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The Conference on the Future of Europe is an opportunity to reflect on the Union's democratic foundations, including the legislative role of the Council of the European Union (EU) and its relations with the European Parliament. Is it pertinent to reform the Council, either by reinforcing its parliamentary features or by transforming it into a Senate or a Second Chamber? Would such a change enhance the democratic legitimacy of the EU decision-making process? To answer these questions, this study looks ...

The European Union has decentralised a number of functions, locating agencies across the European Union. The are many factors influencing the choice of the seat(s) of an agency, including the political aim to evenly distribute the agencies. However, the location of an agency has an impact on its capacity to perform its duties effectively and efficiently. This report analyses whether the agency locations fulfil the necessary criteria.

This EPRS publication, 'Key issues in the European Council', is updated quarterly to coincide with European Council meetings. It aims to provide an overview of the institution’s activities on major EU issues, by analysing twelve broad policy areas, explaining the legal and political background and the main priorities and orientations defined by the European Council in each field. It also assesses the results of European Council involvement in these policy areas to date, and identifies future challenges ...

This note provides an overview of the main features and recent developments regarding the advisory European Fiscal Board. This body was established by the European Commission in October 2015, in the context of the implementation of an “integrated framework for sound fiscal policies”, proposed in the Five Presidents' Report of June 2015. The Annex presents excerpts from the latest Annual Reports published by the board.

This Briefing, published by the European Parliamentary Research Service, is designed to provide key facts and figures about the European Parliament, both in the 2019 to 2024 parliamentary term now starting - and in the eight previous terms since direct elections were introduced in June 1979. It includes graphics of various kinds which: • detail the composition of the European Parliament now and in the past; • trace the increase in the number of parties represented in the EP and evolution of political ...

One of the key lessons learned from the financial crisis in 2007-2008 is that in order to reduce the direct and indirect costs of bank failures for national governments, one has to have a credible framework in place to deal with banks’ failures, including clear rules as to the allocation of losses and the conditions attached to the use of common resources, to provide strong incentives for taking measures of precaution in good times and minimise losses in times of crisis. To that end, Europe has put ...

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 parliamentary nature of the Council. It analyses how the Council is in between a pure parliamentary institution and a non-parliamentary one from a wide range of perspectives, for example its structure, procedure and transparency. The study recommends incremental reforms towards further parliamentarisation rather than radical ones ...

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 ...

EU Fundamental Rights Agency

At a Glance 26-03-2018

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights is an independent body which contributes to ensuring full respect of fundamental rights in the EU in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The Agency addresses various topics, including discrimination of minorities, hate crime, data protection, access to justice, gender-based violence and fundamental rights of asylum-seekers and migrants. This is an updated edition ...

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which set out a universal core of human rights and fundamental freedoms for the first time. The Universal Declaration, together with other measures which followed, constitute the International Bill of Human Rights. In the 12 years of its existence, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has actively defended human rights worldwide. Its robust mandate and unique set of mechanisms, such as universal ...