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The Portuguese Parliament and EU affairs

12-01-2021

According to the Portuguese Constitution adopted in 1976, Portugal is a semi-presidential Republic and a parliamentary democracy. It is a unitary state which also includes two autonomous regions (the Azores and Madeira archipelagos) with their own political and administrative statutes and self-governing institutions (Article 6 of the Constitution). The Constitution of the Third Republic created a single representative body: the Assembly of the Republic (Assembleia da República). The Assembly exercises ...

According to the Portuguese Constitution adopted in 1976, Portugal is a semi-presidential Republic and a parliamentary democracy. It is a unitary state which also includes two autonomous regions (the Azores and Madeira archipelagos) with their own political and administrative statutes and self-governing institutions (Article 6 of the Constitution). The Constitution of the Third Republic created a single representative body: the Assembly of the Republic (Assembleia da República). The Assembly exercises national sovereign power alongside the President of the Republic, the Government and the courts. Its primary function is to represent all Portuguese citizens, and as such it acts as the main legislator and is the body to which the executive is accountable. The Assembly and the Government share legislative competence, but the Assembly also has exclusive responsibility to legislate on certain specific matters such as on elections and referendums, the working of the Constitutional Court, political associations and parties, and national symbols (see Article 164 of the Constitution for the full list). This briefing is part of an EPRS series on national parliaments (NPs) and EU affairs. It aims to provide an overview of the way the NPs of EU Member States are structured and how they process, scrutinise and engage with EU legislation. It also provides information on relevant NP publications.

Priority dossiers under the Portuguese EU Council Presidency

04-01-2021

Portugal is a democratic republic with a unitary semi-presidential system of government, whereby the Prime Minister of Portugal is the head of government. The current Prime Minister is António Luís Santos da Costa, from the Socialist Party, and a former MEP who was a Vice-President of the European Parliament between July 2004 and March 2005. The President of Portugal, Marcelo de Sousa, from the Social Democrat Party, is the executive head of state and has several significant political powers. Executive ...

Portugal is a democratic republic with a unitary semi-presidential system of government, whereby the Prime Minister of Portugal is the head of government. The current Prime Minister is António Luís Santos da Costa, from the Socialist Party, and a former MEP who was a Vice-President of the European Parliament between July 2004 and March 2005. The President of Portugal, Marcelo de Sousa, from the Social Democrat Party, is the executive head of state and has several significant political powers. Executive power is exercised by the President and the Council of Ministers. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Assembly of the Republic. The Judiciary of Portugal is independent of the executive and the legislature. The political landscape is composed of several political parties, primarily the Socialist Party (PS) and the Social Democratic Party (PSD). Other parties are the Popular Party (PP), the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP), the Left Bloc (BE) and the Green Ecologist Party (PEV). The Communists and the Greens are in coalition as the Unitary Democratic Coalition (UDC). Portugal will hold the Presidency of the European Council for the fourth time from 1 January 2021. The last time it held the Presidency was in 2007, when the Treaty of Lisbon was signed on 13 December 2007. Portugal is part of the Trio also composed of Germany and Slovenia. The Trio adopted a Declaration outlining the main areas of focus for their Trio, including democracy, human rights and the rule of law, as well as an economically strong EU based on growth and jobs and the social dimension. Likewise the three Member States pledged to work on the challenges of digitalisation, climate change and energy transition. The Strategic Agenda 2019-2024 endorsed by the Member States at the European Council on 20 June 2019 will remain, however, a guiding instrument. The Agenda covers the protection of citizens' freedoms; developing a strong and vibrant economic base; building a climate-neutral, green, fair and social Europe; and promoting European interests and values on the global stage.

Data subjects, digital surveillance, AI and the future of work

23-12-2020

The report provides an in-depth overview of the social, political and economic urgencies in identifying what we call the ‘new surveillance workplace’. The report assesses the range of technologies that are being introduced to monitor, track and, ultimately, watch workers, and looks at the immense changes they imbue in several arenas. How are institutions responding to the widespread uptake of new tracking technologies in workplaces, from the office, to the contact centre, to the factory? What are ...

