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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.

The Council of the EU: from the Congress of Ambassadors to a genuine Parliamentary Chamber?

14-01-2019

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 ...

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.

Autore esterno

Olivier Rozenberg

Review of status of the Commission’s register of expert groups and their composition

30-11-2018

This report aims to provide insights into the development, since 2016, of the European Commission’s system of Expert Groups, including the Register of Expert Groups, thus updating the European Parliament’s study ‘Composition of the Commission’s expert groups and the status of the register of expert groups’ (September 2015). The Update finds that the European Commission’s revised Horizontal Rules, introduced in May 2016, triggered important improvements in terms of balance of interests, transparency ...

This report aims to provide insights into the development, since 2016, of the European Commission’s system of Expert Groups, including the Register of Expert Groups, thus updating the European Parliament’s study ‘Composition of the Commission’s expert groups and the status of the register of expert groups’ (September 2015). The Update finds that the European Commission’s revised Horizontal Rules, introduced in May 2016, triggered important improvements in terms of balance of interests, transparency and gender balance. Notwithstanding, there is further room for enhancing the system, and this Update recommends: further strengthening balance with a specific focus on the Expert Groups that continue to experience imbalance; further enhance transparency of Expert Group deliberations; remind Expert Groups about the requirement for gender balance; for the European Commission to report on the system and evaluate the system’s performance; and to conduct further research on specific types of Expert Group members and the use of Expert Groups.

Autore esterno

Roland Blomeyer, Margarita Sanz, Veronika Kubekova and Mike Beke

The role of the President of the Eurogroup

13-11-2018

This note provides an overview of the role of the President of the Eurogroup, the related appointment procedures and a possible full time position. The note alludes, in addition, to the transparency of Eurogroup proceedings.

This note provides an overview of the role of the President of the Eurogroup, the related appointment procedures and a possible full time position. The note alludes, in addition, to the transparency of Eurogroup proceedings.

Research for REGI Committee - Conditionalities in Cohesion Policy

11-09-2018

This study discusses the evolution and experience of conditionalities in Cohesion policy and draws relevant policy recommendations on its future development in the light of the 2021-27 legislative proposals of the European Commission, including the proposal on a rule of law conditionality.

This study discusses the evolution and experience of conditionalities in Cohesion policy and draws relevant policy recommendations on its future development in the light of the 2021-27 legislative proposals of the European Commission, including the proposal on a rule of law conditionality.

Autore esterno

Viorica VIȚĂ

EP-EUI Roundtable - Role of the European Parliament in promoting the use of independent expertise in the legislative process

16-08-2018

This report reflects on the role of European Parliament in promoting the use of independent expertise in the European legislative process. The European Parliament has a unique model of involving independent expertise of universities and think tanks in the European legislative process to guarantee that its decisions are based on the best available evidence. The EP-EUI roundtable discussed the general framework, best practices and the way forward for involving independent expertise in the European ...

This report reflects on the role of European Parliament in promoting the use of independent expertise in the European legislative process. The European Parliament has a unique model of involving independent expertise of universities and think tanks in the European legislative process to guarantee that its decisions are based on the best available evidence. The EP-EUI roundtable discussed the general framework, best practices and the way forward for involving independent expertise in the European legislative process. This document has been prepared in the framework of scientific cooperation between the European Parliament and the European University Institute.

General revision of the European Parliament's Rules of Procedure: Achieving greater transparency and efficiency as of January 2017

16-07-2018

The last general and extensive overhaul of the European Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, which entered into force as of 16 January 2017, was intended to bring more transparency and efficiency to parliamentary work. Among the numerous modifications, may be noted the increased attention to the conduct of Members, the streamlining of the types of thresholds for procedural requests, the increased transparency surrounding the decision to begin negotiations during the various stages of the legislative ...

The last general and extensive overhaul of the European Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, which entered into force as of 16 January 2017, was intended to bring more transparency and efficiency to parliamentary work. Among the numerous modifications, may be noted the increased attention to the conduct of Members, the streamlining of the types of thresholds for procedural requests, the increased transparency surrounding the decision to begin negotiations during the various stages of the legislative procedure, the abolition of written declarations and the modification of the maximum number of questions for written answer allowed. These and further modifications required to adapt to the 2016 Interinstititional Agreement on Better Law-making were introduced to bring clarity, incorporate existing practices and correct redundancies or inconsistencies.

