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Policy area
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Date

Revising the European Citizens' Initiative

04-03-2019

The ECI enables European citizens to invite the Commission to table a proposal for a legal act. The detailed rules for such initiatives are laid down in a 2011 regulation, whose main stated aim is encouraging citizens’ participation in the political life of the European Union (EU). However, since the regulation became applicable in April 2012, numerous actors have raised concerns regarding the instrument’s functioning and have called for reform, aiming to simplify the existing procedures and increasing ...

The ECI enables European citizens to invite the Commission to table a proposal for a legal act. The detailed rules for such initiatives are laid down in a 2011 regulation, whose main stated aim is encouraging citizens’ participation in the political life of the European Union (EU). However, since the regulation became applicable in April 2012, numerous actors have raised concerns regarding the instrument’s functioning and have called for reform, aiming to simplify the existing procedures and increasing the tool’s usability. On 13 September 2017, the Commission presented a legislative proposal which would update the tool and replace the existing regulation on the European Citizens’ Initiative. Following interinstitutional negotiations between September and December 2018, the co-legislators reached provisional agreement on the proposal for revision of the ECI. The agreed text now needs to be approved by the Parliament and Council. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Unlocking the potential of the EU Treaties: An article-by-article analysis of the scope for action

07-01-2019

Public opinion often expresses the view that the European Union should do more to improve the lives of citizens in various policy areas, but a lack of convergence among Member States on the desired changes, not to mention likely hurdles in the ratification process, as well as other factors make any significant reform of the EU Treaties unlikely in the near term. This study identifies and analyses 34 policy areas where there may be the potential to do more under the existing legal bases provided by ...

Public opinion often expresses the view that the European Union should do more to improve the lives of citizens in various policy areas, but a lack of convergence among Member States on the desired changes, not to mention likely hurdles in the ratification process, as well as other factors make any significant reform of the EU Treaties unlikely in the near term. This study identifies and analyses 34 policy areas where there may be the potential to do more under the existing legal bases provided by the Treaties without recourse to any amendment or updating of those texts. It looks at currently unused or under-used legal bases in the Treaties with a view to their contributing more effectively to the EU policy process.

Protecting the EU budget against generalised rule of law deficiencies

23-11-2018

On 3 May 2018 the Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation on the protection of the Union's budget in the event of generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law in a Member State. The proposal addresses, from a budgetary perspective, generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law, including threats to the independence of the judiciary, arbitrary or unlawful decisions by public authorities, limited availability and effectiveness of legal remedies, failure to implement judgments ...

On 3 May 2018 the Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation on the protection of the Union's budget in the event of generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law in a Member State. The proposal addresses, from a budgetary perspective, generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law, including threats to the independence of the judiciary, arbitrary or unlawful decisions by public authorities, limited availability and effectiveness of legal remedies, failure to implement judgments, or limitations on the effective investigation, prosecution or sanctions for breaches of law. The proposal provides for the possibility for the Commission to make proposals to the Council on sanctions measures with regard to EU funding. These include suspension of payments, suspension, reduction or even termination of legal commitments (to pay), suspension of programmes, and the transfer of money to other programmes. Such a proposal would be deemed to have been adopted if the Council failed to reject it by a qualified majority. On 17 August 2018, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) delivered its opinion on the proposal and on 3 October 2018, Parliament's co-rapporteurs presented their draft report on the proposal. While sharing the broad objectives put forward by the Commission, they have proposed a number of amendments. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Relations between the European Council and the European Parliament

23-11-2018

This study explores the development of relations between the European Council (of Heads of State or Government) and the European Parliament, two institutions that have become increasingly central to the operation of the European Union political system, especially since the 2009 Lisbon Treaty. It explains the Treaty framework for relations between the two institutions and traces their practical evolution over time, including an analysis of the roles of the presidents of each institution in such interaction ...

This study explores the development of relations between the European Council (of Heads of State or Government) and the European Parliament, two institutions that have become increasingly central to the operation of the European Union political system, especially since the 2009 Lisbon Treaty. It explains the Treaty framework for relations between the two institutions and traces their practical evolution over time, including an analysis of the roles of the presidents of each institution in such interaction. It also examines points of contention in the relationship to date, including in relation to 'legislative trespassing' by the European Council and the Spitzenkandidaten process

External author

EPRS, DG

Shaping European Union: The European Parliament and Institutional Reform, 1979-1989

13-11-2018

Based on a large range of newly accessible archival sources, this study explores the European Parliament’s policies on the institutional reform of the European Communities between 1979 and 1989. It demonstrates how the Parliament fulfilled key functions in the process of constitutionalisation of the present-day European Union. These functions included defining a set of criteria for effective and democratic governance, developing legal concepts such as subsidiarity, and pressurising the Member States ...

