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

03-10-2019

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.

The European Ombudsman: Reflections on the role and its potential

20-11-2018

The European Ombudsman is a body established to ensure that maladministration in the EU institutions is addressed and where possible remedied. From the establishment of the European Ombudsman, personalities and the open-ended character of the notion of maladministration have been relevant in shaping the activity of the office. Maladministration is widely accepted to be a sphere of inappropriate behaviour of the administration that goes beyond simple illegality. The particularity of the Ombudsman ...

The European Ombudsman is a body established to ensure that maladministration in the EU institutions is addressed and where possible remedied. From the establishment of the European Ombudsman, personalities and the open-ended character of the notion of maladministration have been relevant in shaping the activity of the office. Maladministration is widely accepted to be a sphere of inappropriate behaviour of the administration that goes beyond simple illegality. The particularity of the Ombudsman lies therefore on the fact that it is able, through the exercise of 'soft power', to tackle issues that would escape the scrutiny of the Court of Justice of the EU. This paper provides an overview of the activity of the Ombudsman, and attempts to identify the main areas of activity in quantitative terms, the main institutions to which the Ombudsman addresses inquiries and recommendations and highlights the proactive role exercised by this body so far. The compliance rate with the recommendations of the Ombudsman is rather high, although it would seem to decrease where the Ombudsman, by issuing critical remarks, exercises an 'educational' function. This paper also sets out some proposals to modify the Statute, with some less-extensive proposals, that would take into account already established practices, and other more far-reaching proposals, that would need however to be carefully considered so as not to distort the nature of the body.

Revolving doors in the EU and US

04-07-2018

The flow of officials and politicians between the public and private sector has in the past few years given rise to calls for more transparency and accountability. In order to mitigate the reputational damage to public institutions by problematic use of the 'revolving door', this phenomenon is increasingly being regulated at national level. In the United States, President Trump recently changed the rules put in place by his predecessor to slow the revolving door. As shown by press coverage, the US ...

The flow of officials and politicians between the public and private sector has in the past few years given rise to calls for more transparency and accountability. In order to mitigate the reputational damage to public institutions by problematic use of the 'revolving door', this phenomenon is increasingly being regulated at national level. In the United States, President Trump recently changed the rules put in place by his predecessor to slow the revolving door. As shown by press coverage, the US public remains unconvinced. Scepticism may be fuelled by new exceptions made to the rules – retroactive ethics pledge waivers – and the refusal of the White House to disclose the numbers or beneficiaries of said waivers. Watchdog organisations argue that not only has the Trump administration so far failed to 'drain the swamp', it has ended up doing quite the opposite. In the EU, where revolving door cases are increasingly being covered in the media, both the European Parliament and Commission have adopted Codes of Conduct, regulating the activities of current and former Members, Commissioners, and even staff. The European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, has on numerous occasions spoken out in favour of further measures, such as 'cooling-off periods', and has carried out several inquiries into potentially problematic revolving door cases. Following calls from Parliament, the Juncker Commission adopted a new and stronger Code of Conduct for Commissioners early in 2018. Even so, no one single Code can hope to bring an end to the debate.

The institutional architecture of EU anti-fraud measures: Overview of a network

18-06-2018

In the European Union, several institutions, agencies and other bodies (collectively referred to as 'EU authorities') are concerned with preventing and combating fraud related to the EU budget. These EU authorities, and the activities they carry out – including policy-making, monitoring and operational tasks – make up a multi-layered network in which Member States and international organisations are also included. At the domestic level, national authorities contribute by detecting, prosecuting and ...

In the European Union, several institutions, agencies and other bodies (collectively referred to as 'EU authorities') are concerned with preventing and combating fraud related to the EU budget. These EU authorities, and the activities they carry out – including policy-making, monitoring and operational tasks – make up a multi-layered network in which Member States and international organisations are also included. At the domestic level, national authorities contribute by detecting, prosecuting and reporting fraudulent behaviour in the use of European Union funds to the European Commission. At the same time, a number of international organisations coordinate efforts across countries and legal systems to combat fraud. The present analysis offers an overview of this network, with a focus on the European Union institutional framework.

The added value of the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI), and its revision

13-04-2018

The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) is aimed at bringing the EU closer to its citizens, by enabling them to invite the European Commission to make a proposal for a legal act. Introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon, the ECI should provide every citizen with the right to participate in the democratic life of the Union. However, the ECI in practice has had various procedural hurdles, preventing the fulfilment of the regulation's objectives. The ECI is thus not fulfilling its potential with regard to ...

