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UK withdrawal from the European Union: Legal and procedural issues

27-03-2017

Following the United Kingdom's referendum in June 2016, which delivered a majority vote in favour of the country leaving the European Union, a period of uncertainty has begun for both the UK and the EU. Although the process of withdrawing from the EU is outlined by Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, a number of issues remain unclear in practice, all the more so since there is no precedent of a Member State withdrawing from the Union. This in-depth analysis considers the legal and procedural ...

Following the United Kingdom's referendum in June 2016, which delivered a majority vote in favour of the country leaving the European Union, a period of uncertainty has begun for both the UK and the EU. Although the process of withdrawing from the EU is outlined by Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, a number of issues remain unclear in practice, all the more so since there is no precedent of a Member State withdrawing from the Union. This in-depth analysis considers the legal and procedural issues surrounding UK withdrawal, focusing in particular on the formal exit process under Article 50 TEU and the EU institutions' preparations for negotiations. It also sets out some possible templates for future EU-UK relations, as well as the details of existing frameworks for cooperation between the EU and third countries.

EU citizenship rights

23-03-2017

According to Article 20(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), every person holding the nationality of a Member State is a Union citizen. Union citizenship is additional to national citizenship and does not replace it. The concept of Union citizenship was introduced in the Treaty on European Union, signed in Maastricht in 1992, which endowed Union citizens with a number of novel rights, including political rights. Union citizens enjoy the right to move and reside freely ...

According to Article 20(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), every person holding the nationality of a Member State is a Union citizen. Union citizenship is additional to national citizenship and does not replace it. The concept of Union citizenship was introduced in the Treaty on European Union, signed in Maastricht in 1992, which endowed Union citizens with a number of novel rights, including political rights. Union citizens enjoy the right to move and reside freely in other Member States, to vote and to stand as candidates in municipal and European elections, to petition the Parliament, to apply to the European Ombudsman, and to enjoy in a third country the protection of the diplomatic and consular authorities of any other Member State. The Lisbon Treaty, signed in 2007, granted Union citizens another novel right – the right to start a Citizens' Initiative. It is estimated that about 15 million Union citizens live in a Member State other than that of their nationality. The rights related to free movement and residence are governed by a central piece of legislation (Directive 2004/38), which covers most aspects of the freedom of movement of persons. It enables Union citizens to travel, (seek) work, study or retire in another Member State – and to enjoy equal treatment while doing so. Yet, EU Treaties and secondary law make clear that the rights granted to Union citizens are not absolute but subject to conditions and limitations.

The Impact and Consequences of Brexit for Northern Ireland

17-03-2017

Upon request by the AFCO Committee, the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs commissioned a briefing on the impact of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on Northern Ireland, the part of the UK most distinctly affected by Brexit. The briefing analyses the implications of Brexit on the Northern Irish economy and on the freedom of movement from the establishment of a "hard border" between Northern Ireland and the Republic. It examines the possible consequences of Brexit on ...

Upon request by the AFCO Committee, the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs commissioned a briefing on the impact of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on Northern Ireland, the part of the UK most distinctly affected by Brexit. The briefing analyses the implications of Brexit on the Northern Irish economy and on the freedom of movement from the establishment of a "hard border" between Northern Ireland and the Republic. It examines the possible consequences of Brexit on the relations between communities in Northern Ireland and well as between the UK and the Republic. It looks into the implications of Brexit on the Good Friday Agreement and examines possible bespoke deals between the UK and Irish governments on Northern Ireland following Brexit.

The Brexit Negotiations: An Assessment of the Legal, Political and Institutional Situation in the UK

16-03-2017

Upon request by the AFCO Committee, the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs commissioned an in-depth analysis on the political and institutional situation in the United Kingdom following the referendum on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The research analyses the post-Brexit political developments in the UK, the various parameters that should be taken into account, by both the UK government and the 27, in view of the Article 50 negotiations and the possible shape of ...

Upon request by the AFCO Committee, the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs commissioned an in-depth analysis on the political and institutional situation in the United Kingdom following the referendum on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The research analyses the post-Brexit political developments in the UK, the various parameters that should be taken into account, by both the UK government and the 27, in view of the Article 50 negotiations and the possible shape of the final deal and the future economic relationship, taking into account the EU obligations and the constraints of Theresa May’s government.

External author

Charles GRANT

Outcome of European Council meeting of 9 March 2017 and of informal meeting of the EU27 of 10 March 2017

14-03-2017

After re-electing Donald Tusk as its President, the European Council meeting of 9 March 2017 discussed the economic situation in Europe, progress on measures regarding migration, internal and external security, and external relations. In his first speech to the European Council, the recently- elected President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, outlined his approach to appearing before European Council meetings, he will present the positions of the European Parliament, including minority ...

After re-electing Donald Tusk as its President, the European Council meeting of 9 March 2017 discussed the economic situation in Europe, progress on measures regarding migration, internal and external security, and external relations. In his first speech to the European Council, the recently- elected President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, outlined his approach to appearing before European Council meetings, he will present the positions of the European Parliament, including minority views. He stressed his commitment to ‘fair and constructive cooperation’ between the two institutions, stating that ‘Parliament will be part of the solution, not part of the problem’. In the end, the meeting produced ‘Conclusions by the President of the European Council supported by 27 Member States, ’ due to a lack of consensus ‘for reasons unrelated to its [i.e. the documents] substance’. At the informal meeting of the 27 Heads of State or Government without the UK (EU27), held the following day, leaders discussed the procedural and content-related aspects of the forthcoming celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties and the expected ‘Rome Declaration’.