The report provides an in-depth overview of the social, political and economic urgencies in identifying what we call the ‘new surveillance workplace’. The report assesses the range of technologies that are being introduced to monitor, track and, ultimately, watch workers, and looks at the immense changes they imbue in several arenas. How are institutions responding to the widespread uptake of new tracking technologies in workplaces, from the office, to the contact centre, to the factory? What are the parameters to protect the privacy and other rights of workers, given the unprecedented and ever-pervasive functions of monitoring technologies? The report evidences how and where new technologies are being implemented; looks at the impact that surveillance workspaces are having on the employment relationship and on workers themselves at the psychosocial level; and outlines the social, legal and institutional frameworks within which this is occurring, across the EU and beyond, ultimately arguing that more worker representation is necessary to protect the data rights of workers.

Ekstern forfatter

This study has been written by Associate Professor Dr Phoebe V. Moore, University of Leicester School of Business, United Kingdom, and Guest Research Fellow, Weizenbaum Institute, Wissenschaftszentrum für Sozialforschung, Berlin. The study was prepared at the request of the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) and managed by the Scientific Foresight Unit, within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) of the Secretariat of the European Parliament.

Plenary round-up – December 2020

21-12-2020

The December 2020 plenary session focused on the agreement on EU finances for the coming years, as well as the conclusions of the 10-11 December European Council meeting. Members debated future relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom, and adopted first-reading positions on temporary contingency measures on air and road connectivity, fisheries and aviation safety, to come into force should no agreement be reached with the UK by the end of this year. Members also discussed the preparation ...

The December 2020 plenary session focused on the agreement on EU finances for the coming years, as well as the conclusions of the 10-11 December European Council meeting. Members debated future relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom, and adopted first-reading positions on temporary contingency measures on air and road connectivity, fisheries and aviation safety, to come into force should no agreement be reached with the UK by the end of this year. Members also discussed the preparation of an EU strategy on Covid 19 vaccination, including its external dimension, an EU Security Union strategy and a dedicated Council configuration on gender equality. Members discussed the European Citizens' Initiative, Minority Safepack, seeking to protect minority languages and cultures. Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borell made statements on recent developments in the Eastern Partnership, on the situation in Mozambique and on the 25th anniversary of the Barcelona Process and the Southern Neighbourhood.

The Effectiveness of Conflict of Interest Policies in the EU- Member States

17-12-2020

This comparative study - commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs - analyses the effectiveness of relevant rules, policies and practices within Member States regarding conflict of interest for top political appointment (Head of Government, Ministers and other high ranking officials). The research highlights the theoretical and practical aspects of the notion of conflict of interest, giving some policy recommendations

This comparative study - commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs - analyses the effectiveness of relevant rules, policies and practices within Member States regarding conflict of interest for top political appointment (Head of Government, Ministers and other high ranking officials). The research highlights the theoretical and practical aspects of the notion of conflict of interest, giving some policy recommendations

Ekstern forfatter

Christoph DEMMKE; Maros PAULINI; Jari AUTIONIEMI; Florian LENNER

Passerelle clauses in the EU Treaties: Opportunities for more flexible supranational decision-making

16-12-2020

Passerelle clauses are a mechanism for introducing Treaty change of a very specific nature. They modify the decision-making rules that affect acts of the Council, by allowing a shift from unanimity to qualified majority voting or from a special legislative procedure to the ordinary legislative procedure. This study explores the differences between passerelle clauses and other flexibility measures (enhanced cooperation, the flexibility clause, and accelerator or brake clauses) and explores the main ...

Passerelle clauses are a mechanism for introducing Treaty change of a very specific nature. They modify the decision-making rules that affect acts of the Council, by allowing a shift from unanimity to qualified majority voting or from a special legislative procedure to the ordinary legislative procedure. This study explores the differences between passerelle clauses and other flexibility measures (enhanced cooperation, the flexibility clause, and accelerator or brake clauses) and explores the main legal issues surrounding the introduction, revocation, and effects of passerelle clauses and their relationship with the other Treaty revision mechanisms. The analysis focuses not only on the two general passerelle clauses set out in Article 48(7) TEU, but also on the specific passerelle clauses contained in the Treaties in the field of environment, social policy, the multiannual financial framework, common foreign and security policy, family law and enhanced cooperation. Finally, the study outlines recent Commission proposals to use general and/or specific passerelles in certain policy areas, and the approaches taken by other institutions with respect to this constitutional tool.

