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The European Parliament has been trying to strengthen its powers to conduct in-depth investigations into contraventions or maladministration in the implementation of Union law since 2012, but has so far failed to gain the consent of the Commission or Council for the modification of the legal framework applicable to its committees of inquiry. These powers may also be discussed as part of the Conference on the future of Europe. Analysing the scope and functioning of Parliament's committees of inquiry ...

During the November I plenary session, Parliament is due to vote on an implementation report concerning the Regulation on the statute and funding of European political parties and foundations. Parliament has to report on the application of the Regulation, and propose modifications where appropriate, by 31 December 2021, and every five years thereafter. The Commission is also required to present a parallel implementation report and a legislative proposal to amend the current regulation, if appropriate ...

Hearings are used by parliamentary committees as a way to obtain evidence on specific subjects to inform their work and as public forums to give citizens access to information on policy issues. Committee hearings take different forms depending on their specific purposes. Oversight and legislative hearings are frequently used to hold the executive to account and to inform parliaments' choices as regards proposed or adopted legislation. Investigative hearings, usually held in the context of parliamentary ...

During the June I plenary session, the Council and the European Commission are expected to answer oral questions put by the European Parliament's Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) on the Parliament's proposal to repeal Decision 95/167/EC (which currently governs Parliament's right of inquiry) and adopt a new regulation to strengthen its investigative powers. Pointing out the Council's unwillingness to engage in political negotiations with Parliament on this file, the AFCO committee asks ...

Data on returns of irregular migrants

Sracfhéachaint 23-03-2021

The Return Directive is the main piece of EU legislation governing return procedures. In general terms, under this directive, Member States must issue a return decision (an administrative or judicial decision imposing an obligation to leave the territory) for every third-country national found to be irregularly present on their territory. A proposal to recast the EU Return Directive is currently under discussion in the European Parliament and in Council. This infographic sets out the key data relating ...

Recasting the Return Directive

Briefing 11-03-2021

The Return Directive is the main piece of EU (European Union) legislation governing the procedures and criteria to be applied by Member States when returning irregularly staying third-country nationals, and a cornerstone of EU return policy. Taking into account the decrease in the EU return rate (from 45.8 % in 2016 to 28.9 % in 2019) and following European Council and Council calls to review the 2008 legal text to enhance the effectiveness of EU return policy, in September 2018 the Commission proposed ...

Aiming to feed into the forthcoming Conference on the Future of Europe and debate in the European Parliament on possible reforms of the 1976 European Electoral Act, this paper from the European Parliamentary Research Service analyses the main proposals to create a European constituency (or constituencies), in which Members of the European Parliament would be elected from transnational electoral lists. Such proposals have been discussed over the years in the European Parliament itself, as well as ...

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 ...

Taking stock of the 2019 European elections

Sracfhéachaint 19-11-2020

At its second November plenary session, Parliament is expected to vote on an own-initiative report taking stock of the May 2019 European elections, the ninth direct elections to the European Parliament since the first ones in 1979, and of the subsequent appointment of the College of Commissioners. This report makes concrete proposals to strengthen the electoral process and enhance its European dimension.

Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) enshrines the Union's founding values. As these shared values are binding on Member States and the European Union (EU) institutions, several mechanisms have been created to promote them and ensure they are respected. EU institutions have made several proposals to strengthen the mechanisms. Parliament is due to vote during the October I plenary session on a legislative-initiative report proposing to integrate and reinforce them through an EU mechanism ...