Institutional perspectives

On Monday 6 October, AFCO had an exchange of views with Janis Emmanouilidis (Director of studies at the "European Policy Center"), Prof.  Dr Jaap W. de Zwaan (Secretary General of the "Trans European Policy Studies Association") and Mr Philippe de Schoutheete (former Belgium Permanent Representative, member of "Egmont Institute") on the institutional perspectives for the European Union.

Friends of the Presidency Group on Improving the functioning of the EU

On 6 October, the Italian State Secretary for European affairs, Mr Sandro Gozi, came to AFCO for an exchange of views on the programme for the "Friends of the Presidency" Group on "Improving the functioning of the EU", created by the informal Council meeting in Milan on 28 and 29 August. The reflexions of this group aim to prepare institutional changes in the EU. Mr Gozi reported on the first meeting of the Group which dealt with "horizontal issues and the role of national parliaments".

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"The priorities of the Italian Council Presidency were outlined to the various parliamentary committees by Italian ministers in a series of meetings held in July and September."

Powers and responsibilities of standing committees
Committee responsible for:
1. the institutional aspects of the European integration process, in particular the preparation, initiation and proceedings of ordinary and simplified Treaty revision  procedures;
2. the implementation of the Treaties and the assessment of their operation;
3. the institutional consequences of enlargement negotiations of or withdrawal from the Union;
4. interinstitutional relations, including, with a view to their approval by Parliament, examination of interinstitutional agreements pursuant to Rule 140(2) of the Rules of Procedure;
5. uniform electoral procedure;
6. political parties and political foundations at European level, without prejudice to the competences of the Bureau;
7. the determination of the existence of a serious and persistent breach by a Member State of the principles common to the Member States;
8. the interpretation and application of the Rules of Procedure and proposals for amendments thereto.
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Welcome to the website of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs.
The 2014-2019 legislature will focus on the institutional aspects determining the future of the EU. We will continue to evaluate the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty’s innovations and use this assessment as a basis for new developments. The evaluation of measures taken after the 2008 crisis will also lead us to consider whether a new reform of the Treaty is necessary. The aim of such a reform would be twofold: to integrate the provisions of the intergovernmental Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union into the EU legal framework, which may require treaty amendments, and to lend democratic legitimacy to the economic governance of the euro area. One challenge will be to ensure that stronger euro area integration does not undermine the integrity of the EU.
Restoring public confidence in the European project requires greater attention to be paid to the concerns of citizens. AFCO will ensure that the European Citizens’ Initiative, an instance of citizen involvement in the decision-making process launched during the previous legislature, works properly. The electoral procedure, the implementation of the new statute for European political parties, and cooperation with national parliaments will also be on the agenda. Our goal will be to drive the debate on the future of the EU.
Danuta Hübner, Chair