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How the EU Treaties are modified

Briefing 30-08-2022

With the Conference on the Future of Europe now at an end, a new phase has started: that of following up on the more than 320 recommendations it produced. This process is however a complicated one. Legally, ways to implement the Conference's recommendations may require changes to the European Union (EU) Treaties, which is a complex and challenging process. Politically, debating how to implement reforms and deciding to what extent to modify the EU legal system may require intense negotiations. The ...

This study, commissioned by the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs of the European Parliament, explains the principle of the primacy of European Union law and its practical consequences, as established by the Treaty system and developed by Court of Justice case-law since 1964. It explains how Member State courts accept, interpret and apply the principle, subject to any limits.

Law-making by the executive is a phenomenon that exists not only in the European Union (EU) but also in its Member States, as well as in other Western liberal democracies. Many national legal systems differentiate between delegated legislation − adopted by the executive and having the same legal force as parliamentary legislation − and purely executive acts −aimed at implementing parliamentary legislation, but that may neither supplement nor modify it. In the EU, the distinction between delegated ...

Since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the EU has been entitled to support, coordinate or complement Member States’ activities in sport. European sports policies of the past decade are characterised by numerous activities and by on-going differentiation. Against this backdrop, the study presents policy options in four key areas: the first covers the need for stronger coordination; the second aims at the setting of thematic priorities; the third addresses the reinforcement of the role of ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, looks into the constitutional and institutional challenges that the European Union faced during the Brexit negotiations, and analyses whether the current wording of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union was applied in an adequate manner and allowed for an efficient and properly organised withdrawal procedure.

In confronting the EU with an unprecedented crisis, the coronavirus outbreak is testing the bloc's unity, but may also accelerate the construction of EU strategic autonomy, as the roadmap for recovery is implemented. Political will, still in the making, and the capacity to act are key prerequisites for achieving effective European strategic autonomy. The EU is increasingly at risk of becoming a 'playground' for global powers in a world dominated by geopolitics. Building European strategic autonomy ...

The European Council to endorse the 24 March 2020 Council political agreement on the opening of negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia.

One of Parliament’s main tools of political control vis-à-vis the EU executive is its capacity to establish Committees of inquiry. This possibility, now formally recognised in Article 226 TFEU, has existed since 1981 but it has been scarcely used by Parliament. This study provides an analysis of Parliament’s right of inquiry as it stands after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, and examines how it has evolved since it was first introduced. It also compares Parliament’s right of inquiry ...

Conducting in-depth investigations is an ancient and essential right of parliaments in Europe. Yet, despite a provision of the Lisbon treaty, the European Parliament still has a limited institutional capacity to conduct inquiries. 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 theoretical basis of parliamentary investigation, compares recent committees of inquiries and develops ...

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.