53

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Date

Protecting the EU budget against generalised rule of law deficiencies

25-06-2020

When preparing the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework, the European Commission proposed to strengthen the link between EU funding and respect for the rule of law. To this end, on 3 May 2018, the Commission presented a proposal for a regulation that would introduce a general rule of law conditionality into the EU's financial rules. Any Member State where a generalised rule of law deficiency is found could be subject to the suspension of payments and commitments, reduced funding and a prohibition ...

When preparing the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework, the European Commission proposed to strengthen the link between EU funding and respect for the rule of law. To this end, on 3 May 2018, the Commission presented a proposal for a regulation that would introduce a general rule of law conditionality into the EU's financial rules. Any Member State where a generalised rule of law deficiency is found could be subject to the suspension of payments and commitments, reduced funding and a prohibition on concluding new commitments. On 13 November 2019, the decision of the European Parliament's Budget and Budgetary Control Committees to enter interinstitutional negotiations on the proposal was announced in plenary. Negotiations will be based on Parliament's first-reading position adopted in plenary in April 2019. Parliament's main amendments are concerned with the definition of generalised deficiencies, procedural issues (the panel of independent experts and the need to put Parliament on an equal footing with Council), and with the protection of end beneficiaries of EU funding. The rule of law conditionality has become an important element of the negotiations on the legislative package for the 2021-2027 MFF and the Recovery Instrument for the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Revising the European Citizens' Initiative

10-06-2019

The ECI enables European citizens to invite the Commission to table a proposal for a legal act. The detailed rules for such initiatives are laid down in a 2011 regulation, whose main stated aim is encouraging citizens' participation in the political life of the European Union (EU). However, since the regulation became applicable in April 2012, numerous actors have raised concerns regarding the instrument's functioning and have called for reform, aiming to simplify the existing procedures and increasing ...

The ECI enables European citizens to invite the Commission to table a proposal for a legal act. The detailed rules for such initiatives are laid down in a 2011 regulation, whose main stated aim is encouraging citizens' participation in the political life of the European Union (EU). However, since the regulation became applicable in April 2012, numerous actors have raised concerns regarding the instrument's functioning and have called for reform, aiming to simplify the existing procedures and increasing the tool's usability. On 13 September 2017, the Commission presented a legislative proposal which would update the tool and replace the existing regulation on the European Citizens' Initiative. Following interinstitutional negotiations between September and December 2018, the co-legislators reached provisional agreement on the proposal for revision of the ECI. The agreed text was approved by the Parliament and Council in March 2019 and published in the OJ in May 2019. The new provisions apply in full from 1 January 2020. Fourth edition of a briefing originally drafted by Laura Tilindyte. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Unlocking the potential of the EU Treaties: An article-by-article analysis of the scope for action

07-01-2019

Public opinion often expresses the view that the European Union should do more to improve the lives of citizens in various policy areas, but a lack of convergence among Member States on the desired changes, not to mention likely hurdles in the ratification process, as well as other factors make any significant reform of the EU Treaties unlikely in the near term. This study identifies and analyses 34 policy areas where there may be the potential to do more under the existing legal bases provided by ...

Public opinion often expresses the view that the European Union should do more to improve the lives of citizens in various policy areas, but a lack of convergence among Member States on the desired changes, not to mention likely hurdles in the ratification process, as well as other factors make any significant reform of the EU Treaties unlikely in the near term. This study identifies and analyses 34 policy areas where there may be the potential to do more under the existing legal bases provided by the Treaties without recourse to any amendment or updating of those texts. It looks at currently unused or under-used legal bases in the Treaties with a view to their contributing more effectively to the EU policy process.

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

External author

EPRS, DG

Shaping European Union: The European Parliament and Institutional Reform, 1979-1989

13-11-2018

Based on a large range of newly accessible archival sources, this study explores the European Parliament’s policies on the institutional reform of the European Communities between 1979 and 1989. It demonstrates how the Parliament fulfilled key functions in the process of constitutionalisation of the present-day European Union. These functions included defining a set of criteria for effective and democratic governance, developing legal concepts such as subsidiarity, and pressurising the Member States ...

Based on a large range of newly accessible archival sources, this study explores the European Parliament’s policies on the institutional reform of the European Communities between 1979 and 1989. It demonstrates how the Parliament fulfilled key functions in the process of constitutionalisation of the present-day European Union. These functions included defining a set of criteria for effective and democratic governance, developing legal concepts such as subsidiarity, and pressurising the Member States into accepting greater institutional deepening and more powers for the Parliament in the Single European Act and the Maastricht Treaty.

External author

This study has been written by Professor Dr Wolfram Kaiser of the University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom, at the request of the Historical Archives Unit of the DIrectorate for the Library within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) of the Secretariat of the European Parliament.

