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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.

Action for damages against the EU

07-12-2018

Most legal systems, both of states and of international organisations, provide for the liability of public administrations for damage done to individuals. This area of the law, known as 'public tort law', varies considerably from country to country, even within the European Union (EU). The EU Treaties have, from the outset, provided for liability of the EU for public torts (wrongs), in the form of action for damages against the EU, now codified in the second and third paragraphs of Article 340 of ...

Most legal systems, both of states and of international organisations, provide for the liability of public administrations for damage done to individuals. This area of the law, known as 'public tort law', varies considerably from country to country, even within the European Union (EU). The EU Treaties have, from the outset, provided for liability of the EU for public torts (wrongs), in the form of action for damages against the EU, now codified in the second and third paragraphs of Article 340 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). However, these rules are notoriously vague and brief, and refer to the 'general principles common to the laws of the Member States' as the source for the rules of EU public tort law. Since the laws of the Member States on public torts differ significantly, the reference has been treated by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) as empowerment to develop EU public tort law in its own case law. The rules developed by the CJEU have been criticised by some academics as being very complex, non-transparent and unpredictable. Experts have also pointed out that the threshold of liability is set so high that actions for damages prove successful in very few cases only. According to the data available, from the establishment of the EU until 2014, the Court only actually granted compensation to applicants in 39 cases. As a result, some scholars have even pointed out that the principle of EU liability for public torts is 'illusory' and that action for damages is not an effective means of protecting fundamental rights. Other academics add that the question of establishing the principles of EU public tort law is not merely a technical issue, but a political one, as it touches upon fundamental questions of distributive justice and the form of government in the Union, and therefore should be the subject of democratic debate. This Briefing is one in a series aimed at explaining the activities of the CJEU.

Гражданите на Съюза и техните права

01-03-2018

Индивидуалните права на гражданите и европейското гражданство са заложени в Хартата на основните права на Европейския съюз, Договора за функционирането на Европейския съюз (ДФЕС) и член 9 от Договора за Европейския съюз (ДЕС). Те са основни фактори за формирането на европейската идентичност. В случай на сериозно нарушаване на основните ценности на Съюза дадена държава членка може да бъде санкционирана.

Индивидуалните права на гражданите и европейското гражданство са заложени в Хартата на основните права на Европейския съюз, Договора за функционирането на Европейския съюз (ДФЕС) и член 9 от Договора за Европейския съюз (ДЕС). Те са основни фактори за формирането на европейската идентичност. В случай на сериозно нарушаване на основните ценности на Съюза дадена държава членка може да бъде санкционирана.

Договорът от Лисабон

01-01-2018

Настоящият информационен фиш представя предисторията и най-съществените разпоредби на Договора от Лисабон. Целта е да се изясни историческият контекст за възникването на най-новия основополагащ текст на ЕС на основата на предходните текстове. Конкретните разпоредби (с препратки към съответните членове) и тяхното въздействие върху политиките на Европейския съюз са обяснени по-подробно в информационните фишове, посветени на отделните политики и въпроси.

Настоящият информационен фиш представя предисторията и най-съществените разпоредби на Договора от Лисабон. Целта е да се изясни историческият контекст за възникването на най-новия основополагащ текст на ЕС на основата на предходните текстове. Конкретните разпоредби (с препратки към съответните членове) и тяхното въздействие върху политиките на Европейския съюз са обяснени по-подробно в информационните фишове, посветени на отделните политики и въпроси.

Working with national parliaments on EU affairs

03-10-2017

National parliaments possess certain democratic qualities and responsibilities, such as popular legitimacy or scrutiny of the executive power. However, for decades the European Treaties have neither regulated nor envisaged any substantive relations between national parliaments and the European institutions – the role of national parliaments was marginal or overlooked. The situation began to change slowly with the adoption of the Treaty of Maastricht (1992). However, the real change in national parliaments ...

National parliaments possess certain democratic qualities and responsibilities, such as popular legitimacy or scrutiny of the executive power. However, for decades the European Treaties have neither regulated nor envisaged any substantive relations between national parliaments and the European institutions – the role of national parliaments was marginal or overlooked. The situation began to change slowly with the adoption of the Treaty of Maastricht (1992). However, the real change in national parliaments' status in the EU is connected with the adoption of the Treaty of Lisbon (2007), which has enabled national parliaments' active involvement in EU affairs and enhanced the dialogue between national parliaments and the EU institutions. Today, national parliaments actively participate in the scrutiny of subsidiarity principles in draft EU legislative acts; they are engaged in a political dialogue with the European Commission; and they are involved in interparliamentary cooperation with the European Parliament. National parliaments strive to become an active and appreciated player at EU level. Against this background, this European Implementation Assessment seeks to provide an overview and analysis of the body of research carried out with regard to the position of national parliaments in the EU.

Outlook for Brexit negotiations

04-05-2017

On 29 March 2017, Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister, officially notified the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the European Union (EU), following the previous year's referendum which resulted in a narrow vote to leave the EU (by 51.9 % to 48.1 %). Despite the EU and the UK being about to start negotiations, with a common aim of delivering an orderly withdrawal and minimising the negative impact on citizens and businesses, many issues remain far from clear.

