in the context of an implementing act under the regulatory procedure with scrutiny;
  14. whereas according to the Commission communication of 15 June 2016, “the issue faced by the Commission in this exercise is to establish criteria to determine what is or is not an endocrine disruptor for the purposes of plant protection products and biocidal products – not to decide how to regulate these substances. The regulatory consequences have already been set by the legislator in the legislation on plant protection products (2009) and biocidal products (2012).”;
  15. whereas the cut-off criterion laid down in point 3.8.2 of Annex II of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 constitutes an essential element of the Regulation;
  16. whereas according to long-standing case law, the adoption of regulatory elements that are essential to a given matter is reserved to the EU legislature and may not be delegated to the Commission;
  17. whereas according to Commission President Juncker in his State of the Union Address 2017, the rule of law is one of three principles that must always anchor our Union; whereas Commission President Juncker furthermore elaborated in this context that “Accepting and respecting a final judgement is what it means to be part of a Union based on the rule of law. Member States gave final jurisdiction to the European Court of Justice. The judgements of the Court have to be respected by all. To undermine them, or to undermine the independence of national courts, is to strip citizens of their fundamental rights. The rule of law is not optional in the European Union. It is a must.”;
  18. whereas the Commission has thus exceeded its implementing powers by modifying an essential regulatory element of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009, contrary to the recognition of its limits of power in the court hearing in case T-521-14, contrary to its assertions in the Commission communication of 15 June 2016 and contrary to the fundamental Union principle of the rule of law evoked by Commission President Juncker;
  19. whereas the fact that the Commission exceeded its implementing powers is further corroborated by the statement in the summary report of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed held in Brussels on 28 February 2017 that the new clause would be added in a new paragraph, separate from “the commandments” and separate from the principles of assessment so that it is no longer part of the criteria;
  20. whereas even if the developments in scientific and technical knowledge were to provide valid grounds for introducing a derogation as regards the approval conditions of substances with an intended endocrine mode of action, such a derogation could only be created through a legislative procedure to amend Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 in accordance with Article 294 TFEU;
  21. whereas according to the Seventh Environment Action Programme, “the Union will further develop and implement approaches to address … safety concerns related to endocrine disruptors in all relevant Union legislation. In particular, the Union will develop harmonised hazard-based criteria for the identification of endocrine disruptors”;
  22. whereas according to the Commission roadmap, based on calls by the European Parliament
  23. and the Council, and reconfirmed by both co-legislators in the Seventh Environment Action Programme, the Commission should establish horizontal hazard-based scientific criteria to identify endocrine disrupters so as to enable their application in the wider legislation covering the regulation of endocrine disrupters in different regulatory settings;
  24. whereas the criteria in the draft regulation are however not fit for horizontal application in all relevant Union legislation due to at least two failures:
  25. failure to include a category of suspected endocrine disrupters,
  26. failure to include read-across in the operative part of the data to be considered[13],
  27. and therefore not compatible with the aim and content of the Seventh Environment Action Programme;
  28. whereas the failure to include a category of suspected endocrine disrupters means that no action can be taken against such substances, unless a complementary proposal is made to lay down criteria for them,
  29. whereas it would have been very relevant to include a category of suspected endocrine disrupters so as to be able to achieve adequate protection against such substances in other sectors, e.g. for cosmetics, which include a ban on substances that are suspected of being carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction (“CMR substances”), particularly since the Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 contains an obligation for the Commission to review that Regulation with regard to substances with endocrine-disrupting properties at the latest on 11 January 2015;
  30. whereas the failure to include a category of suspected endocrine disrupters furthermore means that the draft regulation is not consistent with the existing classification system for CMR substances as laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008, which includes a classification of suspected CMR substances;
  31. whereas the failure to include read-across in the operative part means that in case the criteria of the draft regulation were to be applied in other areas, each substance would need to be tested on its own and no test data from related chemicals could be used, so that in the absence of substance-specific test data on adverse effects, a substance could not be determined to be an endocrine disrupter, which would therefore  reward lack of testing with non-action, and would require unnecessary animal testing to be carried out;
  32. whereas the failure to explicitly include read-across as part of the consideration of all available data is not consistent with the existing classification system for CMR substances as laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008, which explicitly includes read-across;
  33. whereas one key element in the draft regulation in order to determine whether a substance is an endocrine disrupter is the endocrine mode of action (the second “commandment”); whereas the draft regulation equates “endocrine mode of action” with “alters the function (s) of the endocrine system” to align it with the definition by the World Health Organisation referred to in recital 2 of the draft regulation;
  34. whereas the draft guidance gives a different definition for mode of action: “A biologically plausible sequence of key events leading to an observed effect supported by robust  experimental observations and mechanistic data. A mode of action describes key cytological and biochemical events – that is, those that are both measurable and necessary to the observed effect – in a logical framework”.
  35. whereas the guidance thus provides a far more demanding definition for the key term “mode of action” compared to that which is set out in the second commandment of the criteria, and so unduly raises the bar for identifying endocrine disrupters;
  36. whereas the reference to existing guidance on literature data to be used in point (1)(1)(b) of the draft regulation establishes a hierarchy, which gives preference to data generated in accordance with internationally agreed study protocols over other scientific data, yet such study protocols are only available for certain endpoints to test endocrine disrupters, so that there is a serious risk that independent data alone are not considered enough for determining a substance as an endocrine disrupter;
  37. Opposes adoption of the draft Commission regulation;
  38. Considers that the draft Commission regulation exceeds the implementing powers provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009;

