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Plenary round-up - Strasbourg, September 2017

15-09-2017

In addition to the State of the Union address by European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, the main debates held during Parliament's September plenary session included questions such as fire safety in buildings, the impact of hurricane Irma, breaches of human rights and a series of statements related to external relations presented by the High Representative, Federica Mogherini. On the legislative front, Members voted, inter alia, on proposals concerning the WIFI4EU regulation (an initiative ...

In addition to the State of the Union address by European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, the main debates held during Parliament's September plenary session included questions such as fire safety in buildings, the impact of hurricane Irma, breaches of human rights and a series of statements related to external relations presented by the High Representative, Federica Mogherini. On the legislative front, Members voted, inter alia, on proposals concerning the WIFI4EU regulation (an initiative to promote internet connectivity in local communities), security of gas supply, the European Accessibility Act and the European Venture Capital Funds and European Social Entrepreneurship Funds investment schemes. Parliament pushed the Council to move forward with ratifying the Istanbul Convention on combating violence against women. It also raised concerns over the EU Common Position on arms export, as well as adopting three resolutions aimed at modernising EU-Chile trade relations.

Brexit negotiations - Progress to date

15-09-2017

Since their official launch in June 2017, three rounds of negotiations on the United Kingdom's (UK) withdrawal from the European Union (EU) have been held. So far, the EU and UK have discussed the priority issues of citizens' rights, the financial settlement and the Irish border, but disagreements and ambiguities persist. After the third round, 'no decisive progress' was reached, according to Michel Barnier, the EU chief negotiator, which is likely to impede any advance to the second phase of talks ...

Since their official launch in June 2017, three rounds of negotiations on the United Kingdom's (UK) withdrawal from the European Union (EU) have been held. So far, the EU and UK have discussed the priority issues of citizens' rights, the financial settlement and the Irish border, but disagreements and ambiguities persist. After the third round, 'no decisive progress' was reached, according to Michel Barnier, the EU chief negotiator, which is likely to impede any advance to the second phase of talks in October, on transitional arrangements and the future EU-UK partnership, including trade relations.

The State of the Union [What Think Tanks are thinking]

15-09-2017

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, laid out his vision of the European Union in his annual State of the Union address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 13 September 2017. He noted that the overall outlook has changed for the better over the past year, notably thanks to an accelerating economic recovery. ‘The wind is back in the European sails,’ he declared. Much interest focussed on Juncker’s advocacy of various eurozone and EU institutional reforms. He proposed ...

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, laid out his vision of the European Union in his annual State of the Union address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 13 September 2017. He noted that the overall outlook has changed for the better over the past year, notably thanks to an accelerating economic recovery. ‘The wind is back in the European sails,’ he declared. Much interest focussed on Juncker’s advocacy of various eurozone and EU institutional reforms. He proposed the designation of a eurozone finance minister, who would preside over the Eurogroup, as well as being a member of the Commission. He supported the development of a European Monetary Fund. However, he opted against the creation of a separate eurozone budget, preferring a dedicated budget line within a general EU budget. He also said there should not be a separate eurozone parliament either. He favoured combining the presidencies of the Commission and the European Council, and he supported the idea a new, additional transnational constituency for the European elections. On the policy front, he advocated a pro-innovation industrial strategy, a reinforced social pillar, an authority to supervise fairness in the single market, better handling of migratory flows, and new trade agreements. This note offers links to commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on the state of the EU and possible reforms. Brexit-related publications can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are Thinking. Earlier papers on the general condition of the EU are available in another edition in this series, published in April 2017.

Brexit negotiations [What Think Tanks are thinking]

08-09-2017

The first three rounds of negotiations on the terms of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union have generated only modest progress, with the two sides divided on the first-phase issues, namely the size of the UK's financial obligations on leaving the EU, the rights of EU citizens within the UK and of UK citizens within the EU after Brexit, and the specific problem of how to deal with the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This note offers links to recent ...

The first three rounds of negotiations on the terms of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union have generated only modest progress, with the two sides divided on the first-phase issues, namely the size of the UK's financial obligations on leaving the EU, the rights of EU citizens within the UK and of UK citizens within the EU after Brexit, and the specific problem of how to deal with the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports published by major international think tanks and other organisations on EU-UK negotiations and on the implications of Brexit more widely.

The 2017 State of the Union debate in the European Parliament

08-09-2017

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union address to the European Parliament, and the subsequent debate, on 13 September come in the context of the ongoing broader reflection on the future path of the European Union. This has been intensified by the first-ever withdrawal of a Member State from the Union; although lamented by most, this is often cited as an opportunity to rebuild the Union on stronger grounds. The debate will therefore feed into a larger reflection process ...

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union address to the European Parliament, and the subsequent debate, on 13 September come in the context of the ongoing broader reflection on the future path of the European Union. This has been intensified by the first-ever withdrawal of a Member State from the Union; although lamented by most, this is often cited as an opportunity to rebuild the Union on stronger grounds. The debate will therefore feed into a larger reflection process, to which Parliament contributed three landmark resolutions, launched by EU-27 leaders in the Rome declaration of 25 March 2017. As announced in President Juncker’s 2016 State of the Union speech, the Commission published a white paper on the future of Europe, identifying five scenarios for the further course of the Union. The Commission President has recently pointed to a sixth scenario to be revealed in his State of the Union speech. The State of the Union debate forms part of the process for the adoption of the annual Commission Work Programme and thus plays an important role in identifying major political priorities to be agreed in interinstitutional dialogue. This briefing is an update of an earlier one of September 2016, PE 586.665.