Based on a large range of newly accessible archival sources, this study explores the European Parliament’s policies on the institutional reform of the European Communities between 1979 and 1989. It demonstrates how the Parliament fulfilled key functions in the process of constitutionalisation of the present-day European Union. These functions included defining a set of criteria for effective and democratic governance, developing legal concepts such as subsidiarity, and pressurising the Member States into accepting greater institutional deepening and more powers for the Parliament in the Single European Act and the Maastricht Treaty.

External author

This study has been written by Professor Dr Wolfram Kaiser of the University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom, at the request of the Historical Archives Unit of the DIrectorate for the Library within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) of the Secretariat of the European Parliament.

European political parties and political foundations – Statute and funding

07-09-2018

On 13 September 2017, the European Commission adopted a proposal to amend the rules on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations. The proposal aimed to revise the existing, 2014, regulation ahead of the 2019 European elections, to address specific loopholes. The limited number of proposed amendments focus on providing more transparency, improving democratic legitimacy and strengthening enforcement. However, a more thorough revision will be considered ...

On 13 September 2017, the European Commission adopted a proposal to amend the rules on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations. The proposal aimed to revise the existing, 2014, regulation ahead of the 2019 European elections, to address specific loopholes. The limited number of proposed amendments focus on providing more transparency, improving democratic legitimacy and strengthening enforcement. However, a more thorough revision will be considered at a later date. Stakeholders shared the view that the 2014 regulation needs revising in advance of the 2019 European elections. Furthermore, the proposal came as a direct response to the European Parliament resolution of 15 June 2017, which called for the revision of the current legislation. Following agreement in trilogue in March 2018, the new regulation entered into force on 4 May 2018. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

The European Council in 2017: Overview of decisions and discussions

29-06-2018

The year 2017 was good for the EU, politically and economically. For the first time in almost a decade, the EU was not beset by crises, although Brexit posed a difficult challenge. The European Council met the Brexit challenge by approving guidelines for the negotiations in April, and agreeing to move to a new stage in December, while convening in a new format: Article 50 (TEU) meetings of the EU-27. The European Council launched another new formal in 2017: Leaders’ Meetings, held under the auspices ...

The year 2017 was good for the EU, politically and economically. For the first time in almost a decade, the EU was not beset by crises, although Brexit posed a difficult challenge. The European Council met the Brexit challenge by approving guidelines for the negotiations in April, and agreeing to move to a new stage in December, while convening in a new format: Article 50 (TEU) meetings of the EU-27. The European Council launched another new formal in 2017: Leaders’ Meetings, held under the auspices of the Leader’ Agenda, to discuss challenging issues such as migration and EMU reform. By the end of the year, the European Council could look back at an eventful but largely successful twelve months.

The principle of subsidiarity

01-01-2018

In areas in which the European Union does not have exclusive competence, the principle of subsidiarity, laid down in the Treaty on European Union, defines the circumstances in which it is preferable for action to be taken by the Union, rather than the Member States.

In areas in which the European Union does not have exclusive competence, the principle of subsidiarity, laid down in the Treaty on European Union, defines the circumstances in which it is preferable for action to be taken by the Union, rather than the Member States.

Social and employment policy: general principles

01-01-2018

The social dimension of European integration has been greatly developed through the years. It is a key aspect of the Europe 2020 strategy, which aims to ensure ‘inclusive growth’ with high levels of employment and a reduction in the number of people living in poverty or at risk of social exclusion.

The social dimension of European integration has been greatly developed through the years. It is a key aspect of the Europe 2020 strategy, which aims to ensure ‘inclusive growth’ with high levels of employment and a reduction in the number of people living in poverty or at risk of social exclusion.

EU framework programmes for research and innovation: Evolution and key data from FP1 to Horizon 2020 in view of FP9

20-09-2017

The framework programme for research was originally set up in the 1980s to streamline the adoption of Community research programmes. With the subsequent iterations of the process and Treaty modifications, the framework programme became a financial and strategic tool to support and implement EU research and innovation policies. As the scope of the framework programme widened and with the multiplication of the type of instruments used to implement it, the framework programme progressively supported ...

The framework programme for research was originally set up in the 1980s to streamline the adoption of Community research programmes. With the subsequent iterations of the process and Treaty modifications, the framework programme became a financial and strategic tool to support and implement EU research and innovation policies. As the scope of the framework programme widened and with the multiplication of the type of instruments used to implement it, the framework programme progressively supported all activities of the innovation process, research being just one of them. As the discussions on the structure and content of FP9 are expected to begin in autumn 2017, this paper reflects on the evolution of the framework programme since its origin and points out key issues that will be debated in the coming years among the European institutions, the Member States and stakeholders regarding the structure of the framework programme, its objectives and its implementation.

Upcoming events

25-06-2019
Meeting EU energy and climate goals: Energy storage for grids and low-carbon mobility
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