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International Agreements in Progress: Modernisation of the trade pillar of the EU-Mexico Global Agreement

02-10-2020

On 21 April 2018, the EU and Mexico reached an agreement in principle on a modernised trade pillar of the EU-Mexico Economic Partnership, Political Coordination and Cooperation Agreement, also known as the Global Agreement, in force since 2000. On 28 April 2020, negotiations were formally concluded after the only outstanding item – EU access to sub federal public procurement contracts in Mexico – was agreed upon. The trade pillar of the Global Agreement was the first trade liberalisation agreement ...

On 21 April 2018, the EU and Mexico reached an agreement in principle on a modernised trade pillar of the EU-Mexico Economic Partnership, Political Coordination and Cooperation Agreement, also known as the Global Agreement, in force since 2000. On 28 April 2020, negotiations were formally concluded after the only outstanding item – EU access to sub federal public procurement contracts in Mexico – was agreed upon. The trade pillar of the Global Agreement was the first trade liberalisation agreement the EU concluded with a Latin American country. It has contributed to a significant increase in EU Mexico trade in services and industrial goods. However, it has become outdated, as both parties have entered into a wide range of preferential trade agreements with state-of-the-art provisions reflecting new developments in trade and investment policies. Removing non-tariff barriers to trade, and further liberalising trade in agricultural goods would allow the EU and Mexico to enhance their competitive edge in each other's markets. After the trade pillar's legal scrutiny and translation, it will become part of a three-pronged Global Agreement that will also contain revamped political dialogue and cooperation pillars and will be signed by the Council of the EU and its Mexican counterpart. The new Global Agreement will subsequently be submitted to the European Parliament for its consent. Second edition of a briefing originally drafted by Roderick Harte. The 'International Agreements in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the process, from initial discussions through to ratification.

The ESM and the EIB: comparison of some features

07-04-2020

This paper presents in a tabular format the main characteristics of the European Stability Mechanism and the European Investment Bank. Both institutions collect funds on capital markets. The ESM provides loans to Member States, while the EIB provides loans and venture capital to private and public institutions. Both institutions have been called on to take initiatives in the context of EU reaction to the economic crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This paper presents in a tabular format the main characteristics of the European Stability Mechanism and the European Investment Bank. Both institutions collect funds on capital markets. The ESM provides loans to Member States, while the EIB provides loans and venture capital to private and public institutions. Both institutions have been called on to take initiatives in the context of EU reaction to the economic crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Parliament's right of legislative initiative

12-02-2020

The European Commission has a near monopoly on legislative initiative in the European Union (EU), with special initiative rights for other institutions applying only in certain specific cases. However, the European Parliament and the Council may invite the Commission to submit legislative proposals. Whilst this 'indirect' initiative right does not create an obligation on the Commission to propose the legislation requested, the Treaty of Lisbon codified the Commission's obligation to provide reasons ...

The European Commission has a near monopoly on legislative initiative in the European Union (EU), with special initiative rights for other institutions applying only in certain specific cases. However, the European Parliament and the Council may invite the Commission to submit legislative proposals. Whilst this 'indirect' initiative right does not create an obligation on the Commission to propose the legislation requested, the Treaty of Lisbon codified the Commission's obligation to provide reasons for any refusal to follow a parliamentary initiative. Against this backdrop, some argue that Parliament could take the Commission to the Court of Justice of the EU if it fails to justify a negative decision. Others see Parliament's increasing participation in overall political planning – particularly through negotiations on the Commission's annual work programme (CWP) – as a further channel for Parliament to increase its influence on EU legislation. It is thus argued that the increased role of Parliament in the legislative procedure should have reduced the need for its Members to make use of legislative initiatives. Notwithstanding that, there is a trend towards greater use of formal parliamentary legislative initiatives to assert greater influence on the political process. Most recently, in her inaugural address in July 2019 and in her Political Guidelines, the then newly elected President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, pledged to strengthen the partnership with the European Parliament, inter alia, by responding with a proposal for a legislative act whenever Parliament, acting by a majority of its members, adopts a resolution requesting that the Commission submit legislative proposals. She added that this commitment would have to be in full respect of the proportionality, subsidiarity and better law-making principles. President von der Leyen also declared herself supportive of moves towards recognition of a right for Parliament of legislative initiative. This briefing is an update of a European Parliament Library briefing from 2013, by Eva-Maria Poptcheva.

Political Culture and Dynamics of the European Parliament, 1979-1989

05-12-2019

The election of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage in 1979 was a groundbreaking democratic event in that it profoundly changed the character, composition and functioning of the Assembly and its political influence in the institutional set-up of the European Community. The impact of this change extended to areas as diverse as the organisation of parliamentary business, the workings of parliamentary committees and intergroups, increased budgetary powers, the socio-professional profile ...

The election of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage in 1979 was a groundbreaking democratic event in that it profoundly changed the character, composition and functioning of the Assembly and its political influence in the institutional set-up of the European Community. The impact of this change extended to areas as diverse as the organisation of parliamentary business, the workings of parliamentary committees and intergroups, increased budgetary powers, the socio-professional profile of MEPs, the role of political groups, relations between MEPs and the Administration, changes in the Secretariat's establishment plan, relations with lobbyists, communication policy, the Assembly's activities in the context of the European Community's values and interinstitutional relations.

