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Priority dossiers under the Portuguese EU Council Presidency

04-01-2021

Portugal is a democratic republic with a unitary semi-presidential system of government, whereby the Prime Minister of Portugal is the head of government. The current Prime Minister is António Luís Santos da Costa, from the Socialist Party, and a former MEP who was a Vice-President of the European Parliament between July 2004 and March 2005. The President of Portugal, Marcelo de Sousa, from the Social Democrat Party, is the executive head of state and has several significant political powers. Executive ...

Portugal is a democratic republic with a unitary semi-presidential system of government, whereby the Prime Minister of Portugal is the head of government. The current Prime Minister is António Luís Santos da Costa, from the Socialist Party, and a former MEP who was a Vice-President of the European Parliament between July 2004 and March 2005. The President of Portugal, Marcelo de Sousa, from the Social Democrat Party, is the executive head of state and has several significant political powers. Executive power is exercised by the President and the Council of Ministers. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Assembly of the Republic. The Judiciary of Portugal is independent of the executive and the legislature. The political landscape is composed of several political parties, primarily the Socialist Party (PS) and the Social Democratic Party (PSD). Other parties are the Popular Party (PP), the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP), the Left Bloc (BE) and the Green Ecologist Party (PEV). The Communists and the Greens are in coalition as the Unitary Democratic Coalition (UDC). Portugal will hold the Presidency of the European Council for the fourth time from 1 January 2021. The last time it held the Presidency was in 2007, when the Treaty of Lisbon was signed on 13 December 2007. Portugal is part of the Trio also composed of Germany and Slovenia. The Trio adopted a Declaration outlining the main areas of focus for their Trio, including democracy, human rights and the rule of law, as well as an economically strong EU based on growth and jobs and the social dimension. Likewise the three Member States pledged to work on the challenges of digitalisation, climate change and energy transition. The Strategic Agenda 2019-2024 endorsed by the Member States at the European Council on 20 June 2019 will remain, however, a guiding instrument. The Agenda covers the protection of citizens' freedoms; developing a strong and vibrant economic base; building a climate-neutral, green, fair and social Europe; and promoting European interests and values on the global stage.

Priority dossiers under the German EU Council Presidency

01-07-2020

Germany is a federal parliamentary republic, with federal power vested in the Bundestag (the German parliament) and the Bundesrat (the representatives of Germany's regional states, Länder). The Bundestag is the only body at the federal level directly elected by the people, and is currently composed of 709 members. The Bundestag is elected every four years by German citizens aged 18 and over. The current Bundestag is led by the CDU (Christian Democratic Union) with 33 % of representation, followed ...

Germany is a federal parliamentary republic, with federal power vested in the Bundestag (the German parliament) and the Bundesrat (the representatives of Germany's regional states, Länder). The Bundestag is the only body at the federal level directly elected by the people, and is currently composed of 709 members. The Bundestag is elected every four years by German citizens aged 18 and over. The current Bundestag is led by the CDU (Christian Democratic Union) with 33 % of representation, followed by the SPD (Social Democratic Party) with 24 % and then by the AFD (Alternative for Germany) with 11 %. These are followed by: the Free Democratic Party (FDP), the Left (Die Linke), Alliance 90/The Greens (Grüne) and the Christian Social Union (CSU). Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been in office since 2005, heads the executive government. The executive is elected by the Bundestag and is responsible to it. The German head of state is the federal President, currently Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The federal President has a role in the political system, particularly in the establishment of a new government and its possible dissolution. Germany has held the Council Presidency 12 times since becoming a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957. The country last held the Presidency in 2008. It will take the helm of the EU Council Presidency on 1 July 2020, starting the trio Presidency composed of Germany, Portugal and Slovenia. The Trio has adopted a Declaration outlining the main areas of focus for their Trio, including democracy, human rights and the rule of law, as well as an economically strong EU based on growth and jobs and the social dimension. Likewise the three Member States have pledged to work on the challenges of digitalisation, climate change and energy transition. It is to be noted that the Trio is working on a revised declaration to reflect the changed situation in Europe due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Strategic Agenda 2019-2024 endorsed by the Member States at the European Council meeting of 20 June 2019 will remain, however, a guiding instrument. The Agenda covers the protection of citizens' freedoms; developing a strong and vibrant economic base; building a climate-neutral, green, fair and social Europe; and promoting European interests and values on the global stage.

FEMM Delegation to Croatia

15-01-2020

Briefing made up by the Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs of the EP to the attention of the FEMM Committee's delegation to Croatia in January 2020.

Briefing made up by the Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs of the EP to the attention of the FEMM Committee's delegation to Croatia in January 2020.

