Audit Into EU Law



  • Hello everyone,

    After much work since the start of my term on the Commission, I am delighted to finally produce my audit into the current corpus of EU law. As you will see, the audit works quite simply - it summaries each piece of legislation and explains any bureaucracies that it might create, details any significant problems with the legislation, and finally makes recommendations as to what should be done with the legislation. Some laws, I believe, should be repealed altogether; and some should be left alone. Some should have housekeeping amendments set as a low priority, but some should have more wide-ranging reforms made as a higher priority. It would be excellent if you could read my report and offer questions, comments, and other such feedback. Since the audit has a law-by-law focus, further comment on relations between laws and other laws or the Constitution would be especially welcome. I hope that, after your input, I can start teaming up with Councillors to effect the necessary changes to overhaul EU legislation and make an altogether more effective Europe.

    Robert Kilroy-Silk


    With the exceptions of the Constitution and the Budget, there are twenty-eight pieces of 'standard' European Union legislation currently in force. These are as follows:

    Anti-Terrorism Act (Passed April 2006)

    PROVISIONS: Requires that each member state suppress the funding of terrorism; freeze the assets of terrorists, and those who intend to commit or facilitate terror offences; not support terrorism; deny refuge to terrorists or those who facilitate or support terrorism; ban the financing, planning, preparation, or perpetration of terror offences; and assist other member states in investigating terror offences.

    BUREAUCRACIES: None.

    PROBLEMS: None serious. It may be difficult to reconcile some of the Act’s provisions, particularly regarding freezing assets, with the principle of due process.

    EVALUATION: No action needed.

    Chemical Weapons Act (Passed April 2006; Amended May 2012)

    PROVISIONS: Bans the development, production, possession, acquisition, sale, transfer, commission, deployment, or use of biological (or chemical) weapons; mandates member states to decommission and destroy any such weapons it may possess. Bans the building of new storage facilities for such weapons (except facilities required for their destruction), and mandates member states to repurpose or destroy such facilities.

    BUREAUCRACIES: The European Biological and Chemical Weapons Authority. A compliance monitor with the right to determine whether a member state is in breach of the provisions, and which holds exclusive mandate to sue non-compliant member states at the ECoJ. Director appointed by Defence Internal Commissioner, with no term limit. Four regular Councillor members as per Committee Reform Act.

    PROBLEMS: Highly irregular procedural position. The 2013 Biological Weapons Act simultaneously claims to function as an ‘expansion’ of the 2006 Act and to replace it. It does not incorporate the text of the 2006 Act.

    EVALUATION: For the avoidance of legal doubt, it would be wise to amend or replace the Act to put the 2006 and 2013 Acts together in one text.

    Climate Change Act (Passed July 2006)

    PROVISIONS: Mandates member states to commit to cutting greenhouse emissions caused by petrol-fuelled items by 20%+; to provide 5%, 10%, and 15% ethanol fuels at “equitable parity and availability” of “conventional” petrol (subject to nine months’ grace); to “share new technology” which would contribute to reducing emissions; to encourage private citizens by “fiscal or otherwise means” to purchase cars with fuel efficiency over 40mpg; to reduce emissions of CO2, methane, PFCs, and HFCs by 20% (at end of ten years’ grace); to reduce emissions of NO2 by 10% (at end of ten years’ grace); to reduce CO2 emissions from energy production by 25% (at end of eight years’ grace); to provide every household with two trees; to establish departments of conservation to oversee tree distribution. Bans production of motor vehicles with fuel efficiency under 20mpg; gives member states carte blanche to regulate such vehicles, as well as vehicles produced “no earlier than” 1995 (or 11 years before application of Act); bans the emission of CFCs and SF6 (subject to three months’ grace); bans the emission of non-CO2 greenhouse gases in the production of energy (subject to nine months’ grace); bans “wanton” deforestation.

    BUREAUCRACIES: None.

    PROBLEMS: Inadvertently penalises cars produced after 1995, rather than before. Antiquated references to ‘NS UN’ throughout text. Sets own customs for amendments. Refers to itself as a ‘treaty’. Extreme micro-management in its provisions.