 

  1. Calls on the Commission to withdraw the draft regulation and submit a new one to the committee;
  2. Calls on the Commission to modify the draft regulation by deleting its last paragraph;
  3. Calls on the Commission to ensure that the guidance for the implementation of the hazard-based criteria to identify endocrine disruptors (EDs) in the context of Regulations (EC) No 1107/2009 and (EU) No 528/2012 is fully in line with the scientific criteria to determine endocrine-disrupting properties, including the weight of evidence approach of Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008;
  4. Calls on the Commission to ensure that the same guidance clarifies that there is no hierarchy between scientific data generated in accordance with internationally agreed study protocols and other scientific data;
  5. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, and to the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

 

[1]      OJ L 309, 24.11.2009, p. 1.

[2]      Judgment of the Court of Justice of 16 December 2015, T-521/14, Sweden v. Commission, ECLI:EU:T:2015:976.

[3]      P8_TA(2016)0270.

[4]      COM(2016) 0350.

[5]      P7_TA(2013)0091.

[6]      OJ L 354, 28.12.2013, p. 171.

[7]      OJ L 353, 31.12.2008, p. 1.

[8]      OJ L 342, 22.12.2009, p. 59.

[9]      DOI: 10.2903/j.efsa.2011.2092, EFSA Journal 2011;9(2):2092.

[11]      Since the court case T-521/14 exists only in French and Swedish, the English version of the text is provided by the translation services of the European Parliament: ‘the specification of scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine-disrupting properties may only be performed objectively, in the light of scientific data relating to that system, independently of all other considerations, in particular economic ones’.

[12]    Since the court case T-521/14 exists only in French and Swedish, the English version of the text is provided by the translation services of the European Parliament: ‘In this context, it is important to note that, when adopting Regulation No 528/2012, the legislature weighed up the objective of improving the internal market and that of protecting human health, animal health and the environment, arriving at conclusions which the Commission must respect and cannot call into question…. In the context of the exercise of the powers delegated to it by the legislator, the Commission cannot call that balance into question, a fact which, moreover, that institution has in essence accepted during the hearing.’

[13]    Read-across involves the use of relevant information from analogous substance(s) to predict properties for the‘target’ substance(s) under consideration [see “Read-across assessment Framework”, ECHA, 2017, https://echa.europa.eu/documents/10162/13628/raaf_en.pdf]

Juncker’s State of the Union 2017

European Commission President Juncker presented his 2017 State of the Union address on 13 September. This outlines the priority actions for the remainder of the Juncker Commission.

 

At the same as President Junker delivered his speech to the European Parliament, he transmitted a Letter of Intent to the Parliament and Council (here). More importantly, the College of Commissioners adopted 41 proposals. You can see the proposals here and in the Annex.

The Letter of Intent outlines 10 priorities; each priority itself divided in two separate groups.

The first group are initiatives to be launched and/or completed by the end of 2018. The intention is that all proposals to be adopted under this Commission will be adopted by May 2018.  In practice, this means that all proposals will be adopted by the College by  1st quarter 2018.  This will allow them to secure political adoption by the end of this Commission’s mandate.  Some key files like the budget will need to be adopted.