What future for democracy?

11-12-2020

A panel at the 2020 ESPAS conference discussed the future of democracy in the light of the coronavirus pandemic. Participatory democracy was seen as a potential remedy for polarisation, while digitisation brings a need for careful governance. Misinformation and disinformation needs to be addressed through education. A poll of attendees identified tax equity as a key innovation for successfully rebuilding democracy.

A panel at the 2020 ESPAS conference discussed the future of democracy in the light of the coronavirus pandemic. Participatory democracy was seen as a potential remedy for polarisation, while digitisation brings a need for careful governance. Misinformation and disinformation needs to be addressed through education. A poll of attendees identified tax equity as a key innovation for successfully rebuilding democracy.

Sustainable economic recovery

11-12-2020

A panel at the 2020 ESPAS conference discussed how to create a sustainable economic recovery after the coronavirus pandemic. Robust governance is needed to get the most out of the new resources created at EU level. Both public funding and private capital are needed for the green transition. Public access to big data sets was identified as a critical issue, to prevent harmful monopolies. A poll of attendees identified dependence on fossil fuels as a key obstacle to a sustainable recovery.

A panel at the 2020 ESPAS conference discussed how to create a sustainable economic recovery after the coronavirus pandemic. Robust governance is needed to get the most out of the new resources created at EU level. Both public funding and private capital are needed for the green transition. Public access to big data sets was identified as a critical issue, to prevent harmful monopolies. A poll of attendees identified dependence on fossil fuels as a key obstacle to a sustainable recovery.

Amending the Comitology Regulation

10-12-2020

When adopting implementing acts, the Commission acts under the scrutiny of the Member States (represented in specialised committees and an appeal committee) following mechanisms set out in the Comitology Regulation. In 2017, the Commission proposed amendments to this Regulation, aimed at eliminating 'no opinion' deadlocks in the appeal committee and increasing transparency in the procedure. The European Parliament is expected to vote on the proposal during the December plenary session.

When adopting implementing acts, the Commission acts under the scrutiny of the Member States (represented in specialised committees and an appeal committee) following mechanisms set out in the Comitology Regulation. In 2017, the Commission proposed amendments to this Regulation, aimed at eliminating 'no opinion' deadlocks in the appeal committee and increasing transparency in the procedure. The European Parliament is expected to vote on the proposal during the December plenary session.

States of emergency in response to the coronavirus crisis: Normative response and parliamentary oversight in EU Member States during the first wave of the pandemic

04-12-2020

This study examines the normative response of the 27 EU Member States during the first phase of the Covid 19 pandemic (March to mid June 2020) and parliamentary oversight over the measures adopted. The study reveals that Member States' normative responses to the pandemic were generally efficient, as very few of them were not preventively equipped with a set of rules enabling the national authorities to adopt the containment measures needed to address the first peak of the health crisis, and because ...

This study examines the normative response of the 27 EU Member States during the first phase of the Covid 19 pandemic (March to mid June 2020) and parliamentary oversight over the measures adopted. The study reveals that Member States' normative responses to the pandemic were generally efficient, as very few of them were not preventively equipped with a set of rules enabling the national authorities to adopt the containment measures needed to address the first peak of the health crisis, and because the Member States lacking those normative tools were able to adopt the necessary empowering legislative acts quickly. The study also reveals that all EU national parliaments played some role in the management of the pandemic, either through the supervision of the measures adopted by the executive to contain the spread of the virus or through the exercise of their ordinary legislative and budgetary powers to provide the government with the normative tools needed to address the pandemic.

Kommende begivenheder

25-01-2021
Public Hearing on "Gender aspects of precarious work"
Høring -
FEMM
26-01-2021
Public hearing on Co-management of EU fisheries at local level
Høring -
PECH
26-01-2021
The impact of Brexit on the level playing field in the area of taxation
Høring -
FISC

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