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The Maastricht Treaty introduced it for agreements establishing a specific institutional framework or entailing modifications to an act adopted under the codecision procedure. Parliament must also give its assent to acts relating to the electoral procedure (since the Maastricht Treaty). Since the Amsterdam Treaty, its assent has been required if the Council wants to declare that a clear danger exists of a Member State committing a serious breach of the EU’s fundamental principles, before addressing recommendations to or imposing penalties on that Member State. Conversely, any revision of the Statute for Members of the European Parliament has to receive the consent of the Council. Since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, Parliament has been able to take the initiative for treaty revision and has the final say over whether or not to convene a convention with a view to preparing a future treaty amendment (Article 48(2) and (3) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU)). Participation in the legislative process (1.2.3) Parliament takes part in the adoption of the Union’s legislation to varying degrees, according to the individual legal basis. It has progressed from a purely advisory role to codecision on an equal footing with the Council. A. Ordinary legislative procedure From the entry into force of the Treaty of Nice (1.1.4), the codecision procedure applied to 46 legal bases in the Treaty establishing the European Community (EC Treaty).

The Maastricht and Amsterdam Treaties Load fact sheet in pdf format The Maastricht Treaty altered the former European treaties and created a European Union based on three pillars: the European Communities, the common foreign and security policy (CFSP) and cooperation in the field of justice and home affairs (JHI). With a view to the enlargement of the Union, the Amsterdam Treaty made the adjustments needed to enable the Union to function more efficiently and democratically. I. The Maastricht Treaty The Treaty on European Union[1], signed in Maastricht on 7 February 1992, entered into force on 1 November 1993. A. The Union’s structures By instituting a European Union, the Maastricht Treaty marked a new step in the process of creating an ‘ever-closer union among the peoples of Europe’. The Union was based on the European Communities and supported by policies and forms of cooperation provided for in the Treaty on European Union. It had a single institutional structure, consisting of the Council, the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Court of Justice and the Court of Auditors which (being at the time strictly speaking the only EU institutions) exercised their powers in accordance with the Treaties. The Treaty established an Economic and Social Committee and a Committee of the Regions, which both had advisory powers.

Restrictions on capital movements and payments, both between Member States and with third countries, have been prohibited since the start of 2004 as a result of the Maastricht Treaty, although exceptions may exist. Legal basis Articles 63 to 66 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Objectives All restrictions on capital movements between Member States as well as between Member States and third countries should be removed, with exceptions in certain circumstances. The free movement of capital underpins the single market and complements the other three freedoms. It also contributes to economic growth by enabling capital to be invested efficiently and promotes the use of the euro as an international currency, thus contributing to the EU’s role as a global player. It was also indispensable for the development of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the introduction of the euro. Achievements A. First endeavours (before the single market) The first Community measures were limited in scope. The Treaty of Rome (1957) required the restrictions to be removed only to the extent necessary for the functioning of the common market. The ‘First Capital Directive’[1] from 1960, amended in 1962, ended restrictions on certain types of commercial and private capital movements, such as real-estate purchases, short- or medium-term lending for commercial transactions, and purchases of securities traded on the stock exchange.

Trans-European Networks – guidelines Load fact sheet in pdf format The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) retains the trans-European networks (TENs) in the areas of transport, energy and telecommunications, first mentioned in the Maastricht Treaty, in order to connect all the regions of the EU. These networks are tools intended to contribute to the growth of the internal market and to employment, while pursuing environmental and sustainable development goals. The end of 2013 saw a fundamental reform of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T). Legal basis Articles 170-172 and 194(1)(d) of the TFEU (the latter with specific reference to energy). Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on Union guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network and repealing Decision No 661/2010/EU. Objectives The Maastricht Treaty gave the EU the task of establishing and developing TENs in the areas of transport, telecommunications and energy, in order to help develop the internal market, reinforce economic and social cohesion, link islands, landlocked and peripheral regions with the central regions of the EU, and bring EU territory within closer reach of neighbouring states. Results A.

The Single European Act (1986) and the Maastricht Treaty (1992) extended the range of issues that must be referred to the committee. The Amsterdam Treaty further broadened the areas for referral to the committee and allowed it to be consulted by Parliament. On average, the EESC delivers 170 advisory documents and opinions a year (of which about 15 % are issued on its own initiative). Opinions are published in the Official Journal. The committee also has an advisory function (Article 300 TFEU). Its purpose is to inform the institutions responsible for EU decision-making of the opinions of the representatives of economic and social activity. A. Opinions issued at the request of EU institutions 1. Mandatory consultation In certain specifically mentioned areas, the TFEU stipulates that a decision may only be taken after the Council or Commission has consulted the EESC.