The second group are a set of initiatives to be launched with ‘ a 2025 perspective’. The Commission have a strict line on “political discontinuity”. The intention for the second group is to launch reviews of current legislation.
The Commission corridors post May 2018 will be lonely places. As the Commission found out when started to look at the habitats and nature directive, there are few prizes for opening up sacred crowds.

This will work in tandem with the “subsidiarity and proportionality” task force led by 1st Vice-President Timmermans. This Task Force will be something to watch.  It will give an opportunity for interests who want to encourage reflection for revision of existing legislation to develop evidence to support their case and bring this material to the table.

Some of the proposals, like the Task Force, caught even the Commissioner by surprise.

 

 

 

STATE OF THE UNION 2017

Letter of Intent to President Antonio Tajani and to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas

 

Roadmap for a More United, Stronger and More Democratic Union

 

Priority 1: A new boost for jobs, growth and investment

Initiatives to be launched and/or completed by end 2018

Circular Economy package to boost innovation, jobs and growth, including:

  • a strategy on plastics working towards all plastic packaging on the EU market being recyclable by 2030
  • a proposal for a Regulation on Waste Water Reuse;
  • a revision of the Drinking Water Directive;
  • and a monitoring framework for the Circular Economy.

 

Initiatives to be launched with a 2025 perspective

  • Reflection Paper ‘Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030’ on the follow-up to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including on the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

 

Priority 3: A resilient Energy Union with a forward-looking climate change policy

Initiatives to be launched and/or completed by end 2018

Swift adoption by the co-legislators of the Commission proposals to implement the Energy Union and Climate Change policy, including:

  • the Clean Energy for all Europeans package;
  • the Climate package;
  • and the Europe on the Move package.

Mobility and Climate Change package, including legislative proposals on:

  • clean vehicles;
  • common rules for combined transport of goods;
  • CO2 standards for cars and vans;
  • fuel-efficiency and CO2 standards for lorries, buses and coaches;
  • and an initiative to accelerate the delivery of the alternative fuels infrastructure.

 

 

Initiatives to be launched with a 2025 perspective

  • Communication on the future of EU energy and climate policy, including on the future of the Euratom Treaty (taking account of Declaration No 54 of five Member States added to the Final Act of the Lisbon Treaty) and on the possible use of Article 192(2), second subparagraph TFEU

 

Priority 4:  A Deeper and fairer internal market with a strengthened industrial base

Initiatives to be launched/and/or completed by 2018

  • A renewed EU Industrial Policy Strategy to foster industrial competitiveness, innovation and technological leadership for fair and good-quality jobs in industry and to make use of the potential of digital technologies across all industrial sectors.

 

Priority 6: Trade: a balanced and progressive trade policy to harness globalisation

Initiatives to be launched and/or completed by end 2018

Trade package, including:

  • a Communication on an upgraded, values-based, sustainable and transparent trade policy that helps harnessing globalisation and ensures a balanced approach on open and fair trade agreement;
  • draft mandates for launching negotiations with Australia and New Zealand;
  • a draft mandate for a new Multilateral Investment Court System;
  • a European framework for the screening of foreign direct investment in the EU on grounds of public order and security.

Swift adoption by the co-legislators of the proposals to modernise the EU trade defence instruments and amend its anti-dumping methodology, and the amended proposal concerning an International Procurement Instrument.

  • Finalising agreements with Japan, Singapore and Vietnam;
  • Pursuing negotiations with Mexico and Mercosur.

 

Priority 10: A Union of democratic change

Swift agreement by the co-legislators on the proposed amendments to the Comitology Regulation.

Initiatives to be launched with a 2025 perspective

  • Communication on further enhancing subsidiarity;
  • Proportionality and better regulation in the daily operation of the European Union.

