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Single Supervisroy Mechanism (SSM) – Accountability arrangements and legal base for hearings in the European Parliament - State of Play - August 2019

29-08-2019

This note prepared by the Economic Governance Support Unit provides an overview of the EP’s accountability hearings in the context of the Single Supervisory Mechanism.

This note prepared by the Economic Governance Support Unit provides an overview of the EP’s accountability hearings in the context of the Single Supervisory Mechanism.

Rules on political groups in the EP

05-06-2019

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) may form political groups; these are organised not by nationality, but by political affiliation. Since the first direct elections in 1979, the number of political groups has fluctuated between seven and ten. Following the 2019 elections, the number, size and composition of political groups is likely to continue to fluctuate, as a result of the possible dissolution of some political groups and the creation of new ones. To form a political group, a minimum ...

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) may form political groups; these are organised not by nationality, but by political affiliation. Since the first direct elections in 1979, the number of political groups has fluctuated between seven and ten. Following the 2019 elections, the number, size and composition of political groups is likely to continue to fluctuate, as a result of the possible dissolution of some political groups and the creation of new ones. To form a political group, a minimum of 25 MEPs, elected in at least one quarter (currently seven) of the EU's Member States is required. Those Members who do not belong to any political group are known as 'non-attached' (non-inscrits) Members. Although the political groups play a very prominent role in Parliament's life, individual MEPs and/or several MEPs acting together, also have many rights, including in relation to the exercise of oversight over other EU institutions, such as the Commission. However, belonging to a political group is of particular relevance when it comes to the allocation of key positions in Parliament's political and organisational structures, such as committee and delegation chairs and rapporteurships on important dossiers. Moreover, political groups receive higher funding for their collective staff and parliamentary activities than the non-attached MEPs. Political group funding, however, is distinct from funding granted to European political parties and foundations, which, if they comply with the requirements to register as such, may apply for funding from the European Parliament.

The power of the European Parliament: Examples of EP impact during the 2014-19 legislative term

30-04-2019

As the only European Union institution elected directly, the European Parliament is at the heart of representative democracy, the foundation upon which the EU is built. Since its creation, the Parliament’s powers have evolved significantly, transforming it into a full-fledged legislative body and forum of discussion and engagement, whose influence is felt in virtually all areas of EU activity. This paper provides an overview of the European Parliament's main powers, demonstrating how they interact ...

As the only European Union institution elected directly, the European Parliament is at the heart of representative democracy, the foundation upon which the EU is built. Since its creation, the Parliament’s powers have evolved significantly, transforming it into a full-fledged legislative body and forum of discussion and engagement, whose influence is felt in virtually all areas of EU activity. This paper provides an overview of the European Parliament's main powers, demonstrating how they interact, and illustrating through practical examples from the most recent parliamentary term (2014-2019) the various ways in which the Parliament uses those powers in its daily work.

EU Agencies, Common Approach and Parliamentary Scrutiny

21-11-2018

Decentralised agencies were set up on a case-by-case basis over the years, to respond to emerging individual policy needs. Currently there are 36 of them and they have been operating under very diverse conditions. This study provides an overview of the different decentralised EU agencies according to a number of criteria; including their functions, legal bases, sources of financing, respective roles of Parliament, Council, Commission and Member States, stakeholder involvement and transparency. It ...

Decentralised agencies were set up on a case-by-case basis over the years, to respond to emerging individual policy needs. Currently there are 36 of them and they have been operating under very diverse conditions. This study provides an overview of the different decentralised EU agencies according to a number of criteria; including their functions, legal bases, sources of financing, respective roles of Parliament, Council, Commission and Member States, stakeholder involvement and transparency. It particularly examines how the parliamentary scrutiny over decentralised agencies is ensured and suggests possible improvements to those mechanisms in order to reach a more coherent, efficient and transparent institutional set up for the parliamentary scrutiny over agencies’ activities.

Ulkopuolinen laatija

EPRS, DG

Historiography of the European Parliament: Changing perceptions of the institution from the 1950s to today

13-11-2018

This study charts the course and contours of academic interest in, and writing about, the European Parliament (EP) since its origins in the early 1950s. What began as a trickle of scholarly works on the EP turned into a flood in the early 1990s, after the EP acquired greater legislative power and became more like a ‘real’ (if not a ‘normal’) parliament. The study does not claim to mention every significant work on the EP, and may well mention some works that other scholars might not consider to be ...