Policy Departments’ Monthly Highlights - March 2017

13-03-2017

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

Impact of the ECSC Common Assembly on the politics, negotiation and content of the Rome Treaties

10-03-2017

As the historical framework for the present-day European Union (EU), the Treaties of Rome, signed in March 1957 and establishing the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom), are among the most important treaties of the European integration process. The failure to set up a European Defence Community in 1954 provided the incentive for the EEC Treaty to envisage integration in economic as well as political terms. Crucially, the Rome Treaties provided ...

As the historical framework for the present-day European Union (EU), the Treaties of Rome, signed in March 1957 and establishing the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom), are among the most important treaties of the European integration process. The failure to set up a European Defence Community in 1954 provided the incentive for the EEC Treaty to envisage integration in economic as well as political terms. Crucially, the Rome Treaties provided for the establishment of today's EU institutions, which have played a major role in securing the peaceful coexistence of Member States for the past sixty years. The Common Assembly (CA) of the European Coal and Steel Community (1952-1957) has long been overlooked as an important factor in the development of the Rome Treaties. As it was not directly involved in deliberations and negotiations on the treaties, it might easily be concluded that the CA did not play a significant role. This briefing demonstrates the very opposite. It was the CA that put the issue of an extended common market on the Community and Member States' political agenda, thereby relaunching European integration at a decisive moment in the EU's history. Furthermore, the CA effectively foreshadowed its future position and competences in a wider European community. The CA formulated demands for greater legislative and budgetary powers in order to overcome its subsidiary and consultative role. Given its political authority as the parliamentary representation of the people of the Community, the CA was successful in incorporating its demands into the deliberations and negotiations that led to the Rome Treaties.

Outlook for the 9 March 2017 European Council, and the Informal meeting of the 27 Heads of State or Government on 10 March 2017

10-03-2017

At their 9-10 March 2017 meeting, EU leaders will focus on the economic situation in Europe, including the economic and social priorities of the 2017 European Semester, trade policy and delivery of the different single market strategies. The European Council will also discuss migration, security and defence, and external relations and will (re-)elect its President. Following the European Council, the 27 Heads of State or Government – without the United Kingdom – will meet informally on 10 March 2017 ...

At their 9-10 March 2017 meeting, EU leaders will focus on the economic situation in Europe, including the economic and social priorities of the 2017 European Semester, trade policy and delivery of the different single market strategies. The European Council will also discuss migration, security and defence, and external relations and will (re-)elect its President. Following the European Council, the 27 Heads of State or Government – without the United Kingdom – will meet informally on 10 March 2017 to continue their discussions on the future of Europe and prepare the upcoming 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties. The recently elected President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, will address the European Council for the first time.

European Parliament: Facts and Figures

10-03-2017

This Briefing, published by the European Parliamentary Research Service, is designed to provide key facts and figures about the European Parliament, both today - during the current 2014 to 2019 parliamentary term - and in the seven previous terms since direct elections were introduced in June 1979. On the following pages you will find graphics of various kinds which: • detail the composition of the European Parliament now and in the past; • trace the increase in the number of parties represented ...

This Briefing, published by the European Parliamentary Research Service, is designed to provide key facts and figures about the European Parliament, both today - during the current 2014 to 2019 parliamentary term - and in the seven previous terms since direct elections were introduced in June 1979. On the following pages you will find graphics of various kinds which: • detail the composition of the European Parliament now and in the past; • trace the increase in the number of parties represented in the EP and evolution of political groups; • chart the rise in the number of women sitting in the Parliament; • explain the electoral systems used in elections to the Parliament across the Member States; • show how turnout in European elections compares with that in national elections; • summarise the activity of the Parliament in the 2009-14 term, and so far in the current term; • present the annual cost of the Parliament compared with other parliaments; • outline the composition of the Parliament’s main governing bodies. The Briefing is being updated regularly during the 2014-19 term to take account of latest developments. This version is an update of a briefing published in March 2016, PE 573.919.

The Legisprudential Role of National Parliaments in the European Union

10-03-2017

National parliaments’ contribution to the law-making process at European level should focus on the overall rationality of the draft legislative proposals. The Early Warning Mechanism must not be limited to considerations regarding the breach of the principle of subsidiarity, but also encompass the principle of conferral and the principle of proportionality. The Political Dialogue could be enhanced to acknowledge the legisprudential role assigned to national parliaments, encompassing configurations ...

National parliaments’ contribution to the law-making process at European level should focus on the overall rationality of the draft legislative proposals. The Early Warning Mechanism must not be limited to considerations regarding the breach of the principle of subsidiarity, but also encompass the principle of conferral and the principle of proportionality. The Political Dialogue could be enhanced to acknowledge the legisprudential role assigned to national parliaments, encompassing configurations akin to the green or red card without the need to amend the Treaties.

External author

Luís Heleno TERRINHA

Upcoming events

28-03-2017
60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties and 25th anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty
Other event -
EPRS
28-03-2017
The Future of Science through Citizens Engagement
Other event -
STOA
12-04-2017
Workshop on the training of judges and legal practitioners
Workshop -
JURI LIBE

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