 

 

Detailed Annex

The proposals in the State of Union adopted yesterday were:
DG – Title

 

CNECT:  framework for the free flow of non-personal data in the European UnionPDF (English)
SG Communication: welcoming Foreign Direct Investment while Protecting Essential Interests

TRADE

PDF (English)
Trade Recommendation for a COUNCIL DECISION authorising the opening of negotiations for a Convention establishing a multilateral court for the settlement of investment disputesPDF (English)
Trade  Communication  A Balanced and Progressive Trade Policy to Harness GlobalisationPDF (English)
Trade Report on the Implementation of the Trade Policy Strategy Trade for All Delivering a Progressive Trade Policy to Harness GlobalisationPDF (English)
Trade Proposal for a Regulation: establishing a framework for screening of foreign direct investments into the European UnionPDF (English)
GROW Communication: the 2017 list of Critical Raw Materials for the EUPDF (English)
HOME:  Proposal for a Council on combating fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment and replacing Council Framework DecisionPDF (English)
SG Proposal for a Regulation on the European citizens’ initiativePDF (English)

 

 

SG Proposal for a statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations

SG Communication  Investing in a smart, innovative and sustainable Industry: A renewed EU Industrial Policy StrategyPDF (English)

PDF (other languages)

CNECT  the evaluation of the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA)PDF (English)
CNECT Proposal for a Regulation on ENISA, the “EU Cybersecurity Agency”, and repealing Regulation (EU) 526/2013, and on Information and Communication Technology cybersecurity certification (”Cybersecurity Act”)PDF (English)
CNECT Communication Making the most of NIS – towards the effective implementation of Directive (EU) 2016/1148 concerning measures for a high common level of security of network and information systems across the UnionPDF (English)
HOME Report from the Commission assessing the extent to which the Member States have taken the necessary measures in order to comply with Directive 2013/40/EU on attacks against information systems and replacing Council Framework Decision 2005/222/JHAPDF (English)

PDF (other languages)

            DG TRADE
TRADE Recommendation for a Decision authorising the opening of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with AustraliaPDF (English)

PDF (other languages)

TRADE Recommendation for a Decision authorising the opening of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with New ZealandPDF (English)

PDF (other languages)

DG RESEARCH INNOVATION

RTD Commission implementing Decision on the award of grant(s) under Horizon 2020 – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)

Document request
RTD Commission implementing Decision

COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION on the award of grant(s) under Horizon 2020 – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)

Document request
 

RTD Commission implementing Decision

COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION on the award of grant(s) under Horizon 2020 – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)

LS Commission Decision

DÉCISION DE LA COMMISSION portant approbation de pouvoirs dans des affaires contentieuses devant la Cour de justice et le Tribunal

Document request
MARE Decision (letter)

Lettre au ministre des Affaires étrangères du Royaume Uni

Document request
JRC Commission Decision

COMMISSION DECISION regarding the distribution of the software Invasive Alien Species Europe (EASIN)

Document request
HOME Commission implementing Decision

COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION amending Commission Implementing Decision C(2015) 8913 approving the national programme of Sweden for support from the Internal Security Fund for the period from 2014 to 2020

Document request
TRADE Commission Decision

COMMISSION DECISION setting up the Group of Experts on EU Trade Agreements

Document request
CNECT Commission Recommendation on Coordinated Response to Large Scale Cybersecurity Incidents and CrisesDocument request
DG REGIONAL AND URBAN POLICY

REGIO Commission implementing Decision 3083 approving certain elements of the operational programme “Environment” for support from the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund under the Investment for growth and jobs goal in the Czech Republic CCI 2014CZ16M1OP002

Document request
EEAS Draft decision EEA Joint Committee

DRAFT DECISION OF THE EEA JOINT COMMITTEE No …/… amending Annex I (Veterinary and phytosanitary matters) to the EEA Agreement

Document request
EEAS Draft decision EEA Joint Committee

DRAFT DECISION OF THE EEA JOINT COMMITTEE No …/… amending Annex I (Veterinary and phytosanitary matters) to the EEA Agreement

Document request
EEAS Draft decision EEA Joint Committee

DRAFT DECISION OF THE EEA JOINT COMMITTEE No …/… amending Annex I (Veterinary and phytosanitary matters) to the EEA Agreement

SECRETARIAT-GENERAL

Communication from the Commission to the Institutions

Sec-Gen Communication Resilience, Deterrence and Defence: Building strong cybersecurity for the EU

Document request
SERVICE FOR FOREIGN POLICY INSTRUMENTS

Joint Proposal for a Council Regulation on restrictive measures in view of the situation in Mali

