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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 ...

On 1 December 2019, Charles Michel, previously prime minister of Belgium, became the third President of the European Council. He began his term in dynamic mode, aiming to make his mark in foreign affairs and develop the EU's interinstitutional relations. While pursuing his predecessors' efforts to secure unity between EU leaders, Michel has applied his own style, visible notably in his discourse, social media presence and transparency efforts. An analysis of the President's Twitter activities shows ...

The European Commission has proposed a revision of the founding regulations of three decentralised agencies (Cedefop, Eurofound and EU-OSHA) in order to update their objectives and tasks, and to define more precisely their roles in supporting the EU institutions and bodies, the Member States, and the social partners, as well as those involved in shaping and implementing policies at European and national levels in their respective policy areas. The agreed texts of the proposals, reached after extensive ...

On 18 April 2018, the European Commission proposed to the Council of the EU to sign and conclude two agreements with Singapore. These agreements were created by dividing the free trade agreement reached between the EU and Singapore (EUSFTA) in 2014, but not ratified, into separate trade and investment protection agreements. When presenting the agreements, the Commission underlined that they demonstrate the commitment of Singapore and the EU to fair trade and open markets. The Council of the EU is ...

The future of the European Defence Agency (EDA)

Λεπτομερής ανάλυση 18-07-2018

The aim of the workshop, held on 22 November 2017, was to discuss the future of the European Defence Agency (EDA) against the backdrop of framing a common Union defence policy. The first speaker, Dr Christian Mölling, provided an analysis of the issue of defence cooperation among EU member states and the difficulties it faces. In this context, he described the role and power of the EDA as well as possible options for its future. The second speaker, Professor David Versailles, focused on capabilities ...

Subsidiarity: Mechanisms for monitoring compliance

Λεπτομερής ανάλυση 12-07-2018

The principle of subsidiarity requires decisions to be taken at the lowest practical level of government without, however, jeopardising mutually beneficial cooperation at the supranational level. Recent decades have seen efforts to strengthen the subsidiarity principle in EU law, including the introduction of the well-known early warning mechanism (EWM) for national parliaments. At the same time, the principle of subsidiarity remains a contested notion. This has important implications for the regulatory ...

The creation of the African Union (AU) in 2002 sparked hopes for the start of a new era in African integration. New institutional mechanisms and norms have been put in place to accomplish the AU’s ambitious objectives in the area of peace, human rights and democratic governance. Despite the promise of these objectives, they have yet to become fully effective and legitimate, as many member states still need to fulfil their commitments and sign the necessary legal instruments.

Nearly three years have passed since the adoption of a revised protocol that will grant the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) legislative powers and considerably strengthen the institution within the overall African governance system. While very few countries have ratified the protocol so far, the acceleration of its ratification procedures is a priority for the recently elected PAP president. The EP and the PAP enjoy a long-standing partnership and both of them have an important role to play in monitoring ...

Consumer Protection Cooperation Regulation

Εν συντομία 08-11-2017

The European Commission has proposed the revision of the Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) Regulation, to broaden its scope and strengthen the powers of the national authorities cooperating on cross-border EU consumer-law infringements. Three rounds of trilogue negotiations produced a provisional agreement in June 2017, now awaiting a first-reading vote in plenary in November.

The new framework for 'simple, transparent, and standardised' (STS) securitisations has implications for the overall prudential framework for credit institutions and investment firms. The Commission has proposed to amend the existing Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) accordingly, to adjust risk retention profiles to reflect properly the specific features of STS securitisations. Parliament is due to vote on the proposal during the October II plenary session.