European political parties and political foundations – Statute and funding

07-09-2018

On 13 September 2017, the European Commission adopted a proposal to amend the rules on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations. The proposal aimed to revise the existing, 2014, regulation ahead of the 2019 European elections, to address specific loopholes. The limited number of proposed amendments focus on providing more transparency, improving democratic legitimacy and strengthening enforcement. However, a more thorough revision will be considered ...

On 13 September 2017, the European Commission adopted a proposal to amend the rules on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations. The proposal aimed to revise the existing, 2014, regulation ahead of the 2019 European elections, to address specific loopholes. The limited number of proposed amendments focus on providing more transparency, improving democratic legitimacy and strengthening enforcement. However, a more thorough revision will be considered at a later date. Stakeholders shared the view that the 2014 regulation needs revising in advance of the 2019 European elections. Furthermore, the proposal came as a direct response to the European Parliament resolution of 15 June 2017, which called for the revision of the current legislation. Following agreement in trilogue in March 2018, the new regulation entered into force on 4 May 2018. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

The European Council in 2017: Overview of decisions and discussions

29-06-2018

The year 2017 was good for the EU, politically and economically. For the first time in almost a decade, the EU was not beset by crises, although Brexit posed a difficult challenge. The European Council met the Brexit challenge by approving guidelines for the negotiations in April, and agreeing to move to a new stage in December, while convening in a new format: Article 50 (TEU) meetings of the EU-27. The European Council launched another new formal in 2017: Leaders’ Meetings, held under the auspices ...

The year 2017 was good for the EU, politically and economically. For the first time in almost a decade, the EU was not beset by crises, although Brexit posed a difficult challenge. The European Council met the Brexit challenge by approving guidelines for the negotiations in April, and agreeing to move to a new stage in December, while convening in a new format: Article 50 (TEU) meetings of the EU-27. The European Council launched another new formal in 2017: Leaders’ Meetings, held under the auspices of the Leader’ Agenda, to discuss challenging issues such as migration and EMU reform. By the end of the year, the European Council could look back at an eventful but largely successful twelve months.

EU framework programmes for research and innovation: Evolution and key data from FP1 to Horizon 2020 in view of FP9

20-09-2017

The framework programme for research was originally set up in the 1980s to streamline the adoption of Community research programmes. With the subsequent iterations of the process and Treaty modifications, the framework programme became a financial and strategic tool to support and implement EU research and innovation policies. As the scope of the framework programme widened and with the multiplication of the type of instruments used to implement it, the framework programme progressively supported ...

The framework programme for research was originally set up in the 1980s to streamline the adoption of Community research programmes. With the subsequent iterations of the process and Treaty modifications, the framework programme became a financial and strategic tool to support and implement EU research and innovation policies. As the scope of the framework programme widened and with the multiplication of the type of instruments used to implement it, the framework programme progressively supported all activities of the innovation process, research being just one of them. As the discussions on the structure and content of FP9 are expected to begin in autumn 2017, this paper reflects on the evolution of the framework programme since its origin and points out key issues that will be debated in the coming years among the European institutions, the Member States and stakeholders regarding the structure of the framework programme, its objectives and its implementation.

Brexit negotiations - Progress to date

15-09-2017

Since their official launch in June 2017, three rounds of negotiations on the United Kingdom's (UK) withdrawal from the European Union (EU) have been held. So far, the EU and UK have discussed the priority issues of citizens' rights, the financial settlement and the Irish border, but disagreements and ambiguities persist. After the third round, 'no decisive progress' was reached, according to Michel Barnier, the EU chief negotiator, which is likely to impede any advance to the second phase of talks ...

Since their official launch in June 2017, three rounds of negotiations on the United Kingdom's (UK) withdrawal from the European Union (EU) have been held. So far, the EU and UK have discussed the priority issues of citizens' rights, the financial settlement and the Irish border, but disagreements and ambiguities persist. After the third round, 'no decisive progress' was reached, according to Michel Barnier, the EU chief negotiator, which is likely to impede any advance to the second phase of talks in October, on transitional arrangements and the future EU-UK partnership, including trade relations.

How the EU budget is spent: Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation

14-07-2017

The EU's Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation (INSC) was created to help promote a high level of nuclear safety, radiation protection, and safeguards for nuclear material outside the EU. It does this by funding peer support for, and technical assistance to, third countries that are managing or in the process of developing nuclear power. EU cooperation in the field of nuclear energy dates back to the EU's post-war beginnings, but financial assistance to non-EU countries only began in the 1990s ...

The EU's Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation (INSC) was created to help promote a high level of nuclear safety, radiation protection, and safeguards for nuclear material outside the EU. It does this by funding peer support for, and technical assistance to, third countries that are managing or in the process of developing nuclear power. EU cooperation in the field of nuclear energy dates back to the EU's post-war beginnings, but financial assistance to non-EU countries only began in the 1990s, with the TACIS programme to help the countries that emerged from the former Soviet Union to manage their nuclear legacy.

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