15

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Policy area
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The Future of Europe debates in the European Parliament, 2018-19: A synthesis of the speeches by EU Heads of State or Government

08-05-2019

This paper concludes a series of four briefings on the Future of Europe debates that have explained the views of the different Heads of State or Government who have spoken in the European Parliament's plenary sessions from January 2018 until April 2019. The first part of this paper describes the overall points of convergence and divergence among the speakers, trends in the topics tackled, and proposals advanced. In the second part, the paper offers excerpts from some of the most significant statements ...

This paper concludes a series of four briefings on the Future of Europe debates that have explained the views of the different Heads of State or Government who have spoken in the European Parliament's plenary sessions from January 2018 until April 2019. The first part of this paper describes the overall points of convergence and divergence among the speakers, trends in the topics tackled, and proposals advanced. In the second part, the paper offers excerpts from some of the most significant statements by the speakers, as well as a more detailed analysis of their various positions on the following key policy areas: Economic and Monetary Union, migration, the social dimension, international trade, climate change and energy, security and defence, the next Multiannual Financial Framework, and institutional issues.

Future of Europe debates IV: Parliament hosts Heads of State or Government

12-04-2019

As the 2019 European elections approach, the 'Future of Europe debates' are coming to their natural conclusion. This April II session is the last plenary session at which one of the Heads of State or Government will set out their vision of the future path that Europe should follow. This initiative has been meant to provide the occasion to reflect deeply on how to shape the future of the EU and its institutions, as a concrete contribution to the Sibiu Summit taking place on 9 May 2019. The series ...

As the 2019 European elections approach, the 'Future of Europe debates' are coming to their natural conclusion. This April II session is the last plenary session at which one of the Heads of State or Government will set out their vision of the future path that Europe should follow. This initiative has been meant to provide the occasion to reflect deeply on how to shape the future of the EU and its institutions, as a concrete contribution to the Sibiu Summit taking place on 9 May 2019. The series of debates started with the invitation of the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, who announced at the European Council in October 2017 his intention to host debates during plenary sessions, as a democratic and open forum in which Heads of State or Government would be invited to express their vision of the future. Originally intended to run for the whole of 2018, the debates, which have to date featured the leaders of 19 Member States, continued into 2019, up to the 2019 European elections. This is the fourth edition of a Briefing designed to provide an overview of the Future of Europe debates. As usual it takes stock of the views of the (four) most recent participating leaders (Juha Sipilä, Giuseppe Conte, Peter Pellegrini, Stefan Löfven) on a number of key policy areas such as economic and monetary union (EMU), the EU's social dimension, migration policy, security and defence, the next multiannual financial framework (MFF), trade and climate change.

Digital tools and processes in company law

10-04-2019

The possibility for companies to operate in a favourable legal and administrative environment is crucial for economic growth. Companies already use digital tools in their interaction with administrations; however, they do so to differing degrees depending on the Member State. At the April II plenary session, Parliament is due to vote on the compromise text agreed following trilogue negotiations. The aim is to harmonise and foster the use of digital tools at the various stages in a company's lifecycle ...

The possibility for companies to operate in a favourable legal and administrative environment is crucial for economic growth. Companies already use digital tools in their interaction with administrations; however, they do so to differing degrees depending on the Member State. At the April II plenary session, Parliament is due to vote on the compromise text agreed following trilogue negotiations. The aim is to harmonise and foster the use of digital tools at the various stages in a company's lifecycle.

Reviewing the implementation of specific Treaty provisions

06-02-2019

On 22 January 2019, the European Parliament's Committee on Constitutional Affairs adopted three own-initiative reports, dealing with the implementation of the specific Treaty provisions on EU citizenship, enhanced cooperation and parliamentary scrutiny of the European Commission. Parliament is expected to discuss these reports during its February plenary session.

On 22 January 2019, the European Parliament's Committee on Constitutional Affairs adopted three own-initiative reports, dealing with the implementation of the specific Treaty provisions on EU citizenship, enhanced cooperation and parliamentary scrutiny of the European Commission. Parliament is expected to discuss these reports during its February plenary session.

