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Mutual recognition of goods

25-04-2019

The revision of the regulation on mutual recognition of goods was announced in the 2015 Single Market Strategy. The Commission adopted its proposal in December 2017, which aimed to revise previous rules dating from 2008. This regulation aims to improve the rules governing the trade of goods in the single market. Intra-EU trade remains twice as big as extra-EU trade, and is rising constantly. This is, in large part, due to free movement of goods in the EU, which is based on either harmonised product ...

The revision of the regulation on mutual recognition of goods was announced in the 2015 Single Market Strategy. The Commission adopted its proposal in December 2017, which aimed to revise previous rules dating from 2008. This regulation aims to improve the rules governing the trade of goods in the single market. Intra-EU trade remains twice as big as extra-EU trade, and is rising constantly. This is, in large part, due to free movement of goods in the EU, which is based on either harmonised product rules at the EU level or, where there are no harmonised rules, the principle of mutual recognition under which goods lawfully marketed in one Member State may be sold in another Member State. The proposal addressed a number of shortcomings in the application of the mutual recognition principle. A provisional agreement between the co-legislators was reached on 22 November 2018. The text was adopted in plenary in February 2019. The new rules will improve collaboration among national authoritites and enhance the role of national product contact points. They will introduce a faster problem-solving procedure for disputes between companies and national authorities, as well as a new voluntary declaration to be filled in by economic operators to prove lawful marketing in an EU Member State. The new rules will apply from 19 April 2020. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

The EU framework for enforcing the respect of the rule of law and the Union’s fundamental principles and values

25-01-2019

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, examines the EU founding values and principles set out in Article 2 TEU and the instruments at the EU’s disposal to uphold them, in particular Article 7 TEU and Article 258 TFEU, as well as the Rule of Law Framework launched by the European Commission. Focusing on rule of law, the study also examines how these instruments have been used, in ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, examines the EU founding values and principles set out in Article 2 TEU and the instruments at the EU’s disposal to uphold them, in particular Article 7 TEU and Article 258 TFEU, as well as the Rule of Law Framework launched by the European Commission. Focusing on rule of law, the study also examines how these instruments have been used, in particular in the cases of Poland and Hungary. The study also looks into the proposals put forward by the Parliament and the Commission and gives recommendations: it proposes, in particular, the signing of the European Convention on Human Rights by the EU as well as the introduction of economic conditionality into EU Cohesion Policy and its funds as a sanction mechanism.

Externí autor

Diego LÓPEZ GARRIDO, Antonio LÓPEZ CASTILLO

Action for damages against the EU

07-12-2018

Most legal systems, both of states and of international organisations, provide for the liability of public administrations for damage done to individuals. This area of the law, known as 'public tort law', varies considerably from country to country, even within the European Union (EU). The EU Treaties have, from the outset, provided for liability of the EU for public torts (wrongs), in the form of action for damages against the EU, now codified in the second and third paragraphs of Article 340 of ...

Most legal systems, both of states and of international organisations, provide for the liability of public administrations for damage done to individuals. This area of the law, known as 'public tort law', varies considerably from country to country, even within the European Union (EU). The EU Treaties have, from the outset, provided for liability of the EU for public torts (wrongs), in the form of action for damages against the EU, now codified in the second and third paragraphs of Article 340 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). However, these rules are notoriously vague and brief, and refer to the 'general principles common to the laws of the Member States' as the source for the rules of EU public tort law. Since the laws of the Member States on public torts differ significantly, the reference has been treated by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) as empowerment to develop EU public tort law in its own case law. The rules developed by the CJEU have been criticised by some academics as being very complex, non-transparent and unpredictable. Experts have also pointed out that the threshold of liability is set so high that actions for damages prove successful in very few cases only. According to the data available, from the establishment of the EU until 2014, the Court only actually granted compensation to applicants in 39 cases. As a result, some scholars have even pointed out that the principle of EU liability for public torts is 'illusory' and that action for damages is not an effective means of protecting fundamental rights. Other academics add that the question of establishing the principles of EU public tort law is not merely a technical issue, but a political one, as it touches upon fundamental questions of distributive justice and the form of government in the Union, and therefore should be the subject of democratic debate. This Briefing is one in a series aimed at explaining the activities of the CJEU.