This study charts the course and contours of academic interest in, and writing about, the European Parliament (EP) since its origins in the early 1950s. What began as a trickle of scholarly works on the EP turned into a flood in the early 1990s, after the EP acquired greater legislative power and became more like a ‘real’ (if not a ‘normal’) parliament. The study does not claim to mention every significant work on the EP, and may well mention some works that other scholars might not consider to be particularly significant. It aims to present a ‘historiography’ of the EP, without limiting itself to the study of historical writing. Accordingly, it ranges over a wide swath of scholarship, including history but also, primarily, political science.

Ulkopuolinen laatija

This study has been written by Desmond Dinan, Ad Personam Jean Monnet Chair and Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University, Virginia, United States, for the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS).

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.

Ulkopuolinen laatija

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.

Parliamentary scrutiny of the European Commission: implementation of the Treaty provisions

02-10-2018

The European Parliament's application of scrutiny prerogatives of political oversight of the European Commission increases the democratic legitimacy of the European Union, and the transparency and accountability of the European executive. The study examines the status quo of the European Parliament's powers of scrutiny of the European Commission. The cases examined pertain mainly to electoral and institutional issues, motions of censure, parliamentary questions, inquiry committees and special parliamentary ...

The European Parliament's application of scrutiny prerogatives of political oversight of the European Commission increases the democratic legitimacy of the European Union, and the transparency and accountability of the European executive. The study examines the status quo of the European Parliament's powers of scrutiny of the European Commission. The cases examined pertain mainly to electoral and institutional issues, motions of censure, parliamentary questions, inquiry committees and special parliamentary committees and reporting, consultation and provision of information. It also touches upon scrutiny in budgetary issues, scrutiny of delegated acts, scrutiny in the legislative procedure, legal proceedings and the EU's external relations.

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.

Työterveys ja -turvallisuus

01-05-2018

Euroopan unioni on 1980-luvulta lähtien pyrkinyt edistämään työterveyttä ja -turvallisuutta. Unionin lainsäädännössä on määritelty työntekijöiden suojelun vähimmäistaso, mutta jäsenvaltiot voivat myös pitää voimassa tai ottaa käyttöön tiukempia toimenpiteitä. Lissabonin sopimuksen myötä oikeudellisesti sitovaksi tullut Euroopan unionin perusoikeuskirja korostaa entisestään tämän politiikanalan merkitystä unionin lainsäädännössä.

Euroopan unioni on 1980-luvulta lähtien pyrkinyt edistämään työterveyttä ja -turvallisuutta. Unionin lainsäädännössä on määritelty työntekijöiden suojelun vähimmäistaso, mutta jäsenvaltiot voivat myös pitää voimassa tai ottaa käyttöön tiukempia toimenpiteitä. Lissabonin sopimuksen myötä oikeudellisesti sitovaksi tullut Euroopan unionin perusoikeuskirja korostaa entisestään tämän politiikanalan merkitystä unionin lainsäädännössä.

Euroopan parlamentin historiallista taustaa

01-03-2018

Euroopan parlamentti sai alkunsa, kun Euroopan hiili- ja teräsyhteisön (EHTY) yleiskokouksesta tuli kolmen silloisen Euroopan ylikansallisen yhteisön yhteinen yleiskokous, joka sai myöhemmin nimen Euroopan parlamentti. Tämä toimielin, jonka jäsenet on vuodesta 1979 lähtien valittu välittömillä vaaleilla, on ajan mittaan muuttunut perusteellisesti: nimitettyjen jäsenten edustajakokouksesta on kehittynyt vaaleilla valittu parlamentti, jonka rooli Euroopan unionissa käsittelyyn otettavien aiheiden määrittelijänä ...

Euroopan parlamentti sai alkunsa, kun Euroopan hiili- ja teräsyhteisön (EHTY) yleiskokouksesta tuli kolmen silloisen Euroopan ylikansallisen yhteisön yhteinen yleiskokous, joka sai myöhemmin nimen Euroopan parlamentti. Tämä toimielin, jonka jäsenet on vuodesta 1979 lähtien valittu välittömillä vaaleilla, on ajan mittaan muuttunut perusteellisesti: nimitettyjen jäsenten edustajakokouksesta on kehittynyt vaaleilla valittu parlamentti, jonka rooli Euroopan unionissa käsittelyyn otettavien aiheiden määrittelijänä on tunnustettu.

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