Delegated acts in the system of the sources of European Union law

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This paper discusses legal questions about the new class of «delegated acts», in the light of the preparatory work in the European Convention and the two Intergovernmental Conferences that followed, of developments in comitology and in the caselaw of the Court of Justice after the signature of the Constitutional Treaty, of the context of the Lisbon Treaty and its Protocols, of the practice followed in the first year of implementation of the new provisions and, of course, of pertinent legal writings on the Constitutional or the Lisbon Treaties. There is a focus on the contents and the scope of the power to delegate (scope of application, object, implementing or modifying delegated acts, duration of the delegation, legal effects), on the preparation of delegated acts (Commission's autonomy, consultations, intervention of expert groups) and on the supervision of both the delegations and the delegated acts: political supervision (procedures ex ante available for the European Parliament and the Council supervision by the Parliaments of the Member States) and judicial remedies before the Court of Justice or the General Court, available for Member States, European institutions, the Committee of the Regions or private persons. As final remarks there is an emphasis on the new nature of legislative acts, quite different from delegated legislation in countries where the executive enjoys large regulatory powers of its own, plus some reflections on the progress achieved by means of the Treaty of Lisbon in the democratic legitimacy of the law-making acts, and of the convenience of a timely adoption of the distinction between legislative and non-legislative act as the summa division for the acts of the European Union.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-760
JournalRevista de Derecho Comunitario Europeo
Issue number37
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2010


  • Comitology
  • Committee of the Regions
  • Council
  • Court of Justice
  • Delegated Directives
  • Delegated regulations
  • European Commission
  • European Convention
  • European Parliament
  • General Court
  • Groups of experts
  • Legislation
  • Non-legislative acts
  • Parliaments of Member States
  • Secondary law
  • Secondary legal bases
  • Sources of European law
  • Subsidiarity principle


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