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Plenary round-up – November II 2021

26-11-2021

Due to the deteriorating Covid 19 situation, the November II plenary session in Strasbourg was again organised with the possibility for Members to vote remotely. Parliament debated a number of Council and European Commission statements, including on: coordination of Member States' coronavirus measures; police violence against Roma people; preparation of the 12th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference; state of the Energy Union; a European action plan against rare diseases; and on international ...

Due to the deteriorating Covid 19 situation, the November II plenary session in Strasbourg was again organised with the possibility for Members to vote remotely. Parliament debated a number of Council and European Commission statements, including on: coordination of Member States' coronavirus measures; police violence against Roma people; preparation of the 12th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference; state of the Energy Union; a European action plan against rare diseases; and on international port congestion and increased transport costs. Members also debated the conclusions of the European Council meeting of 21 22 October 2021, and heard Council and Commission statements on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Parliament adopted several resolutions and legislative acts, inter alia on a European strategy for critical raw materials, EU sports policy, and on a pharmaceutical strategy for Europe.

European Commission Work Programme for 2022

25-11-2021

On 19 October 2021, the European Commission presented its work programme for 2022 (CWP 2022), setting out its legislative and non-legislative intentions for 2022. The CWP 2022 perpetuates the CWP 2021's twofold ambition (i.e. to recover from the pandemic and to boost the Commission's transformative agenda). A special emphasis is put on helping the Union emerge stronger and more resilient. This should be achieved by implementing the measures agreed over the last year, and through additional investments ...

On 19 October 2021, the European Commission presented its work programme for 2022 (CWP 2022), setting out its legislative and non-legislative intentions for 2022. The CWP 2022 perpetuates the CWP 2021's twofold ambition (i.e. to recover from the pandemic and to boost the Commission's transformative agenda). A special emphasis is put on helping the Union emerge stronger and more resilient. This should be achieved by implementing the measures agreed over the last year, and through additional investments and reforms in order to 'accelerate the twin green and digital transitions, and build a fairer, more resilient and more cohesive society'. The briefing is intended as a background overview for parliamentary committees, explaining the CWP 2022’s structure and key aspects, and providing information on two types of EPRS publications of interest with a view to the upcoming legislative proposals: initial appraisals of Commission impact assessments and implementation appraisals.

European Parliament scrutiny of Frontex

25-11-2021

Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 transformed Frontex into the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, and gave the European Parliament a range of tools affording it oversight of the agency's activities. In addition to budgetary discharge, these include an obligation for the agency to provide information to the Parliament, a key role for the Parliament in appointing the agency's executive director, and attendance on invitation by a Parliament expert at Frontex management board meetings. These tools effectively ...

Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 transformed Frontex into the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, and gave the European Parliament a range of tools affording it oversight of the agency's activities. In addition to budgetary discharge, these include an obligation for the agency to provide information to the Parliament, a key role for the Parliament in appointing the agency's executive director, and attendance on invitation by a Parliament expert at Frontex management board meetings. These tools effectively make the Parliament the key player in terms of democratic oversight of the agency. In 2020, amidst allegations of Frontex's possible involvement in pushbacks and violations of fundamental rights by Member States' authorities at the EU's external borders, the Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) decided to investigate the allegations. The Parliament used both ex-ante and ex-post accountability instruments, as part of which it asked questions demanding oral and written answers, requested the Frontex executive director to appear before the LIBE committee to answer Members' questions, and decided to postpone the discharge of Frontex' accounts in respect of the financial year 2019 (discharge was subsequently given in October 2021). In January 2021, LIBE decided to step up its action and established the Frontex Scrutiny Working Group (FSWG) to monitor all aspects of the functioning of the agency, including compliance with fundamental rights, and transparency and accountability towards Parliament. The FSWG conducted a fact-finding investigation, collected evidence and presented its final report in July 2021. While the report 'did not find evidence on the direct performance of pushbacks and/or collective expulsions by Frontex in the serious incident cases that could be examined', it found 'serious shortcomings'. This briefing looks at the accountability mechanisms at Parliament's disposal and how they have been used to ensure that migrants' fundamental rights are respected and upheld at the EU's external borders.

Policy Departments’ Monthly Highlights - November 2021

17-11-2021

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

Plenary round-up – November I 2021

12-11-2021

The November I 2021 plenary session in Brussels was the first to be held without the use of remote voting since March 2020. During this mini-session, Parliament debated, in particular, a statement from the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, Josep Borrell, on the escalating humanitarian crisis on the EU/Belarusian border, in particular in Poland. Members also heard an address by Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees ...

The November I 2021 plenary session in Brussels was the first to be held without the use of remote voting since March 2020. During this mini-session, Parliament debated, in particular, a statement from the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, Josep Borrell, on the escalating humanitarian crisis on the EU/Belarusian border, in particular in Poland. Members also heard an address by Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Another debate covered the outcome of the first meeting of the new EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC). Several resolutions and legislative acts were adopted, inter alia on strengthening democracy, media freedom and pluralism in the EU, the statute and funding of European political parties and foundations, the European Education Area, disclosure of income tax information by certain undertakings and branches, the European Partnership on Metrology, the European Union Agency for Asylum, and on serious cross-border threats to health.

