Thomas Perroud brought to our attention an interesting Opinion of the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament on the project of an EU Administrative Procedure Law.

In this Opinion (available here) the Committee first points out that ‘soft-law’ administrative procedures, which can be modified unilaterally by the institution concerned, are not always sufficient to protect the individual’s right to good administration. It therefore calls on the Commission to envisage a regulation providing for minimum standards of quality and procedural guarantees that would be horizontally applicable to all Union administration. The Committee further notes that the general principles of the future European administrative regulation should include the principle of equality and the principles of impartiality and independence, while guaranteeing fairness, lawfulness and legal certainty and the principles of proportionality and openness; it also encourages the introduction of the service principle, whereby the administration should avoid unnecessarily cumbersome and lengthy procedures.

Moreover, the Committee on Petitions stresses the urgent need to introduce more extensive administrative rules for the procedure on public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents, with particular regard to codifying the relevant case law of the Court of Justice and extending the scope of the current Regulation to the whole of the EU’s administration. With respect to conflicts of interests, it notes that the existing Staff Regulations need to be supplemented by rules governing the consequences, such as the possible revocation of decisions taken in violation of the rules on conflicts of interests.