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Role and election of the President of the European Commission

12-07-2019

The President of the European Commission has taken on an ever more prominent leading role within the College of Commissioners, with the increasingly presidential system eclipsing the principle of collegiate decision-making. With the European Parliament now more involved in the appointment, the Presidency has not only become a much more politicised office, but the President has also gained greater influence vis-à-vis the other members of the Commission. The Commission President plays a crucial role ...

The President of the European Commission has taken on an ever more prominent leading role within the College of Commissioners, with the increasingly presidential system eclipsing the principle of collegiate decision-making. With the European Parliament now more involved in the appointment, the Presidency has not only become a much more politicised office, but the President has also gained greater influence vis-à-vis the other members of the Commission. The Commission President plays a crucial role in relations between Parliament and Commission. Presenting his or her priorities to Parliament prior to election sets the course for the whole term, on which the President will be called to account by Parliament. Building on this, Parliament has an increasingly prominent role in political agenda-setting, shaping the EU's legislative programming together with the Commission and the Council. At the end of President Barroso's second term as Commission President, many had criticised the lack of ambitious initiatives undertaken, whereas others believe that the economic and institutional difficulties which the EU faced made this inevitable. The legacy of President Juncker's mandate can claim, on the one hand, to show progress in trade and defence, although some maintain that more ambition could have been displayed in other areas, for instance on the digital market or monetary union. On the other hand, the Juncker Commission introduced some significant changes in the College's working methods and a more political role for the Commission. Whereas Jean-Claude Juncker had been a Spitzenkandidat (lead candidate) in the European elections, Ursula von der Leyen, nominated as candidate for the Commission presidency by the European Council on 2 July, was not. As none of the Spitzenkandidaten were seen to have a clear majority in Parliament, it remains to be seen whether an 'outsider' from that process can muster the support of the required majority of Parliament's component Members at the time of the election, currently planned for the July II plenary session. This is an updated edition of a 2014 briefing drafted by Eva-Maria Poptcheva.

The European elections and thereafter [What Think Tanks are Thinking]

12-07-2019

On 23-26 May, 2019, European Union citizens elected a more fragmented European Parliament than its predecessor, with the two main political groups – the European People’s Party and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats losing some ground, and the Liberals, now known as Renew Europe, and the Greens/European Free Alliance strengthening their representation. Gains made by Eurosceptic and populist groups proved more limited than had been predicted. This note brings together commentaries ...

On 23-26 May, 2019, European Union citizens elected a more fragmented European Parliament than its predecessor, with the two main political groups – the European People’s Party and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats losing some ground, and the Liberals, now known as Renew Europe, and the Greens/European Free Alliance strengthening their representation. Gains made by Eurosceptic and populist groups proved more limited than had been predicted. This note brings together commentaries, analyses and studies by major international think tanks and research institutes on the European elections and their aftermath.

Walter Hallstein: First President of the Commission and visionary of European integration

11-07-2019

When Walter Hallstein became the first President of the European Economic Community Commission, in 1958, a long career already lay behind him: legal scholar, university professor, research manager, diplomat and German government representative at the conferences drafting the founding treaties of the European Coal and Steel Community and then the European Economic Community. The federalist ideas he developed and the emphasis he placed on supranational institutions remain among his most important legacies ...

When Walter Hallstein became the first President of the European Economic Community Commission, in 1958, a long career already lay behind him: legal scholar, university professor, research manager, diplomat and German government representative at the conferences drafting the founding treaties of the European Coal and Steel Community and then the European Economic Community. The federalist ideas he developed and the emphasis he placed on supranational institutions remain among his most important legacies. Equally significant was his administrative capacity to build an institution of a completely new type and to anticipate policies that seemed utopian at the time but turned out to be necessary many years later. This impetus to push for further integration earned Hallstein strong opposition from several national leaders, and eventually led to his precipitous departure. This briefing recalls three principal aspects of Hallstein's life: as a scholar and research administrator, as a protagonist of German foreign policy and, of course, as a crucial architect of the early period of European integration.

Members of the European Parliament, 2019-2024

10-07-2019

In May 2019, European citizens voted on their representatives in the European Parliament for the next five years, to defend their interests in the EU. This year’s election had a turnout of 51%, an increase of 8.3 percentage points from the previous election in 2014. It is also the first time since 1999 that more than half of adult citizens voted. The 751 MEPs elected have an average age of 50 years (with the youngest being 21 and the oldest 82). There is a majority of new MEPs(435). Women represent ...

In May 2019, European citizens voted on their representatives in the European Parliament for the next five years, to defend their interests in the EU. This year’s election had a turnout of 51%, an increase of 8.3 percentage points from the previous election in 2014. It is also the first time since 1999 that more than half of adult citizens voted. The 751 MEPs elected have an average age of 50 years (with the youngest being 21 and the oldest 82). There is a majority of new MEPs(435). Women represent 40.4% of all MEPs.

