The Constitutional Affaires Committee, aka AFCO (Affaires Constitutionnelles) is responsible in the EP first and foremost for dealing with inevitable and essential EU issues. Among other things, the committee is also responsible for the implementation of the EU Treaty and the assessment of its operations, for the institutional aspects regarding the enlargement negotiations of the Union, for legal aspects regarding the creation and administration of new institutions, and for the inter-institutional relations.
Currently, the new common electoral law is being discussed in the committee, with discussions dating back to 1976. The committee also executes institutional supervision of the existence of serious and persistent breaches by any Member State.
At first glance, these might not be the most interesting subjects, but yet they are of great significance.
For instance, the framework and principles for the newly established European External Action Service (EEAS), introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, were set also in the Parliament’s AFCO committee in the first half of 2010 (with the so-called Brok-Verhofstadt report).
It was made possible by the new co-decision procedure, also introduced by the new Lisbon Treaty, meaning that the EP had the same legislative role to play together with the European Commission and the Council.
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