Future of Europe debates III: Parliament hosts Heads of State or Government

29-01-2019

As the 2019 European elections approach, deep reflections on how to shape the future of the EU are taking on greater prominence. The 'Future of Europe' debates, an initiative of the European Parliament, aim to make a tangible contribution to the broader discussion on how to reform EU policies and institutions. The series of debates started with the invitation of the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, who announced at the European Council in October 2017 the intention to host debates ...

As the 2019 European elections approach, deep reflections on how to shape the future of the EU are taking on greater prominence. The 'Future of Europe' debates, an initiative of the European Parliament, aim to make a tangible contribution to the broader discussion on how to reform EU policies and institutions. The series of debates started with the invitation of the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, who announced at the European Council in October 2017 the intention to host debates during plenary sessions, as a democratic and open forum in which Heads of State or Government would be invited to express their vision of the future. Originally intended to run for the whole of 2018, the debates, which have to date featured the leaders of 15 Member States, will now run into 2019, approaching the 2019 European elections. This is the third edition of a briefing designed to provide an overview of the Future of Europe debates. As usual, it takes stock of the views of the (five) most recent participating leaders (Iohannis, Merkel, Rasmussen, Anastasiades and Sánchez) on a number of key policy areas such as economic and monetary union (EMU), the EU’s social dimension, migration policy, security and defence, the next multiannual financial framework (MFF), trade and climate change.

The European Ombudsman: Reflections on the role and its potential

20-11-2018

The European Ombudsman is a body established to ensure that maladministration in the EU institutions is addressed and where possible remedied. From the establishment of the European Ombudsman, personalities and the open-ended character of the notion of maladministration have been relevant in shaping the activity of the office. Maladministration is widely accepted to be a sphere of inappropriate behaviour of the administration that goes beyond simple illegality. The particularity of the Ombudsman ...

The European Ombudsman is a body established to ensure that maladministration in the EU institutions is addressed and where possible remedied. From the establishment of the European Ombudsman, personalities and the open-ended character of the notion of maladministration have been relevant in shaping the activity of the office. Maladministration is widely accepted to be a sphere of inappropriate behaviour of the administration that goes beyond simple illegality. The particularity of the Ombudsman lies therefore on the fact that it is able, through the exercise of 'soft power', to tackle issues that would escape the scrutiny of the Court of Justice of the EU. This paper provides an overview of the activity of the Ombudsman, and attempts to identify the main areas of activity in quantitative terms, the main institutions to which the Ombudsman addresses inquiries and recommendations and highlights the proactive role exercised by this body so far. The compliance rate with the recommendations of the Ombudsman is rather high, although it would seem to decrease where the Ombudsman, by issuing critical remarks, exercises an 'educational' function. This paper also sets out some proposals to modify the Statute, with some less-extensive proposals, that would take into account already established practices, and other more far-reaching proposals, that would need however to be carefully considered so as not to distort the nature of the body.

Future of Europe debates II: Parliament hosts Heads of State or Government

19-10-2018

Against the background of the many challenges faced by the European Union (EU) in recent years, and with the May 2019 European Parliament elections approaching, the future of the European project has come back on the agenda of public discourse. At the European Council of October 2017, the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, announced his intention to host a series of Future of Europe debates during plenary sessions, as a democratic and open forum in which the Heads of State or Government ...

Against the background of the many challenges faced by the European Union (EU) in recent years, and with the May 2019 European Parliament elections approaching, the future of the European project has come back on the agenda of public discourse. At the European Council of October 2017, the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, announced his intention to host a series of Future of Europe debates during plenary sessions, as a democratic and open forum in which the Heads of State or Government of EU Member States would be invited to express their vision of the future, starting in early 2018. Intended to run for the whole of 2018 and beyond, the 'Future of Europe' debates in the European Parliament have thus far featured the leaders of ten Member States. They have used the opportunity to set out their personal vision, highlighting priorities, pointing to areas for better development, and revisiting accomplishments so far. (See the timeline of speakers below.) This is the second edition of a Briefing designed to provide an overview of the Future of Europe debate in a number of key policy areas. While the first edition covered the first six speakers, the present one focuses on the most recent four. It also contains insights on climate change and international trade, in addition to the areas of economic and monetary union (EMU), the EU social dimension, migration policy, security and defence, and the multiannual financial framework (MFF), covered in the first edition.

