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The powers of the European Parliament

04-11-2019

Since its inception in 1951, the European Parliament has come a long way. Initially a consultative body composed of delegations of national parliaments, it became a directly elected institution, obtained budgetary and legislative powers, and now exercises influence over most aspects of EU affairs. Together with representatives of national governments, who sit in the Council, Parliament co-decides on European legislation, in what could be seen as a bicameral legislature at EU level. It can reject ...

Since its inception in 1951, the European Parliament has come a long way. Initially a consultative body composed of delegations of national parliaments, it became a directly elected institution, obtained budgetary and legislative powers, and now exercises influence over most aspects of EU affairs. Together with representatives of national governments, who sit in the Council, Parliament co-decides on European legislation, in what could be seen as a bicameral legislature at EU level. It can reject or amend the European Commission's proposals before adopting them so that they become law. Together with the Council of the EU, it adopts the EU budget and controls its implementation. Another core set of European Parliament prerogatives concerns the scrutiny of the EU executive – mainly the Commission. Such scrutiny can take many forms, including parliamentary questions, committees of inquiry and special committees, and scrutiny of delegated and implementing acts. Parliament has made use of these instruments to varying degrees. Parliament has the power to dismiss the Commission (motion of censure), and it plays a significant role in the latter's appointment process. Parliament has a say over the very foundations of the EU. Its consent is required before any new country joins the EU, and before a withdrawal treaty is concluded if a country decides to leave it. Most international agreements entered into by the EU with third countries also require Parliament's consent. Parliament can initiate Treaty reform, and also the 'Article 7(1) TEU' procedure, aimed at determining whether there is a (risk of) serious breach of EU values by a Member State.

Hearings of the Commissioners-designate: Maroš Šefčovič – Vice-President: Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight

26-09-2019

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication ...

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication skills'. At the end of the hearings process, Parliament votes on the proposed Commission as a bloc, and under the Treaties may only reject the entire College of Commissioners, rather than individual candidates. The Briefing provides an overview of key issues in the portfolio areas, as well as Parliament's activity in the last term in that field. It also includes a brief introduction to the candidate.

How EU Treaties are changed

20-09-2019

The EU's founding Treaties have been revised by the Member States in numerous rounds of reforms. Such Treaty revision is a way to ensure that EU primary law evolves, adapts, and responds to new developments and changing needs. The last comprehensive Treaty reform dates back to the Lisbon Treaty, which entered into force on 1 December 2009. While another comprehensive Treaty change is not yet on the agenda, the recent debates on the 'Future of Europe' triggered a number of reform proposals, some of ...

The EU's founding Treaties have been revised by the Member States in numerous rounds of reforms. Such Treaty revision is a way to ensure that EU primary law evolves, adapts, and responds to new developments and changing needs. The last comprehensive Treaty reform dates back to the Lisbon Treaty, which entered into force on 1 December 2009. While another comprehensive Treaty change is not yet on the agenda, the recent debates on the 'Future of Europe' triggered a number of reform proposals, some of which would necessitate revision of the EU Treaties. Such revision is governed by Article 48 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), which provides for two main procedures: the ordinary and the simplified revision procedures. The former applies to the TEU, to the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) and to the Euratom Treaty; the latter only to part of the TFEU.

(Non-)replacement of Commissioners elected to EP

03-07-2019

Having been elected to the European Parliament, two current members of the College of Commissioners have resigned as Commissioners in order to take up their seats. As a general rule, a vacancy caused in this way needs to be filled by a new Commissioner of the same nationality – unless the Council unanimously decides otherwise. On 16 June 2019, given the short duration of the remainder of the current Commission’s mandate, the Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, proposed not to replace the departing ...

Having been elected to the European Parliament, two current members of the College of Commissioners have resigned as Commissioners in order to take up their seats. As a general rule, a vacancy caused in this way needs to be filled by a new Commissioner of the same nationality – unless the Council unanimously decides otherwise. On 16 June 2019, given the short duration of the remainder of the current Commission’s mandate, the Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, proposed not to replace the departing Commissioners.

Normas sobre los grupos políticos en el PE

05-06-2019

Los diputados al Parlamento Europeo (DalPE) pueden formar grupos políticos, que no se organizan por nacionalidades, sino por afinidades políticas. Desde las primeras elecciones directas de 1979, el número de grupos políticos ha oscilado entre siete y diez. Tras las elecciones de 2019, es probable que el número, el tamaño y la composición de los grupos políticos sigan fluctuando, como consecuencia de la posible disolución de algunos grupos políticos y la creación de otros nuevos. Para formar un grupo ...

Los diputados al Parlamento Europeo (DalPE) pueden formar grupos políticos, que no se organizan por nacionalidades, sino por afinidades políticas. Desde las primeras elecciones directas de 1979, el número de grupos políticos ha oscilado entre siete y diez. Tras las elecciones de 2019, es probable que el número, el tamaño y la composición de los grupos políticos sigan fluctuando, como consecuencia de la posible disolución de algunos grupos políticos y la creación de otros nuevos. Para formar un grupo político, se requiere un mínimo de 25 diputados, elegidos en al menos una cuarta parte (en la actualidad, siete) de los Estados miembros de la Unión. A los diputados que no pertenecen a ningún grupo político se les conoce como diputados no inscritos. Miembros de los grupos políticos Aunque los grupos políticos desempeñan un papel muy destacado en la vida del Parlamento, los diputados por separado o varios diputados actuando conjuntamente también tienen muchos derechos, por ejemplo en relación con el ejercicio de supervisión de otras instituciones de la Unión, como la Comisión. No obstante, la pertenencia a un grupo político reviste especial importancia en lo que respecta a la asignación de puestos clave en las estructuras políticas y organizativas del Parlamento, como las presidencias de las comisiones y delegaciones y las funciones de ponentes de expedientes importantes. Además, los grupos políticos reciben más fondos para su personal colectivo y sus actividades parlamentarias que los diputados no inscritos. La financiación de los grupos políticos, sin embargo, es distinta de la financiación concedida a los partidos políticos europeos y a las fundaciones políticas europeas, que, si cumplen los requisitos para registrarse como tales, puede solicitar financiación del Parlamento Europeo.

