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Current membership of the European Council

10-12-2019

The European Council consists of the 28 Heads of State or Government of the EU Member States, who are voting members, together with the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, who have no vote (Article 15(2) TEU). The chart shows the current members, the national office they hold and their political affiliation, as well as the year their membership of the institution began. This publication is updated periodically to reflect changes in the European Council's ...

The European Council consists of the 28 Heads of State or Government of the EU Member States, who are voting members, together with the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, who have no vote (Article 15(2) TEU). The chart shows the current members, the national office they hold and their political affiliation, as well as the year their membership of the institution began. This publication is updated periodically to reflect changes in the European Council's membership.

The legal nature of Country-Specific Recommendations

10-09-2019

The Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs) are annually adopted by the Council based on the Commission (COM) proposals within the framework of the European Semester. The CSRs provide integrated guidance on macro-fiscal and macro-structural measures based on the COM assessment of Member States' medium-term budgetary plans and national reform programmes in light of broad policy priorities endorsed by the European Council or adopted by the Council on th basis of the Annual Growth Survey. The Council ...

The Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs) are annually adopted by the Council based on the Commission (COM) proposals within the framework of the European Semester. The CSRs provide integrated guidance on macro-fiscal and macro-structural measures based on the COM assessment of Member States' medium-term budgetary plans and national reform programmes in light of broad policy priorities endorsed by the European Council or adopted by the Council on th basis of the Annual Growth Survey. The Council also adopts policy recommendations to the euro area as a whole in accordance with Article 136 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) following a COM proposal. Table 1 displays the development of the number of CSRs and the minimum and maximum number per Member State.

Outcome of the informal meeting of EU-27 leaders on 9 May 2019 in Sibiu

13-05-2019

EU-27 Heads of State or Government met on 9 May 2019 in the Romanian city of Sibiu, to discuss the Union’s common future. They adopted the Sibiu Declaration, recalling the achievements and values of the European Union. EU leaders reaffirmed their unity, and recognised the role they have to play to make the EU stronger and the future brighter. They also discussed the forthcoming Strategic Agenda for 2019-2024, which will outline policy priorities for the next five years. The European Council President ...

EU-27 Heads of State or Government met on 9 May 2019 in the Romanian city of Sibiu, to discuss the Union’s common future. They adopted the Sibiu Declaration, recalling the achievements and values of the European Union. EU leaders reaffirmed their unity, and recognised the role they have to play to make the EU stronger and the future brighter. They also discussed the forthcoming Strategic Agenda for 2019-2024, which will outline policy priorities for the next five years. The European Council President, Donald Tusk, suggested a process for the forthcoming appointments to a set of high-level EU positions, and called a special summit for 28 May.

Assessing the Leaders’ Agenda

06-05-2019

The Leaders' Agenda can be assessed rather favourably as it has enabled more structured work and better preparation by all actors concerned. This method can be recommended for the future work of the European Council as it allows a consistent follow-up. However, it has not helped to overcome deadlock on some of the most sensitive issues, such as migration and taxation.

The Leaders' Agenda can be assessed rather favourably as it has enabled more structured work and better preparation by all actors concerned. This method can be recommended for the future work of the European Council as it allows a consistent follow-up. However, it has not helped to overcome deadlock on some of the most sensitive issues, such as migration and taxation.

Outcome of the Special European Council (Article 50) meeting, 10 April 2019

12-04-2019

At the special European Council (Article 50) meeting on 10 April 2019, Heads of State or Government agreed to further extend the Article 50 period until 31 October 2019 at the latest. This goes beyond the request made by the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May (30 June 2019), but represents only half the time period some European Council members had been seeking to offer. The compromise found, which maintains unity amongst the EU-27, is esigned to reduce as much as possible the disruptive effects of the ...

At the special European Council (Article 50) meeting on 10 April 2019, Heads of State or Government agreed to further extend the Article 50 period until 31 October 2019 at the latest. This goes beyond the request made by the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May (30 June 2019), but represents only half the time period some European Council members had been seeking to offer. The compromise found, which maintains unity amongst the EU-27, is esigned to reduce as much as possible the disruptive effects of the Brexit negotiations on EU affairs at the start of the new institutional cycle. With the longer extension period – and if the Withdrawal Agreement, is not ratified by 22 May – the UK will be required to organise European elections. The decision excludes any reopening of the Withdrawal Agreement.