Awtur estern

Schirmann, Sylvain; Wassenberg, Birte

The powers of the European Parliament

04-11-2019

Since its inception in 1951, the European Parliament has come a long way. Initially a consultative body composed of delegations of national parliaments, it became a directly elected institution, obtained budgetary and legislative powers, and now exercises influence over most aspects of EU affairs. Together with representatives of national governments, who sit in the Council, Parliament co-decides on European legislation, in what could be seen as a bicameral legislature at EU level. It can reject ...

Since its inception in 1951, the European Parliament has come a long way. Initially a consultative body composed of delegations of national parliaments, it became a directly elected institution, obtained budgetary and legislative powers, and now exercises influence over most aspects of EU affairs. Together with representatives of national governments, who sit in the Council, Parliament co-decides on European legislation, in what could be seen as a bicameral legislature at EU level. It can reject or amend the European Commission's proposals before adopting them so that they become law. Together with the Council of the EU, it adopts the EU budget and controls its implementation. Another core set of European Parliament prerogatives concerns the scrutiny of the EU executive – mainly the Commission. Such scrutiny can take many forms, including parliamentary questions, committees of inquiry and special committees, and scrutiny of delegated and implementing acts. Parliament has made use of these instruments to varying degrees. Parliament has the power to dismiss the Commission (motion of censure), and it plays a significant role in the latter's appointment process. Parliament has a say over the very foundations of the EU. Its consent is required before any new country joins the EU, and before a withdrawal treaty is concluded if a country decides to leave it. Most international agreements entered into by the EU with third countries also require Parliament's consent. Parliament can initiate Treaty reform, and also the 'Article 7(1) TEU' procedure, aimed at determining whether there is a (risk of) serious breach of EU values by a Member State.

EU trade policy: Frequently asked questions

15-10-2019

This paper seeks to serve as a key resource for policy-makers who need to understand complex issues related to international trade quickly. It also outlines the key academic debates and issues, and provides references to further resources that could offer useful support to the work of policy-makers in the European Parliament. It seeks to provide immediate answers to the most commonly asked questions related to EU trade policy: from the evolution and scope of EU common commercial policy to the role ...

This paper seeks to serve as a key resource for policy-makers who need to understand complex issues related to international trade quickly. It also outlines the key academic debates and issues, and provides references to further resources that could offer useful support to the work of policy-makers in the European Parliament. It seeks to provide immediate answers to the most commonly asked questions related to EU trade policy: from the evolution and scope of EU common commercial policy to the role of different EU institutions and the economics of trade. It includes explanations of key trade concepts. In addition, the paper covers the procedures for the conclusion of international trade agreements, types of trade relationship, and the specific characteristics of EU legal instruments in the area of trade. Lastly, it addresses the issues of trade and sustainable development, which have grown into a key area of concern for Parliament.

The European Council's role in the EU policy cycle

02-09-2019

Since its establishment in 1975, the European Council, which is made up of the Since its establishment in 1975, the European Council, which is made up of the Heads of State or Government of EU Member States, has wielded considerable influence over the development of the European Union. According to the Treaties, the European Council's primary role is to 'define the general political directions and priorities' (Article 15(1) of the Treaty on European Union). This role has rapidly evolved over the ...

Since its establishment in 1975, the European Council, which is made up of the Since its establishment in 1975, the European Council, which is made up of the Heads of State or Government of EU Member States, has wielded considerable influence over the development of the European Union. According to the Treaties, the European Council's primary role is to 'define the general political directions and priorities' (Article 15(1) of the Treaty on European Union). This role has rapidly evolved over the past decade, and today the European Council's involvement in the EU policy cycle is much broader, covering tasks from agenda-setting to exercising scrutiny. In practice, its activities often exceed the role envisaged in the Treaties. This level of involvement has a significant impact both on the role of the other EU institutions within the policy cycle and the functioning of the ordinary legislative procedure.

The Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure – Overview

14-05-2019

The Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (MIP) is a policy tool introduced within the reinforced economic governance framework adopted in 2011. The MIP aims at preventing and correcting macroeconomic imbalances in Member States, with specific attention to imbalances with potential spillovers effects on other Member States.

The Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (MIP) is a policy tool introduced within the reinforced economic governance framework adopted in 2011. The MIP aims at preventing and correcting macroeconomic imbalances in Member States, with specific attention to imbalances with potential spillovers effects on other Member States.

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.

Awtur estern

Olivier Rozenberg

European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (eu-LISA)

18-12-2018

The European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (eu-LISA) is responsible for the operational management of the three large-scale EU information systems: the Schengen Information System (SIS II), the Visa Information System (VIS), and Eurodac. The Commission proposed to strengthen the mandate of eu-LISA, as part of a broader set of measures aimed at addressing current migration and security challenges by making better use of ...

The European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (eu-LISA) is responsible for the operational management of the three large-scale EU information systems: the Schengen Information System (SIS II), the Visa Information System (VIS), and Eurodac. The Commission proposed to strengthen the mandate of eu-LISA, as part of a broader set of measures aimed at addressing current migration and security challenges by making better use of information technologies. Adopted by parliament and Council in autumn 2018, the Agency’s new tasks, applicable from 11 December 2018, include ensuring interoperability of EU information systems, upgrade of existing and development of future systems and technical and operational support to Member States. Second edition of a briefing originally drafted by Costica Dumbrava. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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