Article 17 TFEU: The EU institutions’ dialogue with churches, religious and philosophical organisations

05-11-2018

On the basis of Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the European institutions hold high-level meetings, or working dialogue seminars, on an annual basis with churches and non-confessional and philosophical organisations. This dialogue, focused on issues upon the European agenda, can be traced back to earlier initiatives, such as that launched in 1994 by Jacques Delors – 'A Soul for Europe' – which opened the way to encompass ethical and spiritual aspects of European ...

On the basis of Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the European institutions hold high-level meetings, or working dialogue seminars, on an annual basis with churches and non-confessional and philosophical organisations. This dialogue, focused on issues upon the European agenda, can be traced back to earlier initiatives, such as that launched in 1994 by Jacques Delors – 'A Soul for Europe' – which opened the way to encompass ethical and spiritual aspects of European integration. The draft Constitutional Treaty of 2004 included provisions on regular, open and transparent dialogue between EU institutions, representatives of churches and religious communities, and of non-confessional or philosophical communities. Although the Constitutional Treaty was rejected in French and Dutch referenda, its successor, the Lisbon Treaty adopted in 2007 and in force since December 2009, preserved the same provisions in Article 17 TFEU. The European Parliament has adopted numerous resolutions in defence of the principles of freedom of religion and belief as well as religious pluralism and tolerance, and stressed the importance of constant dialogue among, and with, religious as well as non-confessional and philosophical communities. It has regularly organised dialogue sessions within the framework of Article 17 TFEU on subjects of interest for the EU and its citizens. This is a further updated version of a briefing published in January 2018.

The role of the European Council in internal security policy

11-10-2018

Due to the various terrorist attacks across the EU in recent years, internal security and the fight against terrorism have become major concerns for EU citizens as well as for the EU Heads of State or Government. The European Council has a significant Treaty-based role to play in the area of justice and home affairs, including on policy issues such as the fight against terrorism and organised crime, police cooperation and cybersecurity, often subsumed under the concept ‘internal security’. In recent ...

Due to the various terrorist attacks across the EU in recent years, internal security and the fight against terrorism have become major concerns for EU citizens as well as for the EU Heads of State or Government. The European Council has a significant Treaty-based role to play in the area of justice and home affairs, including on policy issues such as the fight against terrorism and organised crime, police cooperation and cybersecurity, often subsumed under the concept ‘internal security’. In recent years it has carried out this strategic role on various occasions but sometimes in a more reactive way often in the aftermath of major terrorist attacks. The paper also shows that while the policy fields of internal security and migration were usually clearly separated in European Council discussions, the two areas are now increasingly linked, in particular by the subject of external EU border protection. The Salzburg summit of 20 September 2018 is an example for this and also illustrates a recent trend of EU Presidencies to bring together EU Heads of State or Government in their country to discuss policy topics at the top of their own agendas.

Reform of the electoral law of the EU

27-06-2018

The European Parliament is expected to give its consent during its July session to a draft Council decision amending the Electoral Act of 1976 laying down common rules governing elections to the European Parliament. Among other things, the new rules will put in place a minimum threshold, of between 2 % and 5 %, for constituencies comprising more than 35 seats.

The European Parliament is expected to give its consent during its July session to a draft Council decision amending the Electoral Act of 1976 laying down common rules governing elections to the European Parliament. Among other things, the new rules will put in place a minimum threshold, of between 2 % and 5 %, for constituencies comprising more than 35 seats.

Data protection rules applicable to the European Parliament and to MEPs: Current regime and recent developments

20-06-2018

Data protection is a fundamental right enshrined in both primary and secondary EU law. More specifically, the main reference for data protection in Europe is the 2016 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is fully applicable since 25 May 2018. Moreover, specific data protection rules (currently Regulation 45/2001) apply to the EU institutions. The latter are under review, to adapt their principles and provisions to the GDPR. The processing of data relating to parliamentary activities is ...

