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Statute and funding of European political parties under Regulation 1141/2014

21-06-2021 PE 662.646 AFCO
Study
Summary : European political parties are transnational political alliances made up of national parties from the same political family. Since July 2004, they have been able to receive funding from the EU general budget. The current Regulation 1141/2014, applicable since 2017, tightened the requirements for parties' recognition, funding and spending. Yet, some parties (and their affiliated foundations) found loopholes in the legal framework. Targeted amendments to the regulation adopted in 2018 and 2019 sought, inter alia, to prevent misuse of public funds, enhance the role of European parties in the European public space, and safeguard the integrity of the European elections by sanctioning breaches of the rules on the protection of personal data. This study examines the operation of the legal framework, ahead of the legislative revision announced by the European Commission in its 2021 work programme, and in support of the evaluation report currently undertaken by the AFCO committee.
Authors : Irmgard ANGLMAYER

Europeanising the elections of the European Parliament - Outlook on the implementation of Council Decision 2018/994 and harmonisation of national rules on European elections

03-06-2021 PE 694.199 AFCO
Study
Summary : This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, looks into the main obstacles to unifying and modernising European elections in different Member States. It gives an overview of the implementation of Council Decision 2018/994 and highlights, in particular, the importance of the standardisation and harmonisation of electoral ballots as a means to properly inform voters and strengthen the European party system. As a more general remark, the study concludes that the European and national political parties should further strengthen their relationship, a vital element of the European political system that can increase the transnational nature of European elections.
Authors : Lorenzo CICCHI

Primacy's Twilight? On the Legal Consequences of the Ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court of 5 May 2020 for the Primacy of EU Law

27-04-2021 PE 692.276 AFCO
Study
Summary : The study analyses the repercussions of the judgment of the German Federal Constitutional Court of 5 May 2020. It puts the decision into context, makes a normative assessment, analyses possible consequences and makes some policy recommendations.
Authors : Niels Petersen - Konstantin Chatziathanasiou

Policy Departments’ Monthly Highlights - April 2021

At a Glance
Summary : 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.

Interpretation and implementation of Article 50 TEU Legal and institutional assessment

24-03-2021 PE 690.964 AFCO
Study
Summary : This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, looks into the constitutional and institutional challenges that the European Union faced during the Brexit negotiations, and analyses whether the current wording of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union was applied in an adequate manner and allowed for an efficient and properly organised withdrawal procedure.
Authors : PAPAGEORGIOU Ioannis

Strengthening cooperation with the Council of Europe

26-02-2021 PE 689.275 AFCO
Study
Summary : This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, assesses the possible strengthening of the cooperation of the European Union with the Council of Europe. It examines, on the one side, the participation of Council of Europe bodies in the EU Mechanism on Democracy, the Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights, and, on the other, the accession of the European Union to Council of Europe Treaties, and particularly to the European Convention on Human Rights.
Authors : Luis María LOPEZ GUERRA, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

Policy Departments’ Monthly Highlights - February 2021

At a Glance
Summary : 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.

Strengthening transparency and integrity via the new ‘Independent Ethics Body’ (IEB)

31-10-2020 PE 661.110 AFCO
Study
Summary : This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, provides an overview of transparency and integrity-related elements in the current EU setting, covering both substantive elements (including, in particular, conflict of interest and revolving-doors) as well as the body in charge of ethical control and guidance. Based on a comparison covering France, Ireland and Canada, this study proposes an ‘Independent Ethics Body’ (IEB) via a new interinstitutional agreement.
Authors : FRISCHHUT Markus

Commitments made at the hearings of the Commissioners-designate - von der Leyen Commission 2019-2024

At a Glance
Summary : This document provides links to all Briefings produced by the Policy Departments of the Directorate-General for Internal Policies and of the Directorate-General for External Policies of the European Parliament, with salient points and essential commitments made by the Vice-Presidents and Commissioners-designates at their respective hearings before the European Parliament, in September-November 2019 and in October 2020. For an exhaustive list of all commitments made and positions taken by the candidates, the full verbatim report of each public hearing is available on the dedicated hearings website of the European Parliament, as are the written questions and answers.

The European Parliament’s right of initiative

09-07-2020 PE 655.134 AFCO
Study
Summary : The European Parliament is the only democratically elected body in the EU. Yet, unlike most parliaments, it has no formal right of legislative initiative. Initiating legislation lies almost solely with the EU's executive bodies, the Commission, and – to a limited but increasing extend – the European Council and the Council. This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, reveals that Parliament’s „own-initiative-reports” form a widely underestimated and unrecognized tool to informally shape the EU’s policy agenda. The study provides for a comprehensive analysis of non-legislative and legislative own-initiative reports. We argue that Parliament is able to create a cooperative environment in order to bring the Commission in line with its own legislative priorities and sometimes very specific legislative requests. Building on the empirical evidence of Parliament’s practice since 1993, we finally discuss means and ways for pragmatic reform and Treaty revision.
Authors : Andreas MAURER, Michael C. WOLF

Europeanising European Public Spheres

15-06-2020 PE 654.628 AFCO
Study
Summary : This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, provides a brief overview of the academic debates on Europeanisation as well as contestation and politicisation of the EU and European integration. Against this background, it focuses on the European public sphere(s), in particular those based on the media and parliaments. The study further discusses current reform proposals aiming to Europeanise the European elections and concludes with recommendations on increasing the legitimacy of the European Union.
Authors : Katrin AUEL, Guido TIEMANN
Document type

