Thursday, 3 January 2013


Wow, for the first time I can recall, the Telegraph has a piece about the EU process of Comitology, not only that it is written by a UKIP member called Alexandra Swann. She writes:
With the best will in the world the UK government has no idea what is going on, nor does it have any idea on how to influence the process. Most specifically because the nation states are excluded from the process; the system is designed to ensure that accountability has no purchase and transparency is near impossible.

For these reasons, any attempt to rewrite our relationship with the EU, which includes the UK remaining subject to single market rules, means that we are left entirely devoid of control of our laws.
She concludes:
The distressing truth is that the legislation inflicted upon member states is all about mastery of detail; and the masters of the numbing detail do not sit in Whitehall, but on the Rue de la Loi.
My flabber is ghasted. That the Telegragh is even publishing such an article must be seen as progress, and must surely add to the pressure on Cameron for his 'much vaunted' speech on 15th  January.

And to Open Europe it's more proof that our influence as members of the EU is tantamount to...absolutely nothing.


  1. Unfortunately, the article is a pile of bollocks. The members of the regulatory committees are permanent representatives, civil servants or sometimes ministers, delegated by member states. Of course the UK government knows what is going on. It must send people to each committee and each meeting of that committee.

  2. @Richard, ah thanks for that...I must confess comitology is one area of the EU I know least about. I think I was still in shock that the phrase appeared in the Telegragh

  3. It is an extraordinarily complex process, but I once remember writing a speech on it for Titford to deliver in the EU parliament. It was the only speech where he got complimented by other MEPs.

    The "colleagues" have been trying to reform the process for years, on the basis that it is the last bastion where the Council (i.e., member states) can exercise real control over the Commission agenda - as we have seen with the approval of GM crops.

    From our point of view, it is terribly flawed as the main control is actually vested in the civil servants and ministers rather than parliament, and gives a means whereby they can exercise real power.

    Whatever else, therefore, this is no "silly" - it is deadly serious, and the little UKIP girlie is totally out of her depth.

  4. Thanks Richard, do you still have a copy of that speech? I had a quick perusal of t'internet to no avail.

    Not sure how accurate the Wikipedia piece is on the whole process