Data protection is a fundamental right enshrined in both primary and secondary EU law. More specifically, the main reference for data protection in Europe is the 2016 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is fully applicable since 25 May 2018. Moreover, specific data protection rules (currently Regulation 45/2001) apply to the EU institutions. The latter are under review, to adapt their principles and provisions to the GDPR. The processing of data relating to parliamentary activities is therefore covered by these specific rules, as is personal data relating to, or processed by, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). This Briefing provides an overview of the main provisions applicable to parliamentary activities and in particular to MEPs, taking account of the fact that the process of reforming the current rules has not been formally concluded (even if a political agreement has been reached between the co legislators). An update of this Briefing will be published in due course.

Permanent structured cooperation (PESCO): Beyond establishment

09-03-2018

In its 2016 Global Strategy, the European Union (EU) set a new level of ambition in security and defence. Closer defence cooperation among EU Member States is now at the top of the agenda. The aim is to make European defence spending more efficient, and work towards a strategically autonomous European defence union (EDU). The launch of permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) in December 2017 is seen as a crucial step in that direction. On 13 November 2017, 23 EU Member States signed a joint notification ...

In its 2016 Global Strategy, the European Union (EU) set a new level of ambition in security and defence. Closer defence cooperation among EU Member States is now at the top of the agenda. The aim is to make European defence spending more efficient, and work towards a strategically autonomous European defence union (EDU). The launch of permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) in December 2017 is seen as a crucial step in that direction. On 13 November 2017, 23 EU Member States signed a joint notification addressed to the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) and to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission (HR/VP) on their intention to participate in PESCO. On 11 December 2017, 25 Member States agreed to 'ambitious and more binding common commitments' and issued an initial list of 17 PESCO defence projects to fill the EU's strategic capability gaps and ensure the cross-border availability, deployability and interoperability of forces. On 6 March 2018, the Council – meeting for the first time ever in 'PESCO' format – formally adopted the list of projects to be developed. This new impetus given to EU defence has been accompanied by widespread support on the part of high-level EU representatives, and is also broadly backed by the European public. Nonetheless the 'renaissance' of EU defence policy came fairly unexpectedly. Several challenges remain, including boosting investment, overcoming fragmentation and accommodating national defence priorities while coordinating national defence capabilities.

International Agreements - A Rolling Check-List

09-03-2018

This rolling check-list offers an implementation monitoring tool that allows for a systematic overview of the review and monitoring clauses, sunset clauses and also management and implementation clauses that are included in international agreements concluded between the EU and third countries. It is produced by the Ex-Post Evaluation Unit of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Parliament's in-house research service and think-tank, as part of its work on the evaluation ...

This rolling check-list offers an implementation monitoring tool that allows for a systematic overview of the review and monitoring clauses, sunset clauses and also management and implementation clauses that are included in international agreements concluded between the EU and third countries. It is produced by the Ex-Post Evaluation Unit of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Parliament's in-house research service and think-tank, as part of its work on the evaluation of the EU policy cycle.

Free movement of goods within the EU single market

19-01-2018

The free movement of goods is one of the four fundamental freedoms of the EU – together with services, capital and people – and a cornerstone of the single market. The rationale of an open market throughout the EU has always been to assist economic growth and competitiveness and therefore promote employment and prosperity. Legislation on the single market for goods (based mainly on Article 28 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, TFEU) aims at ensuring that products placed on the ...

The free movement of goods is one of the four fundamental freedoms of the EU – together with services, capital and people – and a cornerstone of the single market. The rationale of an open market throughout the EU has always been to assist economic growth and competitiveness and therefore promote employment and prosperity. Legislation on the single market for goods (based mainly on Article 28 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, TFEU) aims at ensuring that products placed on the EU market conform to high health, safety and environmental requirements. Once a product is sold legally in the EU, it should circulate without barriers to trade, with a minimum of administrative burden

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