The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) is aimed at bringing the EU closer to its citizens, by enabling them to invite the European Commission to make a proposal for a legal act. Introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon, the ECI should provide every citizen with the right to participate in the democratic life of the Union. However, the ECI in practice has had various procedural hurdles, preventing the fulfilment of the regulation's objectives. The ECI is thus not fulfilling its potential with regard to bringing the EU closer to its citizens. Against this background, the present study outlines the weaknesses in the existing ECI procedure. Moreover, it assesses, with a view to their added value, the main reform proposals that have been put forward to improve the ECI's functioning.

European Citizens' Initiative (ECI)

29-01-2018

The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI), introduced in 2009 with the Lisbon Treaty, is a key element of participatory democracy, allowing citizens to play an active role in the EU's democratic life, through addressing a request to the European Commission to make a proposal for a legal act. The procedure and conditions for ECIs are governed by Regulation (EU) No 211/2011, in force since April 2012. In September 2017, the European Commission presented a proposal for its amendment, picking up on a number ...

The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI), introduced in 2009 with the Lisbon Treaty, is a key element of participatory democracy, allowing citizens to play an active role in the EU's democratic life, through addressing a request to the European Commission to make a proposal for a legal act. The procedure and conditions for ECIs are governed by Regulation (EU) No 211/2011, in force since April 2012. In September 2017, the European Commission presented a proposal for its amendment, picking up on a number of suggestions for improvement. This is a further update of an 'at a glance' note published in July 2017: PE 608.644. For more detailed information on the proposed amendment of the ECI Regulation, please see EPRS' 'EU Legislation in progress' briefing, Revising the European Citizens' initiative, PE 614.627.

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, November I 2017

17-11-2017

The key focal points of the November I plenary session included debates on the rule of law in Malta and Poland and on the 'Paradise papers' revelations. Members adopted, inter alia, their positions ahead of the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference and the Eastern Partnership Summit. They also adopted resolutions on the new EU-Africa strategy and on the Ombudsman's activities in 2016. Parliament heard a formal address from Andrej Kiska, President of Slovakia, and finally, the 2017 LUX Prize was awarded ...

The key focal points of the November I plenary session included debates on the rule of law in Malta and Poland and on the 'Paradise papers' revelations. Members adopted, inter alia, their positions ahead of the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference and the Eastern Partnership Summit. They also adopted resolutions on the new EU-Africa strategy and on the Ombudsman's activities in 2016. Parliament heard a formal address from Andrej Kiska, President of Slovakia, and finally, the 2017 LUX Prize was awarded at a ceremony held on Wednesday.

The European Ombudsman's activities in 2016

14-11-2017

In November 2017, the European Parliament is set to discuss and adopt a resolution on the European Ombudsman's activities in 2016, based on the Ombudsman's annual report presented on 16 May 2017. The report covers the activities of the Ombudsman in the areas of transparency in decision-making of EU institutions and bodies, and on the principle of good administration.

In November 2017, the European Parliament is set to discuss and adopt a resolution on the European Ombudsman's activities in 2016, based on the Ombudsman's annual report presented on 16 May 2017. The report covers the activities of the Ombudsman in the areas of transparency in decision-making of EU institutions and bodies, and on the principle of good administration.

Protection of whistle-blowers at EU level

23-10-2017

In October, the European Parliament is due to discuss on an own-initiative report on legitimate measures to protect whistle-blowers. Whistle-blowers have proved to be a crucial resource in revealing harm to the public interest. The report calls on the Commission to present a horizontal legislative proposal with a view to protecting whistle-blowers effectively in the EU.

In October, the European Parliament is due to discuss on an own-initiative report on legitimate measures to protect whistle-blowers. Whistle-blowers have proved to be a crucial resource in revealing harm to the public interest. The report calls on the Commission to present a horizontal legislative proposal with a view to protecting whistle-blowers effectively in the EU.

Европейски омбудсман

01-10-2017

Европейският омбудсман провежда проверки във връзка със случаи на лошо управление от страна на институциите, органите, службите и агенциите на Европейския съюз, като действа по собствена инициатива или въз основа на жалби от граждани на ЕС. Омбудсманът се избира от Европейския парламент за продължителността на парламентарния мандат.

Европейският омбудсман провежда проверки във връзка със случаи на лошо управление от страна на институциите, органите, службите и агенциите на Европейския съюз, като действа по собствена инициатива или въз основа на жалби от граждани на ЕС. Омбудсманът се избира от Европейския парламент за продължителността на парламентарния мандат.

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