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European Union (Approvals) Bill 2017-19

Published Thursday, June 29, 2017

What is an EU (Approvals) Bill and why is one needed now? This Bill concerns draft EU proposals concerning Albania and Serbia participating as observers in the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency, and an agreement between the EU and Canada on competition laws. This paper provides background on the proposals and explains why an Act of Parliament is needed for the UK Government to approve them in the Council of the European Union.

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The Bill 

The European Union (Approvals) Bill (HC Bill 2) has two clauses. The first is on the approval of draft decisions under Article 352 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), and the second sets out the extent, commencement and short title of the Bill.

What does the Bill do?

The Bill deals with the parliamentary approval of:

  • Draft decisions on the participation of the Republic of Albania and the Republic of Serbia as observers in the work of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. 


  • Draft decisions on the signing and conclusion of an agreement between the European Union and the Government of Canada regarding the application of their competition laws

Why is the Bill needed?

The purpose of the Bill is to fulfil a requirement in section 8 of the European Union Act 2011 which requires that EU legislative proposals made on the basis of the catch-all Article 352 TFEU are approved by an Act of Parliament before the UK Government can support them in the Council of the European Union (composed of government ministers from the EU Member States).

The Bill, if passed, will be the European Union (Approvals) Act 2017, and it will authorise the Government to agree to the adoption of the proposals in the Council.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-8025

Authors: Vaughne Miller; John Curtis; Antony Seely; Fraser McIntosh

Topics: Competition, EU external relations, EU law and treaties, Human rights, Legislative process

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