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    This is a fictional case in which a directive is adopted to guarantee the free movement of employees (Art. 39 EC). Art. 40 EC stipulates that the procedure of Art. 251 EC (the co-decision procedure) must be followed and that the Economic and Social Committee must be consulted.

    This procedure starts with a proposal by the Commission. This is first prepared within the Commission´s civil service. Having consulted independent experts and advisory committees, the administrative services further elaborate the proposal, which will eventually be adopted, after a majority vote, by the Commission.

    Subsequently, the proposal is sent to the Council, which asks Parliament for its opinion. In the parliamentary structure, it is the committees that take it from there. A Rapporteur drafts a text, in which amendments to the Commission Proposal may be suggested. After debate and voting within the committee, the text is submitted to the plenary session of Parliament. In the plenary session, yet other amendments may be suggested and adopted.

    The Economic and Social Committee is consulted on the Commission proposal, and their opinion is forwarded to Parliament and the Council. Then the proposal, complete with the opinions of ESC and Parliament, is sent back to the Council.

    Within the Council, the decision is prepared by a working party and by COREPER. If consensus has already been reached on the decision that is to be taken, then it is put on the Council agenda as an A item and adopted by the ministers on the nod. The Council can then take a qualified majority decision if Parliament has made no further amendments or if the Council adopts the amendments that have been made.

    If the Council does not adopt the amendments, it will determine a common position that indicates how it would have decided. After the Commission has given its opinion on this common position, it is sent to the Parliament.

    If the Parliament does not act within a period of three months, or if it expressly approves the common position, the act is adopted. The Parliament may also reject the position by absolute majority, and so no act is adopted. The Parliament may also amend the joint position in a similar way. In this case, the Commission must give it´s opinion first. If the Commission´s opinion is negative, the Council may only adopt it unanimously. If the Commission´s opinion is positive, only a qualified majority in the Council is required.

    If the Council does not agree with the amendments proposed by the Parliament, a Conciliation Committee is set up, consisting of 15 Council members and 15 MPs. If no agreement is reached, no act can be adopted. If the committee does agree on a joint text, the Council and the Parliament must adopt the joint text before the act can be adopted. A qualified majority of the Council and a absolute majority of votes in the Parliament is required.