Glossary of summaries

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Committees and working parties

When drawing up new laws, the Commission consults committees representing stakeholders (e.g. consumer groups, in the case of food legislation), private sector or national government experts. They ensure that the Commission knows the concerns of those who will be affected by the new laws.

The Council is assisted by committees and working parties which prepare its decisions. The existence of some committees is laid down in the treaties (Committee of Internal Security, Article 71 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union), while others are set up on a case-by-case basis. These committees comprise EU countries' representatives plus one member of the Commission.

When the EU adopts a legislative text, it lays down the general principles to be complied with. More precise implementing measures may be needed to apply these. The text may require a committee to be set up by the Commission to take the required decisions. EU countries appoint experts to such committees which are chaired by the Commission.