European Citizens' Initiative (ECI)

14-07-2017

The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) was introduced in 2009 with the Lisbon Treaty. It is a key element of participatory democracy, allowing citizens to play an active role in the EU's democratic life, by addressing requests to the European Commission for legislative proposals. The procedure and conditions for ECIs are governed by Regulation (EU) No 211/2011, in force since April 2012. This has been considered in debate on the ECI's effectiveness, leading to some suggestions for improvement, in ...

The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) was introduced in 2009 with the Lisbon Treaty. It is a key element of participatory democracy, allowing citizens to play an active role in the EU's democratic life, by addressing requests to the European Commission for legislative proposals. The procedure and conditions for ECIs are governed by Regulation (EU) No 211/2011, in force since April 2012. This has been considered in debate on the ECI's effectiveness, leading to some suggestions for improvement, in particular under the Commission’s planned review of the ECI Regulation in 2017.

EU and UK positions on citizens’ rights: First phase of Brexit negotiations

13-07-2017

Negotiations on the arrangements for the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU started on 19 June 2017, with citizens’ rights being one of the top priorities. However, the EU and the UK positions differ considerably. The EU aims at a withdrawal agreement which safeguards the existing right to residence as well as to equal treatment with nationals, including access to social security, for EU-27 citizens who have moved to the UK and for UK nationals resident in an EU-27 Member State prior to the ...

Negotiations on the arrangements for the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU started on 19 June 2017, with citizens’ rights being one of the top priorities. However, the EU and the UK positions differ considerably. The EU aims at a withdrawal agreement which safeguards the existing right to residence as well as to equal treatment with nationals, including access to social security, for EU-27 citizens who have moved to the UK and for UK nationals resident in an EU-27 Member State prior to the withdrawal date. By contrast, the UK’s intention is to create new rights, detached from EU law, whose conditions will be governed by UK law. The EU and UK positions also differ regarding the cut-off date which would govern the status of citizens. According to the EU, this should be the date of the UK’s actual withdrawal from the EU, whereas the UK has proposed to agree on an earlier date. Differences between the two positions can also be observed with regard to the conditions for family reunification and access to social security benefits. Furthermore, whilst the EU proposes that the European Commission and the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) oversee compliance with the withdrawal arrangements by both the UK and the EU-27 Member States, the UK seeks enforceability of the citizens’ rights through the UK judicial system and rejects the jurisdiction of the CJEU.

The European Council in 2016: Overview of decisions and discussions

13-07-2017

This In-Depth Analysis by the European Council Oversight Unit of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) is the second in a series of annual publications examining the activity of the European Council. In 2016, the Heads of State or Government devoted most of their attention to three policy areas: migration; foreign and security policy; and economic governance, competitiveness and trade. The publication also considers the impact of the United Kingdom referendum vote on the proceedings ...

This In-Depth Analysis by the European Council Oversight Unit of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) is the second in a series of annual publications examining the activity of the European Council. In 2016, the Heads of State or Government devoted most of their attention to three policy areas: migration; foreign and security policy; and economic governance, competitiveness and trade. The publication also considers the impact of the United Kingdom referendum vote on the proceedings of the European Council, both procedurally (EU 28 and EU-27 meetings) and thematically (policy priorities and debates on the future of a Europe-at-27). The European Council has carried out its strategic, deliberative, and follow-up roles throughout the year. This was particularly notable when it dealt with migration, which attracted 50 % of the attention of the Heads of State or Government, as shown in the conclusions of their debates. The European Council President, Donald Tusk, continued to report to the European Parliament on the outcomes of the European Council meetings, as required by the Treaties.

The European Commission at mid-term: State of play of President Juncker's ten priorities

11-07-2017

This publication provides an overview of the work carried out by the European Commission at the mid-term of its mandate under Jean-Claude Juncker's presidency, and more specifically an update of the initiatives taken in the framework of the ten priority areas for action. The in-depth analysis draws on a wide range of EPRS publications, and updates a previous edition The Juncker Commission's ten priorities: state of play at the start of 2017, published in January 2017. It has been compiled and edited ...

This publication provides an overview of the work carried out by the European Commission at the mid-term of its mandate under Jean-Claude Juncker's presidency, and more specifically an update of the initiatives taken in the framework of the ten priority areas for action. The in-depth analysis draws on a wide range of EPRS publications, and updates a previous edition The Juncker Commission's ten priorities: state of play at the start of 2017, published in January 2017. It has been compiled and edited by Isabelle Gaudeul-Ehrhart, with contributions and support from across the Members' Research Service and the Directorate for Impact Assessment and European Added Value of EPRS, in particular from the following policy analysts: Piotr Bakowski, Angelos Delivorias, Gregor Erbach, Elena Lazarou, Tambiama Madiega, Shara Monteleone, Anita Orav, Laura Puccio, Christian Scheinert, Andrej Stuchlik, Marcin Szczepanski, Laura Tilindyte and Sofija Voronova. The graphics are by Giulio Sabbati, and are derived from the 'Legislative Train Schedule' application, recently launched by Parliament to track progress on the Commission's legislative proposals.

The future cooperation between OLAF and the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO)

05-07-2017

This paper, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Budgetary Affairs, at the request of the Committee on Budgetary Control, analyses the future cooperation between OLAF and the EPPO, two bodies specialised in the protection of the Union’s financial interests. Three main dimensions of their cooperation are analysed, as well as elements of complexity that may influence it. The paper highlights elements essential for their close cooperation and complementarity, especially considering ...

This paper, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Budgetary Affairs, at the request of the Committee on Budgetary Control, analyses the future cooperation between OLAF and the EPPO, two bodies specialised in the protection of the Union’s financial interests. Three main dimensions of their cooperation are analysed, as well as elements of complexity that may influence it. The paper highlights elements essential for their close cooperation and complementarity, especially considering a potential revision of OLAF’s legal framework.

External author

Prof. Anne WEYEMBERGH, Dr. Chloé BRIERE

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