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Parliamentary hearings of the Commissioners-designate: A decisive step in the investiture process

24-07-2019

The hearings of the Commissioners-designate before the European Parliament's committees are a necessary ingredient in informing Parliament's decision to give its consent to, or reject, the proposed College. Each Commissioner-designate appears before a single hearing, involving one or more parliamentary committees, after responding to a written questionnaire and presenting his or her declaration of interests. In past hearings, the main points of criticism were some candidates’ lack of specialist knowledge ...

The hearings of the Commissioners-designate before the European Parliament's committees are a necessary ingredient in informing Parliament's decision to give its consent to, or reject, the proposed College. Each Commissioner-designate appears before a single hearing, involving one or more parliamentary committees, after responding to a written questionnaire and presenting his or her declaration of interests. In past hearings, the main points of criticism were some candidates’ lack of specialist knowledge of their portfolio, their vague answers and reluctance to make commitments, the existence of possible conflicts of interests in relation to the assigned portfolio and concerns regarding the integrity of the candidate. From the 2004 investiture on, Parliament has used its role in the appointment of the Commission to press for the replacement of certain controversial candidates and to force adjustments to certain portfolios, although it can only reject or accept the College as a whole. Whilst some experts warn of excessive politicisation of the hearings, others welcome the increased accountability of the Commission to Parliament, and see the deepening political link between the two as a step towards further democratisation of the EU decision-making process. Hearings have become critical for Parliament's holding the Commission to account, and are gaining in significance as a means for Parliament to take a greater role in agenda-setting at EU level.

Recasting the Return Directive

14-06-2019

The Return Directive is the main piece of EU legislation governing the procedures and criteria to be applied by Member States when returning irregularly staying third-country nationals, and a cornerstone of the EU return policy. Taking into account the decrease in the EU return rate (45.8 % in 2016 and 36.6 % in 2017), and following European Council and Council calls to review the 2008 legal text to enhance the effectiveness of the EU return policy, in September 2018, the Commission proposed a targeted ...

The Return Directive is the main piece of EU legislation governing the procedures and criteria to be applied by Member States when returning irregularly staying third-country nationals, and a cornerstone of the EU return policy. Taking into account the decrease in the EU return rate (45.8 % in 2016 and 36.6 % in 2017), and following European Council and Council calls to review the 2008 legal text to enhance the effectiveness of the EU return policy, in September 2018, the Commission proposed a targeted recast of the directive aiming to 'reduce the length of return procedures, secure a better link between asylum and return procedures and ensure a more effective use of measures to prevent absconding'. In the 2014-2019 parliamentary term, the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee discussed some 654 amendments to the proposal, tabled in February 2019 following the publication of the rapporteur's draft report. However, since the committee did not adopt a report at that time, the new Parliament will have to decide how to approach the file (with a new rapporteur). In the meantime, the Council has reached a partial general approach on the proposal. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

European Border and Coast Guard

10-04-2019

The European Parliament and the Council have reached a provisional agreement to adopt a new regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard (EBCG). The text aims at reinforcing the protection of the EU's external borders, building on previous efforts of EU institutions to develop a European Integrated Border Management (EIBM) system. Parliament is expected to vote on the proposal during the April II plenary session.

The European Parliament and the Council have reached a provisional agreement to adopt a new regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard (EBCG). The text aims at reinforcing the protection of the EU's external borders, building on previous efforts of EU institutions to develop a European Integrated Border Management (EIBM) system. Parliament is expected to vote on the proposal during the April II plenary session.

Data on returns of irregular migrants

05-04-2019

The Return Directive is the main piece of EU legislation applied to return procedures. Under this directive, Member States shall generally issue a return decision (an administrative or judicial decision imposing and obligation to leave the territory of Member States) against every third-country national (TCN) found to be irregularly present in their territory. A proposal to recast the EU Return Directive is currently being discussed within the European Parliament and the Council. This infographic ...

The Return Directive is the main piece of EU legislation applied to return procedures. Under this directive, Member States shall generally issue a return decision (an administrative or judicial decision imposing and obligation to leave the territory of Member States) against every third-country national (TCN) found to be irregularly present in their territory. A proposal to recast the EU Return Directive is currently being discussed within the European Parliament and the Council. This infographic aims to provide relevant data on the EU return policy.

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