Priority dossiers under the Croatian EU Council Presidency

19-12-2019

For the first time since joining the European Union in 2013, Croatia will hold the rotating Council Presidency from 1 January to 30 June 2020. Croatia is a parliamentary, representative democratic republic, where the Prime Minister of Croatia is the head of government in a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government and the President of Croatia. Legislative power is vested in the Croatian Parliament. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. Parliament ...

For the first time since joining the European Union in 2013, Croatia will hold the rotating Council Presidency from 1 January to 30 June 2020. Croatia is a parliamentary, representative democratic republic, where the Prime Minister of Croatia is the head of government in a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government and the President of Croatia. Legislative power is vested in the Croatian Parliament. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. Parliament adopted the current Constitution of Croatia on 22 December 1990 and decided to declare independence from Yugoslavia on 25 May 1991. The Croatian Parliament is the unicameral representative body of the citizens of the Republic of Croatia. Under the terms of the Croatian Constitution, the ‘Sabor’ represents the people and is vested with legislative power. The Sabor is composed of 151 members elected for a four-year term based on direct, universal and equal suffrage by secret ballot. Seats are allocated according to the Croatian Parliament electoral districts: 140 members of the parliament are elected in multi-seat constituencies, 8 from the minorities and 3 from the Croatian diaspora. Since 19 October 2016, the Prime Minister of Croatia is Mr Andrej Plenković. There are four deputy prime ministers: Davor Božinović, Zdravko Marić, Damir Krstičević and Predrag Štromar. The government ministers are from the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Croatian People's Party - Liberal Democrats (HNS), with two further ministers being independent politicians. The Croatian Democratic Union (Croatian: Hrvatska demokratska zajednica or HDZ, literally Croatian Democratic Community) is a liberal conservative political party and the main centre-right political party in Croatia. It is one of the two major contemporary political parties in Croatia, along with the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SDP). It is currently the largest party in the Sabor with 55 seats.

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, July II 2019

18-07-2019

The main highlight of the July II plenary session was the election of Ursula von der Leyen as President of the European Commission. Other highlights included a statement by Viorica Dăncilă, Prime Minister of Romania, on the outcome of that country's Council presidency, and by Antti Rinne, Prime Minister of Finland on the priorities for the current Finnish Council Presidency. Parliament also debated statements by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs ...

The main highlight of the July II plenary session was the election of Ursula von der Leyen as President of the European Commission. Other highlights included a statement by Viorica Dăncilă, Prime Minister of Romania, on the outcome of that country's Council presidency, and by Antti Rinne, Prime Minister of Finland on the priorities for the current Finnish Council Presidency. Parliament also debated statements by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on implementation of the EU Global Strategy, and the situation in Venezuela (also adopting a resolution), in the Persian Gulf and in Moldova. Debates were also held on Council and Commission statements on humanitarian assistance in the Mediterranean and clean air zones in EU cities. Members also decided on the numerical strength of the interparliamentary delegations.

Economic Dialogue and Exchange of Views with the President of the Council (ECOFIN)

18-01-2019

Eugen Orlando TEODOROVICI, Minister of Public Finance, is participating in the ECON Committee in his capacity of President of the ECOFIN Council during the Romanian Presidency (January - July 2019). According to the Treaty of the Union “Member States shall regard their economic policies as a matter of common concern and shall coordinate them within the Council”. This briefing provides an overview of the Romanian Presidency priorities in ECON matters and the Council work programme on the European ...

Eugen Orlando TEODOROVICI, Minister of Public Finance, is participating in the ECON Committee in his capacity of President of the ECOFIN Council during the Romanian Presidency (January - July 2019). According to the Treaty of the Union “Member States shall regard their economic policies as a matter of common concern and shall coordinate them within the Council”. This briefing provides an overview of the Romanian Presidency priorities in ECON matters and the Council work programme on the European Semester for economic coordination during spring 2019. Reference is also made to further reading relating to the state-of-play on the implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact and the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure under the European Semester.

Priority dossiers under the Romanian EU Council Presidency

07-12-2018

Romania will hold the EU Council Presidency from January to July 2019. Its Presidency comes at the end of the European Parliament’s current legislative term, with European elections taking place on 23-26 May 2019. This is the first time that Romania holds the EU Council Presidency since joining the European Union on 1 January 2007. Romania has a bicameral legislature. The Parliament consists of the Senate (the upper house) having 137 seats and the Chamber of Deputies (the lower house) with 332 seats ...

