A new Seanad select committee is to be established by the autumn to scrutinise the transposition of European Union directives into Irish law.

Cathaoirleach of the Seanad Mark Daly said this will help ensure that deadlines set by Brussels are met and fines for delays are no longer incurred.

Minister of State for European Affairs Thomas Byrne said the new system will ensure greater transparency.

Following a Cabinet decision last week, Seand Éireann is to take the lead in scrutinising draft statutory instruments which transpose EU Directives into Irish law - an idea recommended by successive reports on Seanad reform.

Senator Daly said Ireland has racked-up millions of euro in fines for failing to hit EU deadlines in the past, but this new select committee, in collaboration with established Oireachtas committees, will ensure that no longer happens.

He said the next step will be for a committee chair to be appointed and the select committee to be up-and-running by the autumn.

Welcoming the development, Mr Byrne said this new process will add greater transparency, particularly in areas such as the environment, consumer rights and employee rights.

He said he looked forward to appearing before the new committee, as Ireland celebrates 50 years since its historic decision to join the European Union and 100 years since the establishment of Seanad Éireann.