The ordinary legislative procedure is managed by
standard rules laid out in Art. 294 of TFEU. it is the same provisions that
ruled the previous ‘co-decision’ process
(previously in Art. 251 EC). The application is touch upon almost all the
policy areas that are confined within the TFEU. The role of parliament in the procedure align
with the Council which has the same rights and same decision making authority
which has competence to exercise the greatest amount of legislative power under
this process. The procedure comprises up to three main stages, although the
process can be accomplished at the first or second stage of reading.
Firstly, European Commission who has the right of
initiative prepare legislative proposal on its own initiative or at the request
of other EU member states or institutions, followed by citizen’s initiative. Then, the proposal will be sent simultaneously to the EP,
Council, and national parliament, and sometimes to the Committee of the Regions
and the Economic and Social Committee.
Continuing on to the first reading by EP which the president
of parliament refer the proposal to a parliamentary committee. The committee
votes ont his report and any amendment to it listed by other members. EP then
discuss and votes on the legislative in plenary which resulted in Parliament’s position. It can accept without any changes or amendment. Once the
result is out, first reading position is dispatched to the Council.
Council may only formally conduct their first reading
based on the Parliament’s position. It can accept the EP position,
meaning the legislative proposal is adopted. However, it can also adopt changes
to the EP’s position which formed the council first reading
position and sent to Parliament for a second reading.
In the second reading, EP has three to four months to
examine the council position and this process have four possible aftermaths. First,
EP approves position of council and the act is adopted. Second, EP fails to
take decision within the time frame meaning the act adopted based on the
council first reading. Third, EP reject council first reading and the act
cannot be adopted and procedure ended. Lastly, EP propose amendments to council
first reading and dispatch the position to Council for second reading.
Similarly, the council has the same time-limit to assess EP’s second position. It is also informed about the Comissions position on
the parliament second reading. What council can do in these steps is either to
approve all parliament’s amendments or reject it. Rejection of EP’s amendment will have formed a meeting of Conciliation Committee
consisted of President of Council and Parliament president.
A conciliation committee must be formed within the
6-8 weeks of the Council’s rejection of EP’s second reading.
Committee consisted of even number of Council and MEP’s. they are given
6-8 weeks time limit to decide on a joint text based on second reading of both
parliament and council. If joint text cannot be formed, the legislative
proposal acts falls and the procedure ended. If it does agree, then the text
will be sent to third reading of EP & Council. At last, both bodies have
same time limit to decide and modify. If both approved, the proposal adopted or
if one of the other rejects or even both doesn’t correspond with
time, the procedure ended with no legislative being adopted. Therefore, the
process restart from the beginning with new proposal initiate by the
In terms of number of cases which decided by the
procedure, 67% of the case conluded in the first reading, then 24% on second
reading, and only 9% concluded through conciliation.
Decisions taken under the OLPs are based on Qualified
Majority Voting or QMV. It is understood that unanimity is not necessarily
needed for a decision to be taken in the Council when a pre-determined majority
of member states are agreement. Each of the member state has certain number of
votes depending on population size. As the new rule adopted on November 2014,
the double majority rule applied which requires majority of 55 % of the member
states (16/28 states) if the proposal is made by the Commission or High Rep.
Other options in case the proposal is made by somebody else, requires 72%
instead of 55. Regardless, of the who made the proposal, it needs to have 65%
majority of total EU Population.