New lobbying law in France

04-07-2018

Since 1 May 2018, France's new lobbying law is fully implemented. Part and parcel of recent legislation on transparency (Sapin II package), it was adopted on 9 December 2016, providing a regulatory framework for lobbying activities and establishing a mandatory national register ('le repertoire') for lobbyists. In a step-by-step process, first, the repertoire, in which all active interest representatives must sign up, was created on 1 July 2017. After registering by 1 January 2018, interest representatives ...

Since 1 May 2018, France's new lobbying law is fully implemented. Part and parcel of recent legislation on transparency (Sapin II package), it was adopted on 9 December 2016, providing a regulatory framework for lobbying activities and establishing a mandatory national register ('le repertoire') for lobbyists. In a step-by-step process, first, the repertoire, in which all active interest representatives must sign up, was created on 1 July 2017. After registering by 1 January 2018, interest representatives were then under the obligation to report their lobbying activities in this repertoire by 30 April 2018. The repertoire, with just over 1 00 registrants to date, is overseen by the 'Haute Autorité pour la Transparence de la Vie Publique' (HATVP). In France, the cultural acceptance of lobbying as a profession has been slow, and the new law will make a huge difference in terms of making lobbying activities public, with a regulation closely following the Irish example. The Sapin II package aims for a general increase in public accountability and transparency of the decision-making processes. Some incremental steps in this direction had been taken previously, primarily with the establishment of the HATVP in January 2014 as an independent body to oversee the integrity and transparency of the national public institutions.

Revolving doors in the EU and US

04-07-2018

The flow of officials and politicians between the public and private sector has in the past few years given rise to calls for more transparency and accountability. In order to mitigate the reputational damage to public institutions by problematic use of the 'revolving door', this phenomenon is increasingly being regulated at national level. In the United States, President Trump recently changed the rules put in place by his predecessor to slow the revolving door. As shown by press coverage, the US ...

The flow of officials and politicians between the public and private sector has in the past few years given rise to calls for more transparency and accountability. In order to mitigate the reputational damage to public institutions by problematic use of the 'revolving door', this phenomenon is increasingly being regulated at national level. In the United States, President Trump recently changed the rules put in place by his predecessor to slow the revolving door. As shown by press coverage, the US public remains unconvinced. Scepticism may be fuelled by new exceptions made to the rules – retroactive ethics pledge waivers – and the refusal of the White House to disclose the numbers or beneficiaries of said waivers. Watchdog organisations argue that not only has the Trump administration so far failed to 'drain the swamp', it has ended up doing quite the opposite. In the EU, where revolving door cases are increasingly being covered in the media, both the European Parliament and Commission have adopted Codes of Conduct, regulating the activities of current and former Members, Commissioners, and even staff. The European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, has on numerous occasions spoken out in favour of further measures, such as 'cooling-off periods', and has carried out several inquiries into potentially problematic revolving door cases. Following calls from Parliament, the Juncker Commission adopted a new and stronger Code of Conduct for Commissioners early in 2018. Even so, no one single Code can hope to bring an end to the debate.

How could the Stability and Growth Pact be simplified?

25-04-2018

This note provides a summary of three external papers requested by the ECON Committee in the context of the Parliament scrutiny activities of the Euro area. The main objective of these papers is to advance proposals on how the fiscal rules of the Stability and Growth Pact could be simplified, in order to enhance its credibility, transparency and enforceability, while allowing some room for flexibility. Several EU insitutions have recognised the complexity of the SGP and the consequent need for ...

This note provides a summary of three external papers requested by the ECON Committee in the context of the Parliament scrutiny activities of the Euro area. The main objective of these papers is to advance proposals on how the fiscal rules of the Stability and Growth Pact could be simplified, in order to enhance its credibility, transparency and enforceability, while allowing some room for flexibility. Several EU insitutions have recognised the complexity of the SGP and the consequent need for simplification: some relevant positions are reported in this note as well.

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