Document request
CNET – COMMUNICATINS NETWORKS, CONTENT & TECHNOLOGY

Staff working document

on the evaluation of the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) Accompanying the document Proposal for a regulation on ENISA, the “EU Cybersecurity Agency”, and repealing Regulation (EU) 526/2013, and on Information and Communication Technology cybersecurity certification (”Cybersecurity Act”)

Document request
CNECT Impact Assessment Summary Accompanying the document Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on ENISA, the “EU Cybersecurity Agency”, and repealing Regulation (EU) 526/2013, and on Information and Communication Technology cybersecurity certification (”Cybersecurity Act”)PDF (English)
CNET Impact Assessment

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT Accompanying the document REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on ENISA, the “EU Cybersecurity Agency”, and repealing Regulation (EU) 526/2013, and on Information and Communication Technology cybersecurity certification

PDF (English)
Impact Assessment Summary

Executive Summary of the IA

PDF (English)
Impact Assessment

Impact Assessment

PDF (English)
TRADE

Impact Assessment Summary

Commission Staff Working Document Executive Summary of the Impact Assessment Accompanying the document Recommendation for a Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations for a Convention establishing a multilateral court for the settlement of investment disputes

PDF (English)
Impact Assessment

Commission Staff Working Document Impact Assessment Multilateral reform of investment dispute resolution Accompanying the document Recommendation for a Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations for a Convention establishing a multilateral court for the settlement of investment disputes

PDF (English)
DG MIGRATION AND HOME AFFAIRS

Impact Assessment Summary

Executive summary of the impact assessment

Impact Assessment

Proposition de directive du Parlement européen et du Conseil concernant la lutte contre la fraude et la contrefaçon des moyens de paiement autres que les espèces et remplaçant la décision-cadre 2001/413/JAI du Conseil

PDF (English)
DG TRADE

Staff working document

Commission Staff Working Document Accompanying the document Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for screening of foreign direct investments in the European Union

Document request
DG COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS, CONTENT TECHNOLOGY

Staff working document

Assessment of the EU 2013 cybersecurity strategy

Document request
Staff working document

Commission Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal for a Regulation on the European citizens’ initiative

Document request
DG TRADE

Impact Assessment

Commission Staff Working Document Impact Accessment Accompanying the document Recommendation for a Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with Australia

PDF (English)
Impact Assessment Summary

Commission Staff Working Document Executive Summary of the Impact Assessment Accompanying the document Recommendation for a Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with Australia

PDF (English)

PDF (other languages)

Impact Assessment Summary

Commission Staff Working Document Executive Summary of the Impact Assessment Accompanying the document Recommendation for a Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with New Zealand

PDF (English)

PDF (other languages)

Impact Assessment

Commission Staff Working Document Impact Assessment Accompanying the document Recommendation for a Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with New Zealand

3 checklists to help you write better public policy writing

If you want to learn to write public policy well, or improve your existing public policy writing, get Catherine F. Smith’s ‘Writing Public Policy’.

 

The author shows you how to:

  1. Write clear public policy
  2. Provides good written examples
  3. Checklists to help you prepare policy memoranda, position papers, briefings
  4. Helpful insights

 

 

The  11 Chapter, 226 page book, is worth it for the checklists alone.

 

I have copied 3 of checklists.

1. Checklists

 

Checklist 1: General method of communicating in a policy process

 

Step 1: Prepare

First, ask questions about the policy process.

Policy

 

  • To what policy action does the communication relate?
  • Does a policy already exist?

 

Problem

  • What conditions are problematic?
  • What problem do these conditions present?
  • How do I define the problem?
  • How do others define the problem?
  • What narrative does my definition suggest?
  • How do I frame or characterize the problem? What is it like, metaphorically?
  • What stories, frames or metaphors are apparent in other definitions of the problem?

 

Actors

  • Who are the actors?
  • What are their roles?
  • What are their interests?
  • Who else has a significant role interest in the process?

 

Politics

  • What are the major disagreement or conflicts?
  • What are the major agreements or common interests?
  • Which actors are most likely to influence the process?

 

 

Step 2: Plan

Second, ask questions about communication.

 

Purpose

  • Why is this communication needed?
  • What do I want to accomplish?

 

Message

  • What story do I want to tell?
  • What is my message?
  • How does my message differ from that of others on the topic?
  • What argument will I make to support my message?
  • How does my argument relate to that of others on the topic?

