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The role (and accountability) of the President of the Eurogroup

14-07-2020

This note provides an overview of the role of the President of the Eurogroup, the procedures for his/her appointment, as well as proposals on a “full time position” as part of the wider debate on deepening the Economic and Monetary Union. The note also briefly addresses the mandate and working methods of the Eurogroup. In addition, this note refers to the debate around the transparency of Eurogroup proceedings. It is updated regularly.

This note provides an overview of the role of the President of the Eurogroup, the procedures for his/her appointment, as well as proposals on a “full time position” as part of the wider debate on deepening the Economic and Monetary Union. The note also briefly addresses the mandate and working methods of the Eurogroup. In addition, this note refers to the debate around the transparency of Eurogroup proceedings. It is updated regularly.

Sustainable finance and disclosures: Bringing clarity to investors

15-01-2020

On 24 May 2018, the Commission published three proposals for regulations reflecting the EU's efforts to connect finance with its own sustainable development agenda. The proposals include measures to: create an EU sustainable finance taxonomy; make disclosures relating to sustainable investments and sustainability risks clearer; and establish low-carbon benchmarks. In particular, the proposal for a regulation on disclosures aims to integrate environmental, social and governance considerations into ...

On 24 May 2018, the Commission published three proposals for regulations reflecting the EU's efforts to connect finance with its own sustainable development agenda. The proposals include measures to: create an EU sustainable finance taxonomy; make disclosures relating to sustainable investments and sustainability risks clearer; and establish low-carbon benchmarks. In particular, the proposal for a regulation on disclosures aims to integrate environmental, social and governance considerations into the decision-making process of investors and asset managers. It also aims to increase the transparency duties of financial intermediaries towards final-investors, with regard to sustainability risks and sustainable investment targets. This should reduce investors' research costs as regards sustainable investments and enable easier comparison between sustainable financial products in the EU. Following agreement with the Council in trilogue, Parliament voted to adopt the agreed text at first reading on 18 April 2019. Because of the tight timeline for finalisation before the end of the parliamentary term, linguistic corrections to the voted text were needed. Under the corrigendum procedure, the ECON committee and subsequently the plenary endorsed the corrected text in October 2019, allowing the Council to adopt it at first reading. Signed on 27 November, the regulation entered into force on 29 December, and will become applicable as of March 2021. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Understanding development effectiveness: Concepts, players and tools

09-01-2020

In the context of the limited availability of development aid, there is an increased demand for effective results. This means that both developing and richer countries must commit to spending and using aid more effectively. Public funding is not enough to cover all needs, but it can leverage initiatives from civil society and the private sector. The increase in stakeholders and intervention methods, both in terms of numbers and variety, combined with the necessity to address needs in the field more ...

In the context of the limited availability of development aid, there is an increased demand for effective results. This means that both developing and richer countries must commit to spending and using aid more effectively. Public funding is not enough to cover all needs, but it can leverage initiatives from civil society and the private sector. The increase in stakeholders and intervention methods, both in terms of numbers and variety, combined with the necessity to address needs in the field more precisely, has led to a global rethinking of how to assess development. High-level forums and stakeholder networks have helped to fine-tune the main principles of development effectiveness and to shift from a donor-recipient relationship to a more cooperative framework. Methods and tools have improved and led to better planning, implementation and appraisal of development projects. The EU has been closely involved in designing and implementing the effectiveness principles. The European Parliament often refers to them, insisting that they must not be sacrificed for the sake of short-term interests. This briefing is an update of a previous edition from April 2017.

EU space programme

15-05-2019

In June 2018, the European Commission proposed a total budget allocation of €16 billion to finance space activities during the 2021-2027 period. The bulk of this, €9.7 billion in current prices, would be allocated to Galileo and EGNOS, the EU's global and regional satellite navigation systems, €5.8 billion would be allocated to Copernicus, the EU's Earth Observation programme, and €500 million would be earmarked for security, such as the Space and Situational Awareness (SSA) programme and the new ...

In June 2018, the European Commission proposed a total budget allocation of €16 billion to finance space activities during the 2021-2027 period. The bulk of this, €9.7 billion in current prices, would be allocated to Galileo and EGNOS, the EU's global and regional satellite navigation systems, €5.8 billion would be allocated to Copernicus, the EU's Earth Observation programme, and €500 million would be earmarked for security, such as the Space and Situational Awareness (SSA) programme and the new Governmental Satellite Communication initiative (GOVSATCOM) to support border protection, civil protection and humanitarian interventions, for instance. The main aims of the new space programme are to secure EU leadership in space activities, foster innovative industries, safeguard autonomous access to space and simplify governance. The space programme would upgrade the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) Agency by expanding its tasks and transforming it into the new EU Agency for the Space Programme. In April 2019, after several trilogue meetings, Parliament and Council reached a partial agreement on the programme, covering the content, but not, among other things, budgetary issues. Parliament adopted its position at first reading in April. Further discussions on the outstanding issues can be expected once Council reaches agreement on the overall multiannual budget. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

The International Monetary Fund: 15th General Review of Quotas

03-04-2019

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is set to engage in a quota review which is likely to have important institutional, economic and political consequences. Quotas are an essential component of the governance structure of the IMF, defining the influence member countries exert in the decision-making processes, their financial commitments and access to financing in case of need. The 15th review is likely to revolve around two key issues: overall sufficiency of IMF resources and redistribution of ...