Election of the President of the European Commission: Understanding the Spitzenkandidaten process

05-04-2019

The European Parliament has long sought to ensure that, by voting in European elections, European citizens not only elect the Parliament itself, but also have a say over who would head the EU executive – the European Commission. What became known as the 'Spitzenkandidaten process' is a procedure whereby European political parties, ahead of European elections, appoint lead candidates for the role of Commission President, with the presidency of the Commission then going to the candidate of the political ...

The European Parliament has long sought to ensure that, by voting in European elections, European citizens not only elect the Parliament itself, but also have a say over who would head the EU executive – the European Commission. What became known as the 'Spitzenkandidaten process' is a procedure whereby European political parties, ahead of European elections, appoint lead candidates for the role of Commission President, with the presidency of the Commission then going to the candidate of the political party capable of marshalling sufficient parliamentary support. The Parliament remains firmly committed to repeating the process in 2019 and, with EP elections now only weeks away, attention has shifted to the European political parties. A number of parties have nominated lead candidates, and this briefing gives an overview of their nominees, as well as looking more broadly at the process. This is a revised and further updated edition of an earlier briefing; previous edition from February 2019.

Outcome of the meetings of EU leaders, 21-22 March 2019

25-03-2019

Discussions at the March 2019 European Council meeting focussed on agreeing on a both legally and politically workable response to the request of the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, that Brexit be delayed until 30 June 2019. The European Council (Article 50) agreed to extend the Article 50 period until 22 May 2019, provided that the Withdrawal Agreement is approved by the House of Commons by 29 March. If not approved, the extension would end on 12 April, with the UK required to indicate a way forward ...

Discussions at the March 2019 European Council meeting focussed on agreeing on a both legally and politically workable response to the request of the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, that Brexit be delayed until 30 June 2019. The European Council (Article 50) agreed to extend the Article 50 period until 22 May 2019, provided that the Withdrawal Agreement is approved by the House of Commons by 29 March. If not approved, the extension would end on 12 April, with the UK required to indicate a way forward. The EU-27 also formally approved the texts agreed by the UK and the European Commission on 11 March, which add further clarification to the Withdrawal Agreement and the political declaration, in particular regarding the ‘Irish backstop’. On Friday 22, the European Council discussed jobs, growth and competitiveness, climate, external relations and fighting disinformation. As part of these discussions, EU leaders endorsed the Annual Growth Survey, decided to strengthen the EU’s economic base and called for a more assertive industrial policy. They reiterated their commitment to the Paris Agreement and called on the Council to intensify its work on a long-term climate strategy. Regarding external relations, EU Heads of State or Government prepared the forthcoming EU-China summit, reiterated their commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and expressed the EU’s readiness to provide humanitarian relief assistance to Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. The European Council also marked the 25th anniversary of the European Economic Area, together with the Prime Ministers of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Finally, it also appointed Philip Lane as a member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank.

The European Council and the completion of the single market

21-03-2019

When will the EU’s single market be complete? See how the Heads of State or Government pushed for the completion of the single market, digital single market and capital markets union.

When will the EU’s single market be complete? See how the Heads of State or Government pushed for the completion of the single market, digital single market and capital markets union.

Outlook for the meetings of EU leaders, 21-22 March 2019

20-03-2019

The European Council of 21-22 March 2019, is expected to discuss the future development of the single market, the capital markets union, industrial policy and European digital policy, in preparation for the next strategic agenda. In the external relations field, the focus will be on the forthcoming EU-China summit. EU leaders will also look at developments on fighting disinformation and will give guidance on the future EU climate policy. However, Brexit will again take centre stage following recent ...

The European Council of 21-22 March 2019, is expected to discuss the future development of the single market, the capital markets union, industrial policy and European digital policy, in preparation for the next strategic agenda. In the external relations field, the focus will be on the forthcoming EU-China summit. EU leaders will also look at developments on fighting disinformation and will give guidance on the future EU climate policy. However, Brexit will again take centre stage following recent developments in the House of Commons.

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.

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