The First Treaties 1.1.2. Developments up to the Single European Act 1.1.3. The Maastricht and Amsterdam Treaties 1.1.4. The Treaty of Nice and the Convention on the Future of Europe 1.1.5. The Treaty of Lisbon

Legal basis While vocational training was identified as an area of Community action in the Treaty of Rome in 1957, education was formally recognised as an area of EU competence in the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. The treaty states that the Community ‘shall contribute to the development of quality education by encouraging cooperation between Member States and, if necessary, by supporting and supplementing their action, while fully respecting the responsibility of the Member States for the content of teaching and the organisation of education systems and their cultural and linguistic diversity’. The Treaty of Lisbon retained the provisions on the role of the EU in education and training (Title XII, Articles 165 and 166), while adding a provision that can be described as a horizontal ‘social clause’: Article 9 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) states: ‘In defining and implementing its policies and activities, the Union shall take into account requirements linked to the promotion of a high level of employment, the guarantee of adequate social protection, the fight against social exclusion, and a high level of education, training and protection of human health’.

Legal basis Education – and in this context also higher education – was formally recognised as an area of EU competency in the Maastricht Treaty of 1992. The Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) did not change the provisions on the role of the EU in education and training. Article 165(1), in Title XII of the Treaty, states: ‘The Union shall contribute to the development of quality education by encouraging cooperation between Member States and, if necessary, by supporting and supplementing their action, while fully respecting the responsibility of the Member States for the content of teaching and the organisation of education systems and their cultural and linguistic diversity’. Article 165(2) states that Union action is to be aimed at ‘developing the European dimension in education [...]; encouraging mobility of students and teachers, by encouraging, inter alia, the academic recognition of diplomas and periods of study; promoting cooperation between educational establishments; developing exchanges of information and experience on issues common to the education systems of the Member States; [and] encouraging the development of distance education [...]’. In addition, the Treaty of Lisbon contains a provision that can be described as a horizontal ‘social clause’.

Objectives Created in 1994 after the entry into force of the Maastricht Treaty, the Committee of the Regions (CoR) is an advisory body which represents the interests of regional and local authorities in the European Union and addresses opinions on their behalf to the Council and the Commission. Members can be, for example, leaders of regional authorities, mayors or elected or non-elected representatives of regions and cities of the 27 EU Member States. In the words of its mission statement, the CoR is a political assembly of holders of a regional or local electoral mandate serving the cause of European integration. It provides institutional representation for all the EU’s territorial areas, regions, cities and municipalities. Its mission is to involve regional and local authorities in the European decision-making process and thus encourage greater participation by citizens. It is a political body bringing together and empowering Europe’s locally elected representatives, including 329 members and 329 alternate members from 300 regions, 100 000 local authorities and 1 million local politicians representing 441 million EU citizens. In order to better fulfil this role, the CoR has long sought the right to refer cases of infringement of the principle of subsidiarity to the Court of Justice.

The Maastricht Treaty helped by devoting two declarations (No 13 and No 14) to the subject, which provided in particular for: Proper acknowledgement of the NPs’ role in the functioning of the European Union (their respective governments must inform them ‘in good time’ of EU legislative proposals and joint conferences must be held where necessary); Closer cooperation between Parliament and the NPs, in the form of more systematic liaison, exchanges of information, regular meetings and, possibly, the granting of reciprocal facilities. Additionally, NPs progressively acquired powers of scrutiny over their governments’ EU activities as a result of constitutional reforms, government undertakings, changes to their own operating methods and interpretations of national constitutional rules issued by some Member States’ constitutional courts. Their committees specialising in EU affairs have played a major role in these developments, in cooperation with Parliament. The Protocol on the role of the NPs annexed to the Treaty of Amsterdam encouraged greater involvement on the part of the NPs in EU activities and required consultation documents and proposals to be forwarded promptly so that the NPs could consider them before the Council took a decision. The NPs played an important role in the discussions held in the Convention on the Future of Europe (1.1.4), and they were also the subject of one of the Convention’s 11 working groups.