On 15 November 2011, the European Commission published its 2012 annual work programme. Equivalent to the Queen's Speech, it highlights EU policy and legislation which the European Commission intends to introduce or review. It also highlights issues to be brought forward in 2013 and 2014. It can be accessed here:
EU laws are decided by national governments and the European Parliament. They are implemented by UK regulations unless they have ’direct effect'. They have a significant impact on local authorities and the services they provide or procure, however, they do not have a direct input into negotiations. This is why the LGA lobbies EU decision makers such as MEPs and UK Government (in Whitehall and Brussels).
This LGA briefing is an indicative list of EU priorities for 2012-2014 on which we may focus our resources. It is based on proposals which we believe could have a regulatory, financial or administrative impact on our member authorities. It also includes ongoing issues which the LGA is already working on such as the EU Budget 2014-2020, the Directive for Energy Efficiency, and reviews of the Public Procurement and Working Time Directives. All of these have been highlighted to the UK Government, with a view to them involving us as they enter into their negotiations at EU level.
If the EU feels that these laws are not having the desired result they may after a lengthy infraction process, fine the UK Government. The Localism Act gives Ministers discretionary power to pass on these fines if councils are deemed culpable.