    EVALUATION: Due to its age, irregularity, errors, and draconian provisions, this Act’s repeal should be considered a priority. Climate change is, however, a perfectly valid cross-border matter for EU legislation, and so its replacement with new legislation is also recommended. This Act may, in parts, be of use to those drafting such a replacement. Further raises need for standardised grace period.

    Rights of the Accused Act (Passed March 2008)

    PROVISIONS: Stipulates that “a citizen or national representative” called for “questioning” by the ECoJ be granted access to a lawyer (“state-appointed” if requested); not be questioned for more than 3 hours without a break of 45 minutes+; not be questioned between 9pm and 6am; not be questioned for 48 hours without charge; be given access to all documents concerning their case if charged (unless the ECoJ votes by majority to deny them some such information under certain circumstances); be allowed to request a 72-hour (or shorter) deferment of trial (unless trial is due to begin in less than 12 hours’ time); be given the right to cross-examine prosecution witnesses or to call their own witnesses during trial; and be “granted habeas corpus,” by which the text’s author meant double jeopardy, if found not guilty.

    BUREAUCRACIES: None.

    PROBLEMS: Treats the ECoJ as a criminal court, which it is not. Has most likely largely been superseded by later legislation and/or the UDoHR. Calls double jeopardy ‘habeas corpus’.

    EVALUATION: Repeal is recommended. Any improvements to EcoJ case proceedings should be referred to general ECoJ reform efforts, or to amendment of later legislation.

    Nuclear Proliferation Act (Passed November 2009; Amended April 2012, December 2015)

    PROVISIONS: Establishes the ENAA (see below) to approve or deny applications for nuclear proliferation, and to monitor compliance. Nations with no nuclear weapons upon application of this legislation assumed to be banned from nuclear proliferation unless a successful application to the ENAA is made.

    BUREAUCRACIES: The European Nuclear Applications Authority. Compliance monitor also responsible for approving, conditionally approving, or denying any and all applications from non-nuclear member states to develop or purchase nuclear weapons. Comprises seven heads of government – those of Duxburian Union, Angleter, UK, and Halsberg; and three elected annually by the Council. Takes all decisions by majority vote subject to quorum of 4. Exclusive mandate to sue non-compliant member states in ECoJ.

    PROBLEMS: None.

    EVALUATION: No action needed.

    European Heritage Sites Act (Passed December 2010, Amended [COMMITTEE REFORM] November 2013)

    PROVISIONS: Establishes European Heritage Site Program to recognise sites in European Union member states that meet certain criteria. Heritage Sites are to be maintained through EU funds and given “special protection status”. Heritage Site proposals are to be approved or denied by vote of the “five” Commissioners.

    BUREAUCRACIES: None.

    PROBLEMS: Refers to five Commissioners, not three.

    EVALUATION: Amendment is recommended to devolve responsibility either to a specific Commissioner, or to a bureaucracy under the oversight of a specific Commissioner.

    European Health Insurance Card Act (Passed August 2011)

    PROVISIONS: Creates European Health Insurance Card, which shall behave as a valid form of monetary payment or health insurance (depending on the holder’s specific healthcare scheme at home) with any healthcare provider in the European Union. In essence, the holder can enjoy the healthcare they’re entitled to in their host country across the Union. Mandates that all healthcare providers in the European Union publicise and distribute the EHIC to citizens, free of charge.

    BUREAUCRACIES: None.

    PROBLEMS: Responsibility for managing EHIC attributed to nobody in particular.

    EVALUATION: Amendment recommended, as a relatively low priority, to clarify language re: government-funded and private healthcare &c., and to ascribe responsibility either to a specific Commissioner or to a bureaucracy under the oversight of a specific Commissioner.

    European Patent System Act (Passed September 2011)

    PROVISIONS: Creates a single European Patent System, apparently to exist alongside national patent systems. Member states may opt-out of the system, but might still have no right to reject European patents (language is unclear). States that do not opt-out may pay a national subscription fee and allow their citizens to essentially file for patents without charge, or may choose not to pay up and have their citizens pay the going rate (this is my reading of the law – it might be that states that do not pay a national fee are opting out?).