Romania will hold the EU Council Presidency from January to July 2019. Its Presidency comes at the end of the European Parliament’s current legislative term, with European elections taking place on 23-26 May 2019. This is the first time that Romania holds the EU Council Presidency since joining the European Union on 1 January 2007. Romania has a bicameral legislature. The Parliament consists of the Senate (the upper house) having 137 seats and the Chamber of Deputies (the lower house) with 332 seats. The members of both houses are elected by direct, popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms. The executive branch of the Government is directly or indirectly dependent on the support of the parliament, often expressed through a vote of confidence. The Social Democratic Party (PSD) heads the current governmental alliance with the centre-right Liberal-Democrat Alliance (ALDE). Romania is a semi-presidential republic, with Klaus Iohannis as President in office since November 2014, and the current Prime Minister, Viorica Dancila (PSD), in office since January 2018.

Economic dialogue and exchange of views with the Presidents of the Council (ECOFIN)

09-07-2018

Hartwig Löger, Minister of Finance of Austria, is participating in the ECON Committee on 11 July 2018 in his capacity of the incoming President of the ECOFIN Council during the Austrian Presidency (July - December 2018). Vladislav Goranov, Minister of Finance of Bulgaria, is participating in the ECON Committee on 12 July 2018 in his capacity of the outgoing President of the ECOFIN Council during the Bulgarian Presidency (January - June 2018). According to the Treaty of the Union “Member States shall ...

Hartwig Löger, Minister of Finance of Austria, is participating in the ECON Committee on 11 July 2018 in his capacity of the incoming President of the ECOFIN Council during the Austrian Presidency (July - December 2018). Vladislav Goranov, Minister of Finance of Bulgaria, is participating in the ECON Committee on 12 July 2018 in his capacity of the outgoing President of the ECOFIN Council during the Bulgarian Presidency (January - June 2018). According to the Treaty of the Union “Member States shall regard their economic policies as a matter of common concern and shall coordinate them within the Council”. This briefing note covers the 2018 CSRs proposed by the Commission, the implementation of CSRs over the period 2012-2017 and recent decisions related to the implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact and the Macro-economic Imbalance Procedure. It also includes elements related to the on-going work to strengthen the governance and the resilience of the Economic and Monetary Union.

Priority Dossiers under the Austrian EU Council Presidency

29-06-2018

Austria will hold the EU Council Presidency from July to December 2018. Its presidency comes at the end of the Trio Presidency composed of Estonia, Bulgaria and Austria. The last time Austria held the Council Presidency was in 2006. A EUROPE THAT PROTECTS is the motto Austria has chosen for its Presidency. Austria considers that there have been several crises in recent years that have given rise to mistrust in the EU amongst European citizens. This mistrust needs to be addressed. To this end, the ...

Austria will hold the EU Council Presidency from July to December 2018. Its presidency comes at the end of the Trio Presidency composed of Estonia, Bulgaria and Austria. The last time Austria held the Council Presidency was in 2006. A EUROPE THAT PROTECTS is the motto Austria has chosen for its Presidency. Austria considers that there have been several crises in recent years that have given rise to mistrust in the EU amongst European citizens. This mistrust needs to be addressed. To this end, the Austrian Presidency has announced three main priorities for its term in office: security, competitiveness and stability. On security, it intends to focus on the fight against illegal migration, by securing Europe's external borders, and on the reform of the Common European Asylum System. On competitiveness, it will work on matters related to the digital single market, specifically digitalisation. On stability, it has announced its intention to work towards EU accession of the Western Balkan countries.

Outcome of the informal meeting of the 27 Heads of State or Government of 23 February 2018

28-02-2018

At an informal meeting on 23 February 2018, 27 Heads of State or Government (the UK did not take part as the discussion were future oriented) discussed two major topics: institutional issues, in particular the future composition of the European Parliament and high-level EU appointments, including the Spitzenkandidaten process, on the one hand, and the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), on the other. Conducted as part of the Leaders' Agenda, the meeting did not produce formal conclusions. ...

At an informal meeting on 23 February 2018, 27 Heads of State or Government (the UK did not take part as the discussion were future oriented) discussed two major topics: institutional issues, in particular the future composition of the European Parliament and high-level EU appointments, including the Spitzenkandidaten process, on the one hand, and the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), on the other. Conducted as part of the Leaders' Agenda, the meeting did not produce formal conclusions. According to post-summit statements by the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, the idea of a European Parliament with fewer MEPs after Brexit was broadly supported, however Heads of State or Government agreed that there could not be any automaticity in proposing, for President of the European Commission, the lead candidate put forward by the European party having come first at the European elections. As regards the MFF, they expressed the view that reaching an agreement in the European Council by the end of 2018 would be very difficult. Heads of State or Government took the opportunity to address other issues briefly, expressing their support for Cyprus and Greece regarding developments with Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean, and urging the Assad regime and its backers to stop the violence in Syria. The European Council President also informed his colleagues that draft guidelines on the future EU-UK relationship will be presented at the 22-23 March European Council meeting.

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