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European Union (Accessions) Act 2003

Section 1 Accession treaty

13.Subsection (1) amends section 1(2) of the European Communities Act 1972 (c.68), so as to include the new Accession Treaty within the list of treaties implemented by the 1972 Act in UK law. As amended by the Act, the 1972 Act reads:

Short title and interpretation



(2)In this Act…-

  • “the Treaties” or “the Community Treaties” means, subject to subsection (3) below, the pre-accession treaties, that is to say, those described in Part I of Schedule 1 to this Act, taken with –


    ….[list of treaties]; and


    the treaty concerning the accession of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovak Republic to the European Union, signed at Athens on 16th April 2003.

14.Subsection (2) approves, for the purpose of section 12 of the European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002 (c.24), the provisions of the Accession Treaty insofar as they relate to the powers of the European Parliament. Section 12 of the 2002 Act says:

Ratification of treaties


(1)No treaty which provides for any increase in the powers of the European Parliament is to be ratified by the United Kingdom unless it has been approved by an Act of Parliament.

(2)In this section “treaty” includes –

(a)any international agreement, and

(b)any protocol or annex to a treaty or international agreement.

Three provisions of the Act of Accession, annexed to the Accession Treaty, affect the powers of the European Parliament. Article 11 specifies the number of representatives allocated to each of the 25 Member States with effect from the start of the 2004-9 parliamentary term. Article 25 performs a similar task for the transitional period from 1 May 2004 until the election of the new Parliament shortly afterwards. Article 43 requires the Parliament to make the necessary adaptations to its rules of procedure. Although none of these provisions creates new powers for the Parliament, they have the effect of applying existing powers to persons to whom they could not otherwise have been applied prior to the entry into force of the Accession Treaty. For this reason, approval is required under the 2002 Act.

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