    BUREAUCRACIES: The European Patent Office. Sets patent fees (national and individual), grants patents, arbitrates in patent disputes (with appeal to the ECoJ), &c. Chairman elected by Council annually.

    PROBLEMS: The European Patent Office has not had a Chairman election since 2011 and appears entirely dormant. Military technology is, bizarrely, excluded from what can be patented. There should be no recourse to the ECoJ in ordinary patent disputes. Language is unclear regarding opt-outs, payments, and where a European patent applies.

    EVALUATION: Mutual recognition of patents is a reasonable area for European involvement. However, this current system is over-centralised, confusing, and inactive. I would recommend repeal and replacement as a relatively low priority.

    European Highway Numbering Act (Passed January 2012; Amended February 2013)

    PROVISIONS: Allocates identifying numbers to ‘major’ roads in the European Union, to go alongside national names/numbers.

    BUREAUCRACIES: The European Highway Council. Essentially an arm of the Office for Internal Affairs. Business of identifying numbers contracted out to independent firm.

    PROBLEMS: No protocol for enforcement; does not state whether countries can choose to participate in the scheme or not. Fortunately, these issues basically cancel each other out. EHC is essentially dormant.

    EVALUATION: No action needed.

    Child Labour Act (Passed February 2012)

    PROVISIONS: Bans the employment of children under 14 for anything except for voluntary/charity work, apprenticeship training, media/performing arts work, seasonal employment that does not disrupt the child’s studies, or work of less than 20 hours a week that does not include ‘heavy manual labour’.

    BUREAUCRACIES: None.

    PROBLEMS: None.

    EVALUATION: No action needed.

    European Budget Act (Passed April 2012)

    PROVISIONS: Mandates that the Economics Premier Commisioner produce an EU budget for ratification by the Council annually. Mandates that each member state contribute 0.1% of GDP to the EU budget. Allows non-compliant member states to reach a settlement with the European Council before the Commission takes recourse to the ECoJ. Surplus funds are returned to the nations on a pro-rata basis.

    BUREAUCRACIES: Remarkably, none.

    PROBLEMS: In the same breath says that surplus funds are to be returned to the nations, and that the Economics Premier Commissioner can decide whether surplus funds are to be returned to the nations or held over for the nations’ contributions next year. The former has become the norm in any case since large surplusses occur each year.

    EVALUATION: No action needed.

    European Arts Collaboration Fund Act (Passed June 2012, Amended [COMMITTEE REFORM] November 2013)

    PROVISIONS: Creates European Arts Collaboration Board, gives it funding to distribute to cross-border arts projects across the EU.

    BUREAUCRACIES: The EACB. Organised according to Committee Reform Act.

    PROBLEMS: Wording conflicts in part with Committee Reform Act.

    EVALUATION: Why are Councillors deciding on arts funding? Amendment recommended, at any rate, to harmonise with Committee Reform Act.

    European Relief Force Act (Passed September 2012)

    PROVISIONS: Creates the European Relief Force, a humanitarian volunteer corps to be sent by the Council (at the request of a member state) to post-disaster or post-conflict areas. Use of force restricted to self-preservation.

    BUREAUCRACIES: The ERF. Under the auspices of the Defence Internal Commissioner.

    PROBLEMS: None.

    EVALUATION: No action needed.

    Nuclear Test Regulations Act (Passed November 2012)

    PROVISIONS: Restricts nuclear weapons tests to underground, outer space, or remote areas that are 200km from human habitation, 300km from the ocean, and 300km from borders. Also restricts tests near significant wildlife or cultural areas, or where and when there is danger of an EMP.

    BUREAUCRACIES: None.

    PROBLEMS: None.

    EVALUATION: No action needed.

    Biological Weapons Act (Passed January 2013)

    See Chemical Weapons Act

    Civilian Access Initiative Act (Passed February 2013)

    PROVISIONS: Allows free access to the Council’s public galleries, security and decorum permitting. Mandates the recording and allows the broadcasting (live or otherwise) of Council sittings. Creates Commissioner’s Question Time, to be held monthly, where Commissioners answer questions from members of the public. Creates fund for educational establishments to visit EU institutions. Requires Councillors to make time for meetings with their government or their country’s citizens.

