The Power to Withdraw a Legislative Proposal: Commission's space of autonomy in a polycentric lawmaking

Vosa G

This work aims to provide a conceptual background to the Commission’s power to withdraw a legislative proposal in light of the judgment delivered by the CJEU. The EU legal order is assumed to be polycentricinnature;theinstitutionalbalanceisacoherentevolution of the separation of powers, multiple criteria for legitimation underpinning diverse institutions. The Commission’s legitimation is based on (indirect) representation and a “technical” ground, the latter being complementary to the former. Commission’s quota of legislative power is therefore legitimate and measured on the “political” sensitivity of an act; its space of autonomy consists in defending the “essential points” contained in the proposal until the co-legislators state their position(s) and enter the second phase of the procedure. By endorsing this view, the Court in fact acknowledges the material origin of EU meta-norms, which stem from the essential points fixed by the institutions in the exercise of their powers. As a consequence, little substantial review of the merits is carried out by the Court, the defence of the “essentials” falling within the realm of “political” by definition.
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