General revision of the European Parliament's Rules of Procedure: Achieving greater transparency and efficiency as of January 2017

16-07-2018

The last general and extensive overhaul of the European Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, which entered into force as of 16 January 2017, was intended to bring more transparency and efficiency to parliamentary work. Among the numerous modifications, may be noted the increased attention to the conduct of Members, the streamlining of the types of thresholds for procedural requests, the increased transparency surrounding the decision to begin negotiations during the various stages of the legislative ...

The last general and extensive overhaul of the European Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, which entered into force as of 16 January 2017, was intended to bring more transparency and efficiency to parliamentary work. Among the numerous modifications, may be noted the increased attention to the conduct of Members, the streamlining of the types of thresholds for procedural requests, the increased transparency surrounding the decision to begin negotiations during the various stages of the legislative procedure, the abolition of written declarations and the modification of the maximum number of questions for written answer allowed. These and further modifications required to adapt to the 2016 Interinstititional Agreement on Better Law-making were introduced to bring clarity, incorporate existing practices and correct redundancies or inconsistencies.

Data protection rules applicable to the European Parliament and to MEPs: Current regime and recent developments

20-06-2018

Data protection is a fundamental right enshrined in both primary and secondary EU law. More specifically, the main reference for data protection in Europe is the 2016 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is fully applicable since 25 May 2018. Moreover, specific data protection rules (currently Regulation 45/2001) apply to the EU institutions. The latter are under review, to adapt their principles and provisions to the GDPR. The processing of data relating to parliamentary activities is ...

Data protection is a fundamental right enshrined in both primary and secondary EU law. More specifically, the main reference for data protection in Europe is the 2016 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is fully applicable since 25 May 2018. Moreover, specific data protection rules (currently Regulation 45/2001) apply to the EU institutions. The latter are under review, to adapt their principles and provisions to the GDPR. The processing of data relating to parliamentary activities is therefore covered by these specific rules, as is personal data relating to, or processed by, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). This Briefing provides an overview of the main provisions applicable to parliamentary activities and in particular to MEPs, taking account of the fact that the process of reforming the current rules has not been formally concluded (even if a political agreement has been reached between the co legislators). An update of this Briefing will be published in due course.

Future of Europe debates: Parliament hosts Heads of State or Government

08-06-2018

Against the background of the many challenges which the European Union has faced in recent years, the European Parliament has taken the lead in launching and hosting a series of high-profile debates on the Future of Europe, intended to run for the whole of 2018. While the Heads of State or Government of countries holding the rotating presidency of the Council – this year, Boyko Borissov of Bulgaria and Sebastian Kurz of Austria – routinely debate with MEPs in plenary, the leaders of other EU Member ...

Against the background of the many challenges which the European Union has faced in recent years, the European Parliament has taken the lead in launching and hosting a series of high-profile debates on the Future of Europe, intended to run for the whole of 2018. While the Heads of State or Government of countries holding the rotating presidency of the Council – this year, Boyko Borissov of Bulgaria and Sebastian Kurz of Austria – routinely debate with MEPs in plenary, the leaders of other EU Member States are now able to set out publicly their vision for Europe's future in a dialogue with the only directly elected European institution, during its plenary sittings. This process is all the more important at a time when the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the next seven years is being discussed: the choices surrounding the MFF and the direction in which the EU decides to develop are intrinsically linked. So far, at the invitation of its President, Antonio Tajani, the European Parliament has hosted the leaders of six Member States in the context of these 'Future of Europe' debates, welcoming the prime ministers of Ireland (Taoiseach), Leo Varadkar; Croatia, Andrej Plenković; and Portugal, António Costa; the President of France, Emmanuel Macron; and the prime ministers of Belgium, Charles Michel; and Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel. This Briefing provides an overview of where the Future of Europe debate stands in a number of key policy areas, such as economic and monetary union (EMU), the EU's social dimension, migration policy, security and defence, and broader institutional issues. It takes stock of the views expressed by those EU Heads of State or Government who have intervened in the debate so far, on how these areas might develop in the future.

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