Executive summary

Institutions and foreign interferences

15-06-2020 PE 655.290 AFCO
Study
Summary : This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, assesses the EU responses to counter foreign interferences. It examines in particular the effectiveness of the EU action against foreign interferences in the 2019 European Parliament elections, the COVID-19 crisis and the issue of foreign donations to European political parties. The study concludes with specific policy recommendations to enhance the EU’s responses.
Authors : Edoardo BRESSANELLI, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa (Principal Investigator) Anna DI PALMA, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa Gaetano INGLESE, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa Sofia MARINI, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa Eric REPETTO, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa
Document type

Executive summary

Possible Avenues for Further Political Integration in Europe - A Political Compact for a More Democratic and Effective Union?

03-06-2020 PE 651.849 AFCO
Study
Summary : This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, analyses possible avenues for further political integration in the EU after Brexit. The study maps the multiple crises that the EU has weathered in the past decade and explains how these crises, including the recent Covid-19 pandemic, reveal several substantive and institutional weaknesses in the current EU system of governance. The study considers the potentials of the nascent Conference on the Future of Europe to renew the EU and examines the obstacles and opportunities for EU treaty reforms, considering the option of channelling the Conference’s outcome into a new Political Compact, subject to new, less-than-unanimous ratification rules.
Authors : FABBRINI Federico
Document type

Executive summary

The European Parliament’s Right of inquiry in context - A comparison of the national and the European legal frameworks

16-03-2020 PE 648.708 AFCO
Study
Summary : One of Parliament’s main tools of political control vis-à-vis the EU executive is its capacity to establish Committees of inquiry. This possibility, now formally recognised in Article 226 TFEU, has existed since 1981 but it has been scarcely used by Parliament. This study provides an analysis of Parliament’s right of inquiry as it stands after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, and examines how it has evolved since it was first introduced. It also compares Parliament’s right of inquiry with the investigatory powers of other European Union institutions and bodies, and with the rules governing the right of inquiry of Member State parliaments. The study concludes with some proposals for reform.
Authors : Diane FROMAGE
Document type

Executive summary

Inquiries by Parliaments - The political use of a democratic right

16-03-2020 PE 648.709 AFCO
Study
Summary : Conducting in-depth investigations is an ancient and essential right of parliaments in Europe. Yet, despite a provision of the Lisbon treaty, the European Parliament still has a limited institutional capacity to conduct inquiries. 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 theoretical basis of parliamentary investigation, compares recent committees of inquiries and develops recommendations for up-grading the European Parliament’s capacity.
Authors : Olivier ROZENBERG
Document type

Executive summary

Committees of Inquiry in National Parliaments - Comparative Survey

16-03-2020 PE 649.524 AFCO
Study
Summary : This survey, provided by the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, looks into the legal and administrative framework in which parliamentary committees of inquiry operate in the EU Member States. It focuses, in particular, in the investigative powers these committees have at hand to assist national parliaments in exercising parliamentary control. It also examines the role of Member States’ parliamentary committees of inquiry in guiding the action of the government, enhancing transparency and eradicating contraventions and maladministration.
Authors : Eeva PAVY
Document type

Executive summary

Policy Departments' Monthly Highlights - January 2020

At a Glance
Summary : 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.
Summary : This document is a compilation of all Briefings produced by the Policy Departments of the Directorate-General for Internal Policies and of the Directorate-General for External Policies of the European Parliament, with salient points and essential commitments made by the Vice-Presidents and Commissioners-designates at their respective hearings before the European Parliament, in September-November 2019 and in October 2020. For an exhaustive list of all commitments made and positions taken by the candidates, the full verbatim report of each public hearing is available on the dedicated hearings website of the European Parliament, as are the written questions and answers.

Commitments made at the hearing of Maroš ŠEFČOVIČ, Vice-President-designate - Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight

22-11-2019 PE 621.918 AFCO JURI
Briefing
Summary : This briefing includes a series of quotes, which make reference to the oral commitments made during the hearing of Vice-President-designate for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight Maroš Šefčovič.
Authors : Giorgio Mussa, Roberta PANIZZA

Commitments made at the hearing of Dubravka ŠUICA, Vice-President-designate - Democracy and Demography

22-11-2019 PE 621.921 AFCO
Briefing
Summary : The Vice President-designate, Dubravka Šuica, appeared before the European Parliament on 03 October 2019 to answer questions from MEPs in the Committees on Constitutional affairs and Employment and social affairs. During the hearing, she made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document. These commitments refer to her portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to her by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission, including: - Conference on the Future of Europe; and - Supporting Europe through the demographic transition.
Authors : Eeva PAVY

Commitments made at the hearing of Věra JOUROVÁ, Vice-President-designate - Values and Transparency

22-11-2019 PE 621.924 AFCO LIBE
Briefing
Summary : The Vice President-designate, Věra Jourová, appeared before the European Parliament on 07 October 2019 to answer questions from MEPs in the Committees on Constitutional affairs, Civil liberties, justice and home affairs, and Legal affairs. During the hearing, she made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document. These commitments refer to her portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to her by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission, including: á - Strengthening democracy and transparency; and - Upholding Europe’s values and rights.
Authors : Ottavio MARZOCCHI, Eeva PAVY