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Author
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The Council of the EU: from the Congress of Ambassadors to a genuine Parliamentary Chamber?

14-01-2019

This study commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee discusses the parliamentary nature of the Council. It analyses how the Council is in between a pure parliamentary institution and a non-parliamentary one from a wide range of perspectives, for example its structure, procedure and transparency. The study recommends incremental reforms towards further parliamentarisation rather than radical ones ...

This study commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee discusses the parliamentary nature of the Council. It analyses how the Council is in between a pure parliamentary institution and a non-parliamentary one from a wide range of perspectives, for example its structure, procedure and transparency. The study recommends incremental reforms towards further parliamentarisation rather than radical ones.

External author

Olivier Rozenberg

European elections [What Think Tanks are thinking]

11-01-2019

Citizens of the European Union go to the polls in May 2019, in elections to the European Parliament which many analysts say may be the most important ever. Commentators are currently focused on the prospective performance of anti-establishment parties and movements, many of which run on Eurosceptic platforms. The vote will also indicate if the Spitzenkandidaten process, launched by the European political parties five years ago, has become established practice. If followed as in 2014, the candidate ...

Citizens of the European Union go to the polls in May 2019, in elections to the European Parliament which many analysts say may be the most important ever. Commentators are currently focused on the prospective performance of anti-establishment parties and movements, many of which run on Eurosceptic platforms. The vote will also indicate if the Spitzenkandidaten process, launched by the European political parties five years ago, has become established practice. If followed as in 2014, the candidate from the political force that receives the highest number of seats in the European elections would become the President of the European Commission. This note offers links to reports and commentaries from some major international think-tanks and research institutes on the forthcoming European elections and related issues.

Ten issues to watch in 2019

08-01-2019

This is the third edition of an annual EPRS publication designed to identify and frame some of the key issues and policy areas that are likely to feature prominently on the political agenda of the European Union over the coming year. The topics analysed are the outlook for a new European Parliament and new European Commission, the way forward for the soon-to-be EU-27, the future financing of the Union, the process of digital transformation, artificial intelligence and collective intelligence, internal ...

This is the third edition of an annual EPRS publication designed to identify and frame some of the key issues and policy areas that are likely to feature prominently on the political agenda of the European Union over the coming year. The topics analysed are the outlook for a new European Parliament and new European Commission, the way forward for the soon-to-be EU-27, the future financing of the Union, the process of digital transformation, artificial intelligence and collective intelligence, internal security, trade wars, Africa, electric mobility, and the oceans.

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.

Implementation of the Treaty provisions concerning enhanced cooperation

20-12-2018

This study examines the existing (and planned) instances of enhanced cooperation (EnC), their institutional set up and state of play. Our analysis is at this point of time limited to the one EnC case with sufficient implementation record (EnC in divorce law, applied for more than six years to date). The remaining cases either began very recently (PESCO in late 2017); are in the preparatory stages (EPPO); are set to start in the near future (2019 for EnC in property regime rules); have not as yet ...

This study examines the existing (and planned) instances of enhanced cooperation (EnC), their institutional set up and state of play. Our analysis is at this point of time limited to the one EnC case with sufficient implementation record (EnC in divorce law, applied for more than six years to date). The remaining cases either began very recently (PESCO in late 2017); are in the preparatory stages (EPPO); are set to start in the near future (2019 for EnC in property regime rules); have not as yet entered into force (EnC in unitary patent protection awaiting ratification of the UPC Agreement by DE); or are yet to be agreed upon (FTT).

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, December 2018

14-12-2018

The December plenary session was marked by the terrorist attack that took place in Strasbourg on 11 December. Members had that very day debated the report of Parliament's Special Committee on Terrorism, concluding its year's work. The December plenary session also featured debates on the preparations for the same week's European Council and Euro Summit meetings, as well as on the future of Europe, with Nicos Anastasiades, President of Cyprus. Parliament awarded the 2018 Sakharov Prize for freedom ...

The December plenary session was marked by the terrorist attack that took place in Strasbourg on 11 December. Members had that very day debated the report of Parliament's Special Committee on Terrorism, concluding its year's work. The December plenary session also featured debates on the preparations for the same week's European Council and Euro Summit meetings, as well as on the future of Europe, with Nicos Anastasiades, President of Cyprus. Parliament awarded the 2018 Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought to the imprisoned Ukrainian filmmaker, Oleg Sentsov, and adopted a report on the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. Parliament adopted the EU's 2019 budget, and held debates and voted on proposals on a digital services tax; risk assessment in the food chain; risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work; revision of the statutes of three EU agencies; as well as an own initiative legislative report on expedited settlement of commercial disputes. Finally, Parliament adopted positions on seven of the three dozen proposed funding programmes for the 2021-2027 period, enabling negotiations with the Council to be launched.