    BUREAUCRACIES: None.

    PROBLEMS: Commissioner’s Question Time is not being used to its fullest extent, to say the least.

    EVALUATION: Recommend amendment to abolish CQT, dead letter as it is – very low priority.

    Consumer Rights Act (Passed March 2013)

    PROVISIONS: Bans misleading advertising. Requires that samples be representative. Requires that vendors have the legal right to sell any product or service they sell. Requires that sold products must meet relevant safety standards. Requires that loss or harm incurred from new defective products or services be the liability of the vendor. Allows multinational breaches of legislation to be pursued at the ECoJ.

    BUREAUCRACIES: None.

    PROBLEMS: Multinational breaches should not be pursued at the ECoJ.

    EVALUATION: Amendment to remove references to ECoJ recommended. Scope for expansion of this legislation was recognised in 2013 and remains today.

    European Court of Justice Case Procedures Act (Passed May 2013)

    PROVISIONS: Details case procedures in the European Court of Justice.

    BUREAUCRACIES: None.

    PROBLEMS: This issue shall be deferred until further discussion on ECoJ reform.

    EVALUATION: This issue shall be deferred until further discussion on ECoJ reform.

    Committee Reform Act (Passed November 2013)

    PROVISIONS: Establishes that each committee (except the EBCWA, whose Director is appointed by the Defence Internal Commissioner) should comprise a Director elected by the Council for a non-renewable six-month term, and staffed by four Councillors who volunteer for a non-renewable six-month term. Decisions in committees are to be taken by simple majority vote, with Director holding veto power. By-elections take place as per normal elections. Director may fire Councillors from committee for inappropriate behaviour; but they may be reinstated by two-thirds Council majority. Two-thirds Council majority required to impeach Director. Councillors prohibited from sitting on more than one committee unless numbers render such necessary.

    BUREAUCRACIES: Affects EBCWA, EACB, and hypothetical committee governing heritage sites.

    PROBLEMS: Amends other Acts. Committees are generally moribund. Are these committees really the preserve of the Council and not the executive branch?

    EVALUATION: Whole legislation around committees is recommended for amendment; possible incorporation into Constitution.



  • Freedom of Movement of Required Labour Act (Passed March 2014)

    PROVISIONS: Creates Labour Exchange, under Internal Affairs Commissioner, for member states to register labour shortages – this allows employers in that country to register to find foreign labour in said shortage-stricken industry. Employer must be further means-tested to demonstrate they could not fill vacancy with domestic labour. Those hired through Labour Exchange may migrate, reside, and work in host country visa-free (but most provide proof of employment), and are entitled equal entitlement to benefits. Countries may refuse criminals or national security threats.

    BUREAUCRACIES: Labour Exchange. Part of Internal Affairs Office, but nonetheless moribund.

    PROBLEMS: What happens if/when they lose their job?

    EVALUATION: Amendment to clarify status of those who migrate under Labour Exchange after end of employment is recommended, as a low priority.

    Health Accreditation Act (Passed June 2014; Amended July 2014)

    PROVISIONS: Creates European Healthcare Accreditation Committee, under a ‘learned professional’ President, and a Board of Directors comprising healthcare sector professionals from across the EU. The EHAC’s members are immune from the Council except for impeachment by a 2/3 majority. Sets standards for healthcare accreditation in the EU; can give and revoke accreditation for medical schools. Responsible for accrediting healthcare professionals from outside the EU.

    BUREAUCRACIES: The EHAC.

    PROBLEMS: Highly irregular organisation – who appoints these directors? Institution is moribund. Curiously at pains to stress EHAC’s independence from the Council, which is by definition non-existent. Could be considered over-centralising, but scope still remains to eliminate barriers to accreditation for EU professionals in other member states.

    EVALUATION: Amendment recommended as a low priority to shift towards a mutual recognition arrangement.

    Neonicotinoid Restriction Act (Passed July 2014)

    PROVISIONS: Bans use of neonicotinoids as agricultural pesticides, with exceptions.

