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21.3.2.  Management of the common agricultural policy

    After adoption of the basic regulations by the European Parliament and the Council, acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure (Article 43 TFEU), comes management of the common organisations. Management is either the joint responsibility of the Commission and Council or that of the Commission alone. For general policy decisions such as the annual setting of farm prices, undertaken in application of the basic regulations, the full procedure is used: the Commission after consulting professional organisations submits a proposal to the Council, which takes a decision after consultation with the European Parliament and very often the European Economic and Social Committee as well as the European Committee of the Regions [see section 4.3]. For long-application management provisions, such as adjustments of market mechanisms or of basic criteria, a medium-length procedure is used: the Commission proposes measures to the Council, which takes a decision without consulting either the European Parliament or the Economic and Social Committee.

    The implementation provisions for basic regulations and management measures in the strict sense of the term, which are applicable on average for a few weeks or a few months, are adopted by the Commission using a procedure known as the "Management Committee" procedure, whereby the Commission acts after having received the opinion of the Management Committee for the Common Organisation of Agricultural Markets, which has replaced the individual sector specific Management Committees, since 2008 [Regulation 1234/2007]. This Committee is composed of the representatives of the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission. The representative of the Commission submits to the committee a draft of the measures to be taken and sets a time-limit for the deliverance of its opinion. The Management committee votes by qualified majority. If the committee issues a favourable opinion or no opinion at all, the Commission can proceed with the adoption of the planned measures. Should a negative opinion be given, the Commission can adopt the measures but must notify them to the Council, which has one month to adopt a different decision by a qualified majority [Regulation 182/2011].

    Regulatory committees, also made up of representatives of all the Member States, play a role similar to that of the management committees as regards measures of general scope designed to apply or update provisions of basic instruments, such as food safety legislation, common veterinary or plant health standards, etc. The voting arrangements for regulatory committees are the same as for management committees. However, the committee’s opinion is binding on the Commission, which cannot adopt the measures unless the committee’s opinion is favourable. When the committee delivers an unfavourable opinion on the Commission’s proposed measures, or when no opinion is delivered, the Commission cannot take any decision, even a provisional one; it must pass the proposal on to the Council immediately. The Council must act within a period laid down in each instrument to be adopted by it, but this period may in no case exceed three months. It may adopt the proposal by a qualified majority, or amend it by unanimity. If the Council has not acted by the end of the period, the measures initially proposed are adopted by the Commission. If, within the time limit, the Council rejects the proposed measures by a simple majority, the Commission may not take a decision; however, it may consult the committee again, on the same proposal or different measures [Regulation 182/2011].

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