Artificial Intelligence and civil law; liability rules for drones

13-12-2018

This study – commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee – analyses existing European and national legislation on the regulation of drones for civil use, discussing how they are defined and classified, whether certification and registration is required, how liability is apportioned between the subjects involved, and if compulsory insurance is provided for. Finally, on the basis of a risk-management ...

This study – commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee – analyses existing European and national legislation on the regulation of drones for civil use, discussing how they are defined and classified, whether certification and registration is required, how liability is apportioned between the subjects involved, and if compulsory insurance is provided for. Finally, on the basis of a risk-management approach, the study elaborates recommendations for future policy formulation.

External author

Andrea Bertolini

Priority dossiers under the Romanian EU Council Presidency

07-12-2018

Romania will hold the EU Council Presidency from January to July 2019. Its Presidency comes at the end of the European Parliament’s current legislative term, with European elections taking place on 23-26 May 2019. This is the first time that Romania holds the EU Council Presidency since joining the European Union on 1 January 2007. Romania has a bicameral legislature. The Parliament consists of the Senate (the upper house) having 137 seats and the Chamber of Deputies (the lower house) with 332 seats ...

Romania will hold the EU Council Presidency from January to July 2019. Its Presidency comes at the end of the European Parliament’s current legislative term, with European elections taking place on 23-26 May 2019. This is the first time that Romania holds the EU Council Presidency since joining the European Union on 1 January 2007. Romania has a bicameral legislature. The Parliament consists of the Senate (the upper house) having 137 seats and the Chamber of Deputies (the lower house) with 332 seats. The members of both houses are elected by direct, popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms. The executive branch of the Government is directly or indirectly dependent on the support of the parliament, often expressed through a vote of confidence. The Social Democratic Party (PSD) heads the current governmental alliance with the centre-right Liberal-Democrat Alliance (ALDE). Romania is a semi-presidential republic, with Klaus Iohannis as President in office since November 2014, and the current Prime Minister, Viorica Dancila (PSD), in office since January 2018.

Brexit: The endgame? [What Think Tanks are thinking]

07-12-2018

Prime Minister Theresa May faces an uphill struggle to convince the British House of Commons to back the agreement she has reached with the EU-27 on UK withdrawal from the European Union, in a crucial vote set for 11 December. Although the deal was approved by her Cabinet and all EU leaders, the divorce terms have been criticised by many Members of Parliament, both advocates of a no-deal departure from the Union and those who would like the United Kingdom to remain within th Union or have the closest ...

Prime Minister Theresa May faces an uphill struggle to convince the British House of Commons to back the agreement she has reached with the EU-27 on UK withdrawal from the European Union, in a crucial vote set for 11 December. Although the deal was approved by her Cabinet and all EU leaders, the divorce terms have been criticised by many Members of Parliament, both advocates of a no-deal departure from the Union and those who would like the United Kingdom to remain within th Union or have the closest possible ties with it from outside. In a parallel development, an Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union has issued an opinion that the UK may unilateraly withdraw its notification of intent to leave the EU, although its departure date is currently set for 29 March 2019. The Court is due to issue its ruling on 10 December; in the past, the Court has followed its advocate-generals’ opinions in most cases. This note offers links to reports and commentaries from some major international think-tanks and research institutes on Brexit negotiations and related issues. More reports on the topic can be found in a previous edition of ‘What Think Tanks are thinking’, published in October 2018.

Plenary round-up – Brussels, November II 2018

30-11-2018

The highlights of the November II plenary session were the debate on the future of Europe with the Prime Minister of Denmark, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, and the discussion on the Council and Commission statements on UK withdrawal from the European Union. Debates were held on a Commission statement on the single market package and the long-term strategy for reducing EU greenhouse gas emissions. Members debated and adopted reports on five Western Balkan countries, as well as a report on the way forward ...

The highlights of the November II plenary session were the debate on the future of Europe with the Prime Minister of Denmark, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, and the discussion on the Council and Commission statements on UK withdrawal from the European Union. Debates were held on a Commission statement on the single market package and the long-term strategy for reducing EU greenhouse gas emissions. Members debated and adopted reports on five Western Balkan countries, as well as a report on the way forward for the World Trade Organization (WTO). A number of legislative reports were voted without debate, including on trade in goods that could be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel treatment or punishment, the temporary reintroduction of border controls at the internal borders, and common rules for the operation of air services.

Upcoming events

22-01-2019
Harmonisation as a principle for Single Market legislation
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IMCO
23-01-2019
Implementation of EU Funds aimed at fighting violence against women & girls – Hearing
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FEMM
23-01-2019
Role and impact of the European Parliament in the 2014-19 legislative term
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