 

Role

  • What is my role in this process?
  • What is my interest in the outcome?

 

Authority

  • Whose name will be in the document(s)?
  • For whom does the communication speak?

 

Reception

  • Who is the named recipient(s)?
  • Who will use the information?
  • How do I want the information to be used?
  • Will the document(s) be forwarded? Circulated?

 

Response

  • What will the recipients know after reading the document?
  • What all the users you use of its information do?
  • What is likely to happen as a consequence of this communication?

 

Setting and Situation

  • What is the occasion?
  • What is the time frame for communicating?
  • Where, when, and how will this communication be presented?
  • Where, when and how will it be received and used?

Form and Medium

  • Is there a prescribed form or do I choose?
  • What is the appropriate medium for presentation and delivery?

Contents

  • What information will support the message?
  • Where will a succinct statement of the message be placed?
  • How will the contents be arranged to support the message?
  • How will the document’s design make information easy to find?

 

Tone and Appearance

  • How do I want this communication to sound?
  • What attitude do I want it to convey?
  • How do I want the document to look?

 

Document Management

  • Who will draft the document?
  • Will there be collaborators?
  • Who will review the draft?
  • Who will revise it?

 

Step 3: Produce

 

Write the document in 3 phases: (1st) draft, (2nd) review, and (3rd) revise.

 

Do not mix the 3 stages.

 

 Draft

  • Produce a complete working draft in accordance with your preparation and plan

 

 Review

  • Compare the draft plan and highlight any differences
  • Get additional review of the draft by others, if necessary
  • Referred to the checklists shown next to assess the draft’s effectiveness and quality and to highlight the need for revision

Revise

  • Make the changes called for by the review

 

Checklist 2:  Features of effectiveness

 

  • Address a specific audience about a specific problem.
  • Has a purpose related to a specific policy action?
  • Represents authority accurately
  • Uses appropriate form
  • Is designed for use

 

 Checklist 3: Measures of excellence

  • Clarity
  • Correctness
  • Conciseness
  • Credibility

Can you write and say it?

Smith says, “In policy work if you can’t write it, and say it, you can’t do it.”  A lot pf public policy practitioners can do neither.

So, if you don’t turn up to the public consultation, you can’t be surprised if you position is ignored.  If you do not turn up the comment, or don’t raise the key issue, or go into gobbledygook overdrive, you will miss the chance to contribute. It is a lot more common than you would think.  Few civil servants are telepaths, so if the reader does not understand what have put down in writing, they will ignore it. Only you are to blame.

 

 

 

Few Surprises

Smith notes most procedures are regular and the players tend to be established.

For example, once a year the European Commission prepare a Work Programme.  A limited group of people determine the main legislative and policy cycle for the Commission for the next 12 months. Despite the regular cycle, many interests just ignore it.

The preparation of legislative proposals, the passage of ordinary and delegated legislation, all have, more or less, common steps.  Whilst there are certain procedures that are less frequent, or where vagaries turn up, around 90% of your day to day work will be regular.

This has an advantage. You know most of the steps and key players in advance. More importantly, with Smith’s book, you will get to present your case in the best way possible. Her book will help you write out many public briefing letters, briefings and memos months in advance.

How to know if you don’t want to win?

It is clear that not many people want to genuinely influence public policy writing. First,  many interests do not want to positively persuade and influence. Too many interests are in the business of points scoring.  Second, you are involved, whether you like it or not, in the business of change. If you are against change, the chance of success is limited.

A guarantee to be ignored is to misrepresent your position. Along with showing you don’t your argument and issue, both will have your position being ignored and locked out of the public policy making process. Policy makers are busy and time is too limited.

 

 

Signs you want to win?

You want to persuade and want to win over key decisions makers over to your side.

Your audience are the policymakers, political advisers, officials, and legislators. I am guessing you know most of them.

The information you communicate is relevant, make things happen, have consequences should be publicly available.

It is intelligible, understandable, applicable, useful and credible. Your reader’s view is the only test for what is relevant, and how they see things the relevant criteria.

All too often, it is too easy for the reader to quickly put the public policy memo aside. You will not copy many of your colleagues.  No cluttered, unintelligible, abstract and confusing memo from you. You will be one of the few whose writing stands out for being clear, easy to read and clear.