1st Vice President Timmermans is dragging the European Commission into the 21st century.
He is behind the excellent idea of allowing for public consultations on many draft EU laws.
At the moment, the public only get to see a small minority of draft EU laws. The majority of delegated legilsation is never made public until it is adopted. It seems (see here) that the EU adopts 80 ordinary legislative proposals a year. But, there are another 1500 laws adopted until now in relative secret.
At the moment, the Member States and EP get to scrutinise the draft laws. But, they can overlook important issues that are often clothed in technical sounding jargon. This means that Commission (with the nod from the Member States and EP) has been able to pass the vast majority of EU legilsation in secret.
From my experience inside the Commission, some officials liked the ability of passing law without the public being able to see what was being put forward. I, being far less clever than these officials, have always thought law making is best done in public. The public have a great deal of good ideas, and sometimes silly ideas make their way into proposals, and they public can point this out. These new rules will make it easier for the public to scrutinise proposals.
The EP and Member States could have released the draft laws to the public, but I am not aware of anyone systematically doing so.
Now, at last, Vice President Timmermans has stood by his earlier committments in the confirmation hearings to make EU law making fit for purpose.
The Commission have sent the non-paper to the Council and the EP. If they agree to the rays of sunshine, the new rules can start working after April.
It may mean laws on vacumn cleaner nossle size get filterted out far earlier!