Adaptación a los artículos 290 y 291 del TFUE de los actos jurídicos

10-04-2019

Con la introducción de los actos delegados y de ejecución, el Tratado de Lisboa (2007) reformó el sistema por el que se confería a la Comisión la facultad de adoptar medidas no legislativas. Sin embargo, una determinada categoría de actos anteriores al Tratado de Lisboa, conocida como medidas relativas al «procedimiento de reglamentación con control», siguió sin estar adaptada al nuevo sistema. De acuerdo con las propuestas de la Comisión de diciembre de 2016, una serie de actos relativos al procedimiento ...

Con la introducción de los actos delegados y de ejecución, el Tratado de Lisboa (2007) reformó el sistema por el que se confería a la Comisión la facultad de adoptar medidas no legislativas. Sin embargo, una determinada categoría de actos anteriores al Tratado de Lisboa, conocida como medidas relativas al «procedimiento de reglamentación con control», siguió sin estar adaptada al nuevo sistema. De acuerdo con las propuestas de la Comisión de diciembre de 2016, una serie de actos relativos al procedimiento de reglamentación con control van a ser ahora adaptados al Tratado de Lisboa, mientras que otros quedan pendientes de negociación. Después de haber alcanzado un acuerdo con el Consejo en relación con 54 actos, se espera que el Parlamento someta a votación las propuestas durante el período parcial de sesiones de abril II.

Election of the President of the European Commission: Understanding the Spitzenkandidaten process

05-04-2019

The European Parliament has long sought to ensure that, by voting in European elections, European citizens not only elect the Parliament itself, but also have a say over who would head the EU executive – the European Commission. What became known as the 'Spitzenkandidaten process' is a procedure whereby European political parties, ahead of European elections, appoint lead candidates for the role of Commission President, with the presidency of the Commission then going to the candidate of the political ...

The European Parliament has long sought to ensure that, by voting in European elections, European citizens not only elect the Parliament itself, but also have a say over who would head the EU executive – the European Commission. What became known as the 'Spitzenkandidaten process' is a procedure whereby European political parties, ahead of European elections, appoint lead candidates for the role of Commission President, with the presidency of the Commission then going to the candidate of the political party capable of marshalling sufficient parliamentary support. The Parliament remains firmly committed to repeating the process in 2019 and, with EP elections now only weeks away, attention has shifted to the European political parties. A number of parties have nominated lead candidates, and this briefing gives an overview of their nominees, as well as looking more broadly at the process. This is a revised and further updated edition of an earlier briefing; previous edition from February 2019.

Revisión de la Iniciativa Ciudadana Europea

06-03-2019

La Iniciativa Ciudadana Europea (ICE) existe desde hace casi siete años y ahora las normas que rigen su funcionamiento son objeto de revisión. Tras las negociaciones interinstitucionales, el Parlamento y el Consejo alcanzaron un acuerdo provisional sobre la propuesta de la Comisión de revisión de la ICE. Ese acuerdo requiere ahora la aprobación formal de los colegisladores, y se prevé que el Parlamento Europeo someta a votación la propuesta en su período parcial de sesiones de marzo I.

La Iniciativa Ciudadana Europea (ICE) existe desde hace casi siete años y ahora las normas que rigen su funcionamiento son objeto de revisión. Tras las negociaciones interinstitucionales, el Parlamento y el Consejo alcanzaron un acuerdo provisional sobre la propuesta de la Comisión de revisión de la ICE. Ese acuerdo requiere ahora la aprobación formal de los colegisladores, y se prevé que el Parlamento Europeo someta a votación la propuesta en su período parcial de sesiones de marzo I.

Revising the European Citizens' Initiative

04-03-2019

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 now needs to be approved by the Parliament and Council. Third 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.

Revisión de la aplicación de disposiciones específicas de los Tratados

06-02-2019

El 22 de enero de 2019, la Comisión de Asuntos Constitucionales del Parlamento Europeo aprobó tres informes de propia iniciativa sobre la aplicación de disposiciones específicas de los Tratados relativas a la ciudadanía de la Unión, la cooperación reforzada y el control parlamentario sobre la Comisión Europea. Está previsto que el Parlamento debata estos informes durante el periodo parcial de sesiones de febrero.

El 22 de enero de 2019, la Comisión de Asuntos Constitucionales del Parlamento Europeo aprobó tres informes de propia iniciativa sobre la aplicación de disposiciones específicas de los Tratados relativas a la ciudadanía de la Unión, la cooperación reforzada y el control parlamentario sobre la Comisión Europea. Está previsto que el Parlamento debata estos informes durante el periodo parcial de sesiones de febrero.

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