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Legal opinion affirms that the Green Deal reduction trajectory cannot be delegated to the Commission

24 April 2020

Legal opinion affirms that the Green Deal reduction trajectory cannot be delegated to the Commission

ECR Group: Executive Vice President Timmermans should now withdraw his legally flawed proposal.

The European Parliament’s Legal Service has reaffirmed its April 1 non-paper conclusion that the Commission’s attempt to self-delegate power, allowing it to set the trajectory for achieving emission reduction targets under the Green Deal, is an overreach of the Commission’s mandate.

A legal opinion requested by the ECR Group on the draft Climate Law makes clear that the proposed emission reduction trajectory establishes a pathway between two legally binding targets (i.e. 2030 and 2050). Therefore, by definition, it is an integral part of the legislation and cannot be delegated to the Commission in accordance with the Treaties.

It also ascertains that although the trajectory is not itself legally binding, it could nevertheless bring about legal obligations as the criteria for establishing the trajectory require complex political decision-making that takes full account of all economic, environmental, and social concerns.

The ECR Group is confident that the conclusions drawn in this latest legal opinion will finally put an end to the Parliament’s debate on the Commission’s use of “delegated acts” in the Climate Law.

The ECR’s Anna Zalewska MEP, Shadow Rapporteur for the European Climate Law and co-initiator of the assessment, said:

“The legal opinion proves beyond dispute that the Commission is attempting to act beyond its mandate. It is fundamentally important that MEPs, and the citizens who elect them, should not be sidelined in determining the impact of the Commission’s proposal. What we now need is a discussion amongst the Commission, the Parliament, and the Council concerning the EU’s emissions targets and find a realistic way forward without undercutting the Union’s Treaties.”

Alexandr Vondra MEP, ECR Coordinator for the Environment Committee and co-initiator, added:

“Executive Vice President Timmermans should withdraw this legally flawed proposal. The Director-General of the WHO has warned that the worst of COVID-19’s impact is still to come, and the IMF is currently projecting that GDP in the Eurozone will contract by 7.5% in 2020. In this context, the Parliament’s legislative work must focus on the post-pandemic recovery. If Mr. Timmermans is truly an advocate of fact-based evidence, then he should allow for more time to conduct assessments under the 2030 Climate Target Plan. This would better enable the collection of accurate data on the economic impact of this public health crisis, in turn, providing more time to correct the legal elements of this proposal.”

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