The European Parliament's investigative powers: Committees of inquiry in context

10-11-2021

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 ...

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, this publication offers an insight into the controversy surrounding the negotiations concerning Parliament's proposal for a new regulation on the right of inquiry.

Partiti politici europei: statuto e finanziamento

08-11-2021

Durante la tornata di novembre I il Parlamento dovrebbe votare una relazione di attuazione concernente il regolamento relativo allo statuto e al finanziamento dei partiti politici europei e delle fondazioni politiche europee. Il Parlamento è chiamato a riferire in merito all'applicazione del regolamento, e a proporre modifiche ove necessario, entro il 31 dicembre 2021 e successivamente ogni cinque anni. La Commissione è altresì tenuta a presentare una relazione di attuazione parallela e una proposta ...

Durante la tornata di novembre I il Parlamento dovrebbe votare una relazione di attuazione concernente il regolamento relativo allo statuto e al finanziamento dei partiti politici europei e delle fondazioni politiche europee. Il Parlamento è chiamato a riferire in merito all'applicazione del regolamento, e a proporre modifiche ove necessario, entro il 31 dicembre 2021 e successivamente ogni cinque anni. La Commissione è altresì tenuta a presentare una relazione di attuazione parallela e una proposta legislativa che modifica l'attuale regolamento, se del caso, nel novembre 2021.

Voting and candidacy rights of mobile EU citizens in municipal elections under Directive 94/80/EC

29-10-2021

An estimated 13.3 million European Union (EU) citizens live in an EU Member State that is not their country of origin. Of these, over 11 million are of voting age. Under Council Directives 93/109/EC and 94/80/EC, these 'mobile' Europeans are entitled to participate in European and municipal elections in their country of residence. While Member States have successfully transposed both directives, voter turnout among mobile citizens remains low compared to nationals. In its 2020 citizenship report, ...

An estimated 13.3 million European Union (EU) citizens live in an EU Member State that is not their country of origin. Of these, over 11 million are of voting age. Under Council Directives 93/109/EC and 94/80/EC, these 'mobile' Europeans are entitled to participate in European and municipal elections in their country of residence. While Member States have successfully transposed both directives, voter turnout among mobile citizens remains low compared to nationals. In its 2020 citizenship report, the European Commission announced a strengthening of electoral rights in European and municipal elections. According to the Commission's 2021 work programme (Annex II), amending proposals are envisaged for the fourth quarter of 2021, as part of the 'Transparency and democracy package'. This briefing explores the operation of Council Directive 94/80/EC on the right to vote and to stand as a candidate in municipal elections and discusses obstacles to citizens' effective exercise of their rights. It also analyses the implications of Brexit on local election rights for both United Kingdom (UK) citizens residing in the EU 27 and EU citizens living in the UK. The resulting post-Brexit status quo is a complex patchwork governed by national law and bilateral agreements. A separate briefing examines the implementation of Directive 93/109/EC regarding European elections.

Voting and candidacy rights of mobile EU citizens in European elections under Council Directive 93/109/EC

29-10-2021

Under the arrangements set out in Council Directives 93/109/EC and 94/80/EC, EU nationals who live in a Member State other than their own are entitled to participate in European and municipal elections, respectively, in their country of residence. This concerns an estimated 11 million EU citizens of voting age (post-Brexit data). Even if Member States have successfully transposed both directives, voter turnout among mobile citizens remains low compared to nationals. Similarly, only a fraction of ...

Under the arrangements set out in Council Directives 93/109/EC and 94/80/EC, EU nationals who live in a Member State other than their own are entitled to participate in European and municipal elections, respectively, in their country of residence. This concerns an estimated 11 million EU citizens of voting age (post-Brexit data). Even if Member States have successfully transposed both directives, voter turnout among mobile citizens remains low compared to nationals. Similarly, only a fraction of candidates standing for European elections is made up of non-nationals (slightly over 1 % in the 2019 elections). The European Commission has announced its intention to update both directives; according to its 2021 work programme (Annex II), amending proposals are envisaged for the fourth quarter of 2021, forming part of the 'transparency and democracy package'. This briefing looks into the operation of Council Directive 93/109/EC on the right to vote and stand as candidate in European elections. It discusses obstacles that hinder mobile EU citizens from effectively exercising their electoral rights, such as registration and communication issues, and looks into the problem of double voting. The implementation of Directive 94/80/EC regarding municipal elections is examined in a separate briefing.

Strengthening the role and impact of petitions as an instrument of participatory democracy - Lessons learnt from a citizens’ perspective 10 years after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty

29-10-2021

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI Committee, evaluates the state of play of the right of petition ten years after the inclusion of the principle of participatory democracy in the EU treaties. After contextualising the right of petition within the broader EU participatory infrastructure, its ultimate objective is to provide a set of recommendations aimed at unleashing its democratic potential ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI Committee, evaluates the state of play of the right of petition ten years after the inclusion of the principle of participatory democracy in the EU treaties. After contextualising the right of petition within the broader EU participatory infrastructure, its ultimate objective is to provide a set of recommendations aimed at unleashing its democratic potential while overcoming its major structural limitations.

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ALEMANNO Alberto

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