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is set to engage in a quota review which is likely to have important institutional, economic and political consequences. Quotas are an essential component of the governance structure of the IMF, defining the influence member countries exert in the decision-making processes, their financial commitments and access to financing in case of need. The 15th review is likely to revolve around two key issues: overall sufficiency of IMF resources and redistribution of quota shares between countries. This paper, prepared by Policy department A, aims to provide a general description of the quota system and the current state of play of the review. It also discusses the dimension of parliamentary scrutiny.

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.

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Olivier Rozenberg

The role of ombudsmen and petitions committees in detecting breaches of EU law

26-11-2018

Over the last decades, national and EU political institutions have sought ways to get closer to citizens, who are showing an increasing dissatisfaction with the performance of democratic institutions. The right to petition and the right to submit complaints to ombudsmen (the twin rights) can be considered two privileged instruments for strengthening this relationship, since they are two of the most accessible ways for citizens to address political institutions, notably to react to the application ...

Over the last decades, national and EU political institutions have sought ways to get closer to citizens, who are showing an increasing dissatisfaction with the performance of democratic institutions. The right to petition and the right to submit complaints to ombudsmen (the twin rights) can be considered two privileged instruments for strengthening this relationship, since they are two of the most accessible ways for citizens to address political institutions, notably to react to the application of EU law and policy. Pioneering efforts have been made to enhance the relationship with the citizens, notably through the use of new technologies. These technologies facilitate the exercise of the twin rights, they democratise access to information or facilitate communication between institutions and citizens. One of the major shortcomings in the petitions/complaints process is the lack of knowledge of the profile of those who make use of their right to petition or to complain. This briefing provides some recommendations on how to empower parliaments and enforce citizens’ rights through the petitions and complaints process.

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Tiago Tiburcio

Relations between the European Council and the European Parliament

23-11-2018

This study explores the development of relations between the European Council (of Heads of State or Government) and the European Parliament, two institutions that have become increasingly central to the operation of the European Union political system, especially since the 2009 Lisbon Treaty. It explains the Treaty framework for relations between the two institutions and traces their practical evolution over time, including an analysis of the roles of the presidents of each institution in such interaction ...

This study explores the development of relations between the European Council (of Heads of State or Government) and the European Parliament, two institutions that have become increasingly central to the operation of the European Union political system, especially since the 2009 Lisbon Treaty. It explains the Treaty framework for relations between the two institutions and traces their practical evolution over time, including an analysis of the roles of the presidents of each institution in such interaction. It also examines points of contention in the relationship to date, including in relation to 'legislative trespassing' by the European Council and the Spitzenkandidaten process

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EPRS, DG

EU Agencies, Common Approach and Parliamentary Scrutiny

21-11-2018

Decentralised agencies were set up on a case-by-case basis over the years, to respond to emerging individual policy needs. Currently there are 36 of them and they have been operating under very diverse conditions. This study provides an overview of the different decentralised EU agencies according to a number of criteria; including their functions, legal bases, sources of financing, respective roles of Parliament, Council, Commission and Member States, stakeholder involvement and transparency. It ...

Decentralised agencies were set up on a case-by-case basis over the years, to respond to emerging individual policy needs. Currently there are 36 of them and they have been operating under very diverse conditions. This study provides an overview of the different decentralised EU agencies according to a number of criteria; including their functions, legal bases, sources of financing, respective roles of Parliament, Council, Commission and Member States, stakeholder involvement and transparency. It particularly examines how the parliamentary scrutiny over decentralised agencies is ensured and suggests possible improvements to those mechanisms in order to reach a more coherent, efficient and transparent institutional set up for the parliamentary scrutiny over agencies’ activities.

Awtur estern

EPRS, DG

Economic Dialogue with the President of the Eurogroup

19-11-2018

Mário Centeno, President of the Eurogroup since 13 January 2018, has been invited to a regular Economic Dialogue, notably in accordance with Article 2ab of Regulation 1466/97 as amended. This briefing provides an overview of the ongoing work of the Eurogroup as regards Council recommendations to the Euro Area as a whole, public finances, macro-economic imbalances, financial adjustment programmes and the banking union. As the President of the Eurogroup, Mr Centeno has also been appointed as Chairman ...

Mário Centeno, President of the Eurogroup since 13 January 2018, has been invited to a regular Economic Dialogue, notably in accordance with Article 2ab of Regulation 1466/97 as amended. This briefing provides an overview of the ongoing work of the Eurogroup as regards Council recommendations to the Euro Area as a whole, public finances, macro-economic imbalances, financial adjustment programmes and the banking union. As the President of the Eurogroup, Mr Centeno has also been appointed as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the European Stability Mechanism. On 19 November, the Eurogroup met to discuss ways to strengthen the governance framework of the EMU. For a separate overview of the role of the President of the Eurogroup, please see separate EGOV briefing.

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