Parliamentary scrutiny of the European Commission: Implementation of Treaty provisions

09-07-2019

The European Parliament's application of scrutiny prerogatives of political oversight of the European Commission increases the democratic legitimacy of the European Union, and the transparency and accountability of the European executive. The update of the 2018 study examines the European Parliament's powers of scrutiny of the European Commission in the last two legislative terms. The cases examined pertain mainly to electoral and institutional issues, motions of censure, parliamentary questions, ...

The European Parliament's application of scrutiny prerogatives of political oversight of the European Commission increases the democratic legitimacy of the European Union, and the transparency and accountability of the European executive. The update of the 2018 study examines the European Parliament's powers of scrutiny of the European Commission in the last two legislative terms. The cases examined pertain mainly to electoral and institutional issues, motions of censure, parliamentary questions, inquiry committees and special parliamentary committees and reporting, consultation and provision of information. It also touches upon scrutiny in budgetary issues, scrutiny of delegated acts, scrutiny in the legislative procedure, legal proceedings and the EU's external relations.

Size of Political Groups in the EP - July 2019

05-07-2019

Our table shows the number of MEPs in each group, broken down by Member State, as well as the non-attached (NI) Members not in any group. The figures are supplied by our colleagues from the Members’ Administration Unit. This infographic updates an earlier edition, of 4 December 2017, PE614.600.

Our table shows the number of MEPs in each group, broken down by Member State, as well as the non-attached (NI) Members not in any group. The figures are supplied by our colleagues from the Members’ Administration Unit. This infographic updates an earlier edition, of 4 December 2017, PE614.600.

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, July I 2019

04-07-2019

The first parliamentary session of the ninth legislature took place in Strasbourg from 2-4 July 2019. The Members of this new Parliament (sitting from 2019 to 2024), dealt with elections of their peers to the most important offices in Parliament – the President, Vice-Presidents and Quaestors. Under Rule 14 of Parliament's Rules of Procedure, the outgoing President opened this first, constituent session, during which Members also adopted a decision on the numerical strength of the standing committees ...

The first parliamentary session of the ninth legislature took place in Strasbourg from 2-4 July 2019. The Members of this new Parliament (sitting from 2019 to 2024), dealt with elections of their peers to the most important offices in Parliament – the President, Vice-Presidents and Quaestors. Under Rule 14 of Parliament's Rules of Procedure, the outgoing President opened this first, constituent session, during which Members also adopted a decision on the numerical strength of the standing committees and debated the outcome of the European Council meeting of 20 and 21 June 2019, and the follow-up meeting earlier this week.

Outcome of the special European Council meeting of 30 June-2 July

03-07-2019

The special European Council agreed on a package of EU high-level appointments including, the German Defence Minister, Ursula von der Leyen (Germany) as candidate for the office of European Commission President. The Prime Minister of Belgium, Charles MIchel, was elected as incumbent European Council President. Josep Borrell (Spain) was nominated for High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Christine Lagarde (France) for President of the European Central Bank.

The special European Council agreed on a package of EU high-level appointments including, the German Defence Minister, Ursula von der Leyen (Germany) as candidate for the office of European Commission President. The Prime Minister of Belgium, Charles MIchel, was elected as incumbent European Council President. Josep Borrell (Spain) was nominated for High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Christine Lagarde (France) for President of the European Central Bank.

Impact Assessment and European Added Value work during the eighth legislative term, 2014-2019

03-07-2019

The responsibility for better law-making is shared between the European Union institutions. In recent years Parliament has developed its own instruments to guarantee proper and independent assessment and to support parliamentary committees in their work. The concept of impact assessment is applied throughout the whole policy cycle – on both an ex-ante and an ex-post basis – from the design of legislation through to its implementation, evaluation and revision. The European Parliament also advocates ...

The responsibility for better law-making is shared between the European Union institutions. In recent years Parliament has developed its own instruments to guarantee proper and independent assessment and to support parliamentary committees in their work. The concept of impact assessment is applied throughout the whole policy cycle – on both an ex-ante and an ex-post basis – from the design of legislation through to its implementation, evaluation and revision. The European Parliament also advocates a proper assessment of European added value, in terms of what savings will result from a European solution and if supplementary costs would arise in the absence of a European solution. This briefing provides a look back over five years’ experience in support of better regulation for the benefit of citizens.

Continuation of work in progress from last term

28-06-2019

With European elections held on 23-26 May 2019, the eighth parliamentary term formally ends on 1 July 2019, a day before the constituent part-session of the newly elected Parliament. Despite the efforts of the co-legislators, agreement could not be found on a number of legislative proposals before the end of the parliamentary term, and these form a major part of the business that needs to be picked up again in the new term. In order to ensure continuity in its work, therefore, Parliament has adopted ...

With European elections held on 23-26 May 2019, the eighth parliamentary term formally ends on 1 July 2019, a day before the constituent part-session of the newly elected Parliament. Despite the efforts of the co-legislators, agreement could not be found on a number of legislative proposals before the end of the parliamentary term, and these form a major part of the business that needs to be picked up again in the new term. In order to ensure continuity in its work, therefore, Parliament has adopted rules on how to deal with unfinished files.

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