On 29 March 2017, Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister, officially notified the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the European Union (EU), following the previous year's referendum which resulted in a narrow vote to leave the EU (by 51.9 % to 48.1 %). Despite the EU and the UK being about to start negotiations, with a common aim of delivering an orderly withdrawal and minimising the negative impact on citizens and businesses, many issues remain far from clear.

The Brexit Negotiations: An Assessment of the Legal, Political and Institutional Situation in the UK

16-03-2017

Upon request by the AFCO Committee, the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs commissioned an in-depth analysis on the political and institutional situation in the United Kingdom following the referendum on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The research analyses the post-Brexit political developments in the UK, the various parameters that should be taken into account, by both the UK government and the 27, in view of the Article 50 negotiations and the possible shape of ...

Upon request by the AFCO Committee, the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs commissioned an in-depth analysis on the political and institutional situation in the United Kingdom following the referendum on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The research analyses the post-Brexit political developments in the UK, the various parameters that should be taken into account, by both the UK government and the 27, in view of the Article 50 negotiations and the possible shape of the final deal and the future economic relationship, taking into account the EU obligations and the constraints of Theresa May’s government.

Europe of Defence? Views on the future of defence cooperation

07-07-2016

Against the backdrop of growing security challenges, the debate regarding the future of European defence cooperation has grown in relevance. While the Lisbon Treaty introduced significant possibilities with regard to the future of EU defence policy, and while there has been consistent EU Member State public support for further cooperation in this area, progress has been slow. The impact of the economic crisis on defence budgets, fears concerning the effects of more integration on national defence ...

Against the backdrop of growing security challenges, the debate regarding the future of European defence cooperation has grown in relevance. While the Lisbon Treaty introduced significant possibilities with regard to the future of EU defence policy, and while there has been consistent EU Member State public support for further cooperation in this area, progress has been slow. The impact of the economic crisis on defence budgets, fears concerning the effects of more integration on national defence industries and various political considerations are some of the reasons that have been given to explain the reluctance to move towards closer cooperation in defence until now. In early 2015, comments by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker regarding the possibility for the creation of an EU army sparked a wide debate among experts and political elites. In June 2015, the European Council concluded that work would continue on a more effective Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), on the further development of civilian and military capabilities, and on the strengthening of Europe's defence industry. A revamped role for the EU in defence is an important part of the EU Global Strategy presented to Member States at the European Council in June 2016. Individual Member States have also taken the lead in the proposals on how to move ahead, suggesting that the momentum is there on many fronts. The European Parliament has been a longstanding advocate of a stronger and more effective CSDP. This briefing complements an earlier briefing, European defence cooperation: State of play and thoughts on an EU army, published in March 2015.

UK withdrawal from the EU – Next steps

28-06-2016

The referendum held in the United Kingdom on 23 June on the question of whether to remain in, or leave, the European Union resulted in 51.9% of those voting (on a 71.8% turn-out) supporting withdrawal from the Union. Although, formally speaking, the referendum was consultative, the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, and his government had indicated clearly in advance that the outcome would be considered binding. In announcing his resignation, Cameron said that the UK would activate the procedure ...

The referendum held in the United Kingdom on 23 June on the question of whether to remain in, or leave, the European Union resulted in 51.9% of those voting (on a 71.8% turn-out) supporting withdrawal from the Union. Although, formally speaking, the referendum was consultative, the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, and his government had indicated clearly in advance that the outcome would be considered binding. In announcing his resignation, Cameron said that the UK would activate the procedure set out in Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) enabling a Member State to withdraw, but that this process would wait until his successor had been chosen (by October). In a resolution adopted at the conclusion of a special plenary session on 28 June, MEPs called on the UK government to instigate ‘a swift and coherent implementation of the withdrawal procedure’, to prevent ‘damaging uncertainty for everyone and to protect the Union’s integrity’.

Implementation of the Lisbon Treaty – Improving Functioning of the EU: Economic and Monetary Policy

16-06-2016

The Treaty chapter on Economic and Monetary Union became after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty one of the most disputed chapters of the Trea-ties. The economic and financial crisis revealed the shortcomings of the asym-metric EMU. The present study assesses the unused potential of the existing Treaty chapter in order to improve the functioning of the EU. In order to do so, the study suggests to switch the perspective on the Treaty potential from com¬pe¬ten¬ces to compliance. By identifying ...

The Treaty chapter on Economic and Monetary Union became after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty one of the most disputed chapters of the Trea-ties. The economic and financial crisis revealed the shortcomings of the asym-metric EMU. The present study assesses the unused potential of the existing Treaty chapter in order to improve the functioning of the EU. In order to do so, the study suggests to switch the perspective on the Treaty potential from com¬pe¬ten¬ces to compliance. By identifying the lack of mechanisms in the existing economic policy coordination framework aiming at addressing non-compliance because of a Member State’s incapacity to comply, the study suggests the introduction of an incentive-based enforcement mechanism (for the short term) and of a fiscal capacity (for the medium term) within the existing Treaties. Furthermore, the establishment of the Eurozone budget, of a Redemption Fund or the adoption of a convergence code is discussed. By the same token, the legal inclusion of the Fiscal Compact and the ESM-Treaty is examined and concrete proposals are developed. Finally, the study addresses ways of increasing the accountability and legitimacy in EMU affairs.

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