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Parliamentary scrutiny of the European Commission: Implementation of Treaty provisions

09-07-2019

The European Parliament's application of scrutiny prerogatives of political oversight of the European Commission increases the democratic legitimacy of the European Union, and the transparency and accountability of the European executive. The update of the 2018 study examines the European Parliament's powers of scrutiny of the European Commission in the last two legislative terms. The cases examined pertain mainly to electoral and institutional issues, motions of censure, parliamentary questions, ...

The European Parliament's application of scrutiny prerogatives of political oversight of the European Commission increases the democratic legitimacy of the European Union, and the transparency and accountability of the European executive. The update of the 2018 study examines the European Parliament's powers of scrutiny of the European Commission in the last two legislative terms. The cases examined pertain mainly to electoral and institutional issues, motions of censure, parliamentary questions, inquiry committees and special parliamentary committees and reporting, consultation and provision of information. It also touches upon scrutiny in budgetary issues, scrutiny of delegated acts, scrutiny in the legislative procedure, legal proceedings and the EU's external relations.

Democratic accountability of Council's budget - Council executive powers

21-06-2017

This in-depth analysis introduces the challenges that have been faced in delivering a discharge of the Council’s budget over the last decade, with particular regard to the Council’s executive activities. It analyses the institutional and legal constraints, and it makes a number of recommendations for how to achieve more accountability regarding the Council’s budget and executive expenditure without resorting to treaty reform.

This in-depth analysis introduces the challenges that have been faced in delivering a discharge of the Council’s budget over the last decade, with particular regard to the Council’s executive activities. It analyses the institutional and legal constraints, and it makes a number of recommendations for how to achieve more accountability regarding the Council’s budget and executive expenditure without resorting to treaty reform.

Външен автор

CEPS: Dr Giacomo Benedetto (Jean Monnet Chair, Royal Holloway, University of London) ; Dr David Rinaldi (Research Fellow, CEPS & Maîtres de conférences, ULB 0Institute for European Studies) ; Dr Hartmut Aden (Professor, Berlin School of Economics and Law)

US Presidential executive action

31-03-2017

Since Donald Trump took office as President of the United States in January 2017, he has fulfilled several of his campaign promises by signing executive orders (EOs) and memoranda. These executive actions have raised questions, including what actions the President may legally and unilaterally take, for what purposes the President may use his executive authority, and what he can actually do without passing through Congress. Although the data are not comprehensive, as not all presidential actions have ...

Since Donald Trump took office as President of the United States in January 2017, he has fulfilled several of his campaign promises by signing executive orders (EOs) and memoranda. These executive actions have raised questions, including what actions the President may legally and unilaterally take, for what purposes the President may use his executive authority, and what he can actually do without passing through Congress. Although the data are not comprehensive, as not all presidential actions have to be published, a historical perspective may help to give insight into how US Presidents have used their executive authority. It appears that since George Washington, all Presidents have, to different extents, made use of their executive authority to advance their policy views and organise their administration. Unilateral Presidential policy-making has raised tensions, in particular with Congress, to which the US Constitution confers all legislative powers. President Barack Obama was heavily criticised by his opponents for advancing his policy goals without Congress and by signing executive orders (making policy with the 'stroke of a pen'). Despite a Republican majority in both houses of Congress, President Trump appears to be following the same pattern. He signed two executive orders on the day of his inauguration and other presidential actions have followed, including a presidential memorandum to withdraw the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). However, to date, the most controversial EO introduced temporary measures restricting entry to the country for refugees and citizens from seven countries defined as of 'particular concern' on national security grounds. The order led to massive protests in the US and across the world, was challenged in court, and was finally temporarily put on hold nationwide by a federal judge. On 6 March, President Trump signed a new EO revoking the contested one and introducing new measures, limiting immigration from six of the countries. But this EO too has run into legal hurdles.

How Congress and President shape US foreign policy

30-03-2017

The United States Constitution regulates the conduct of American foreign policy through a system of checks and balances. The Constitution provides both Congress and the President, as the legislative and executive branches respectively, with the legal authority to shape relations with foreign nations. It recognises that only the federal government is authorised to conduct foreign policy; that federal courts are competent in cases arising under treaties; and declares treaties the supreme law of the ...

The United States Constitution regulates the conduct of American foreign policy through a system of checks and balances. The Constitution provides both Congress and the President, as the legislative and executive branches respectively, with the legal authority to shape relations with foreign nations. It recognises that only the federal government is authorised to conduct foreign policy; that federal courts are competent in cases arising under treaties; and declares treaties the supreme law of the land. The Constitution also lists the powers of Congress, including the 'power of the purse' (namely the ability to tax and spend public money on behalf of the federal government), the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, the power to declare war and the authority to raise and support the army and navy. At the same time, the President is the Commander-in-Chief of the United States (US) army and navy and, although Congressional action is required to declare war, it is generally agreed that the President has the authority to respond to attacks against the US and to lead the armed forces. While the President’s powers are substantial, they are not without limits, due to the role played by the legislative branch. In light of the discussion of the foreign policy options of the new administration under President Donald Trump, this briefing specifically explores the powers conferred to conclude international agreements, to regulate commerce with foreign nations, to use military force and to declare war. It also explains how Congress performs its oversight – or ‘watchdog’ – functions with regard to foreign policy, the tools at its disposal, and the role of committees in the process.

Donald Trump's executive order on immigration

07-02-2017

On 27 January 2017, newly installed US President, Donald Trump, signed an executive order, which, amongst other things, suspended nearly all travellers from seven Muslim-majority states from entry to the United States. The executive order has led to protests in the country and has been challenged in court, while several international leaders have spoken out against it.

On 27 January 2017, newly installed US President, Donald Trump, signed an executive order, which, amongst other things, suspended nearly all travellers from seven Muslim-majority states from entry to the United States. The executive order has led to protests in the country and has been challenged in court, while several international leaders have spoken out against it.

The incoming US Congress's powers to overturn regulations of the previous administration

13-01-2017

During the election campaign, President-elect Donald Trump stated his intention to repeal or amend regulations issued by the Obama administration. Following the 2016 elections in the USA, as well as the White House the Republicans will hold the majority in both chambers of the 115th Congress. It is thus likely that the legislative branch will work closely with the executive to achieve common objectives. Congress can always introduce and pass legislation that modifies regulations made by agencies. ...

During the election campaign, President-elect Donald Trump stated his intention to repeal or amend regulations issued by the Obama administration. Following the 2016 elections in the USA, as well as the White House the Republicans will hold the majority in both chambers of the 115th Congress. It is thus likely that the legislative branch will work closely with the executive to achieve common objectives. Congress can always introduce and pass legislation that modifies regulations made by agencies. However, passing new legislation can be a cumbersome process, and there are tactics for the opposition to delay action, such as making points of order and tabling certain motions. As an alternative, under certain circumstances and within a specific timeframe, Congress could use an expedited procedure, laid down in the Congressional Review Act (CRA) of 1996, to overturn federal regulations passed in the closing months of the outgoing administration.

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