    BUREAUCRACIES: None.

    PROBLEMS: Superfluous reference to ECoJ.

    EVALUATION: No action needed.

    European Seed Trust Act (Passed September 2014)

    PROVISIONS: Creates European Seed Trust, which will preside over three seed banks (in countries that apply to have them). EST will work in conjunction with national seed trusts and the Commission. EST will provide six-monthly reports to Internal Commissioner and be funded to the tune of €100m in its first year, and will ask for private and national donations if it goes over its budget. Seed banks ‘are still subject to the national jurisdictions as that of Embassies of a nation.’ Seed banks will by Sept 2014 have half the known plant species in the region.

    BUREAUCRACIES: European Seed Trust, headed by a Director appointed by the Internal Affairs Commissioner for two years. Director ‘shall be an established scientist in the field of biology, ecology, or botany; who shall put aside corporate, national, and political affiliations in pursuit of this act.’

    PROBLEMS: EST is moribund. Six-monthly reports totally unnecessary.

    EVALUATION: Amendment – as a low priority – suggested to bring EST into single committee system.

    European Finance Agency Act (Passed November 2014)

    PROVISIONS: Creates European Finance Agency, which calculates what each member state owes for the EU budget and then ensures they pay it, has the authority to take non-compliers to the ECoJ, oversees return of surplusses, ‘monitors the health’ of the region, gives credit ratings, and gives economic advice to member states when asked.

    BUREAUCRACIES: EFA. Led by Economics Premier Commissioner, assisted by two Finance Officers elected for renewable one-year terms by the Council.

    PROBLEMS: Repeal was proposed in 2015 but fizzled out, on the grounds that the EFA does nothing that the Commissioner themselves shouldn’t be doing. Otherwise, Finance Officer positions are dormant; and ECoJ reference is superfluous.

    EVALUATION: Repeal is recommended and powers returned directly to the relevant Commissioner. This legislation essentially hamstrung the Economics Commissioner by

    European Central Bank Act (Passed June 2015)

    PROVISIONS: Establishes the ECB, located in the ‘Duchy’ of Europolis. Under the Economics Premier Commissioner. Capitalised by 0.001% of GDP from each member state at time of passage (investment returned at 2% rate each year).

    BUREAUCRACIES: The ECB. President elected by its shareholders.

    PROBLEMS: Refers to pre-Commission reform Constitution. Do we know who the shareholders even are any more?

    EVALUATION: Amendment to update language and resolve shareholder issue recommended as a low priority.

    Marriage Recognition Act (Passed June 2015)

    PROVISIONS: Requires member states to recognise marriages or civil unions formed in other member states, and to afford them the same rights afforded to people who have entered into a marriage or civil union (respectively) within the member state. Nations have 12 months to comply.

    BUREAUCRACIES: None.

    PROBLEMS: Wording is difficult to understand. Does not ensure that spouses or civil partners retain the civil rights afforded to them back home. Unclear whether this applies to foreign nationals only or to all marriages/civil unions formed in other EU member states.

    EVALUATION: Comprehensive amendment, or repeal and replace, strongly recommended. This legislation seems confused as to what outcome it wants to bring about.

    Political Groups Act (Passed January 2016)

    PROVISIONS: Creates and organises European Council political groups, who are regulated by the Speaker of the European Council. Far, far too many regulations detailed to go into here.

    BUREAUCRACIES: None.

    PROBLEMS: None.

    EVALUATION: No action needed.

    Declaration on the Neutrality of Australia (Passed June 2016)

    PROVISIONS: Requires that Australia’s neutrality be respected.

    BUREAUCRACIES: None.

    PROBLEMS: None.

    EVALUATION: No action needed.


    APPENDIX – LIST OF BUREAUCRACIES

    European Biological and Chemical Weapons Authority

    European Nuclear Applications Authority

    European Patent Office

    European Highway Council

    European Arts Collaboration Board

    European Relief Force

    The Labour Exchange

    European Healthcare Accreditation Committee

    European Seed Trust

    European Finance Agency

    European Central Bank


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