Position of the European Movement The International European Movement believes that negotiations between Parliament, the Council and the Commission in the form of „trilogues“ undermine the legitimacy of decision-making at European level as well as the confidence of citizens. Trilogues are informal tripartite meetings held at any time during the legislative process, involving representatives of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, and aim to create informal compromises on legislative proposals. Greater transparency in the trilogue is the key to reducing the European Union`s democratic deficit. The trilogue discussions focused on four legislative proposals on landfilling, waste recycling and packaging recycling, originally presented by the European Commission in December 2015, which form the legislative core of the European circular economy package. EDRi: Inter-institutional agreement for better regulation – we are worried! (21.12.2015) edri.org/better-regulation-interinstitutional-agreement-we-have-concerns/ Piotr Barczak, head of waste at the European Environment Office (EEB), agreed with the sentiments of Zero Waste Europe and said that the agreement was not „the result we all hoped for“ but was nevertheless a marked improvement over current legislation. Inter-institutional negotiations have become a standard practice for the adoption of EU legislation. They allow co-legislators to reach agreement at every stage of the legislative process. For Parliament, the general framework for organising such negotiations is set out in the regulation. A reform of the trilogues should try to solve these problems. In our reply, EDRi stresses that this would not only benefit EU legislation, but would also contribute to greater legitimacy, integrity, accountability and control of the legislative work of EU institutions.
The EU treaties do not provide for trilogue negotiations. They will be used if the Council of the European Union does not approve the amendments proposed by the European Parliament at second reading. In this case, formal trilogue negotiations are conducted within the framework of a conciliation committee. A trilogue is considered a tripartite meeting, also composed, between the actors in the legislative process of the EU institutions. These institutions are the European Commission (EC), the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament. The European Commission plays a mediation role. If the inter-institutional negotiations succeed, the negotiating teams of Parliament and the Council will invent a common text; a provisional agreement. This agreement is then submitted to the two co-legislators before it can be adopted, following the corresponding legislative voting procedures, as described in the theoretical module „PLO: formal procedure“. The presidency normally represents the Council by a presidency of Coreper I or II. With regard to politically sensitive proposals, it may also be the relevant minister who is leading the negotiations in a trilogue. Because of the multiplicity of inter-institutional negotiations, the Council is sometimes represented by working group chairs.
Since trilogue negotiations often begin even before Parliament has adopted its formal position (in the form of a first reading), the Council instead begins negotiations on the basis of a general orientation. This political agreement will then serve as the Council`s negotiating mandate. Negotiations between the institutions on legislative proposals usually take place in the form of tripartite meetings („trilogues“) between Parliament, the Council and the Commission.