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States of emergency in response to the coronavirus crisis: Situation in certain Member States

04-05-2020

With the first case of unknown pneumonia reported in the province of Wuhan (People's Republic of China) on 31 December 2019, within few weeks the coronavirus (Covid-19) was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on 30 January 2020. Since then it has spread to most corners of the globe. While the health threat it poses and the challenge it represents for human health is paramount, no less important is the strain it puts on the legal order. For most of the affected countries, in particular ...

With the first case of unknown pneumonia reported in the province of Wuhan (People's Republic of China) on 31 December 2019, within few weeks the coronavirus (Covid-19) was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on 30 January 2020. Since then it has spread to most corners of the globe. While the health threat it poses and the challenge it represents for human health is paramount, no less important is the strain it puts on the legal order. For most of the affected countries, in particular in the EU, this outbreak is posing unprecedented institutional challenges and has obliged institutions and governments to adopt strict measures affecting citizens' rights in a way unparalleled since the Second World War. While some Member States' constitutions include mechanisms allowing for recourse to a 'state of emergency' or the entrustment of special powers to specific institutions, other Member States' legal orders do not, either for historic reasons or owing to institutional tradition. Crucial aspects of the exercise of public powers under a pandemic threat include not only the extent of the measures adopted, but also their legitimacy, raising the question of their duration and of the degree of parliamentary oversight. This briefing is the first in a series intended to offer a comparative overview of the institutional responses adopted in different Member States, in the light of i) the constitutional framework for the state of emergency or legitimation of the emergency legislation ii) the specific measures adopted, iii) the extent of the parliamentary oversight exercised over the measures adopted. This first briefing, therefore, offers an overview of the responses to the coronavirus pandemic in Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Spain.

Parliaments in emergency mode: How Member States' parliaments are continuing with business during the pandemic

24-04-2020

The coronavirus pandemic has been accompanied by a huge array of public measures aiming to protect against and mitigate the consequences of the virus. While citizens have had to adjust to weeks of lockdown in their homes as a consequence of the emergency measures adopted by Member States, public institutions have been forced to move quickly to adapt their ways of working to a new and unprecedented scenario. These changes are particularly challenging for parliamentary institutions, as their functioning ...

The coronavirus pandemic has been accompanied by a huge array of public measures aiming to protect against and mitigate the consequences of the virus. While citizens have had to adjust to weeks of lockdown in their homes as a consequence of the emergency measures adopted by Member States, public institutions have been forced to move quickly to adapt their ways of working to a new and unprecedented scenario. These changes are particularly challenging for parliamentary institutions, as their functioning is based on the principles of pluralism, deliberation and transparency. How can decisions be adopted on the basis of those principles if many members cannot attend parliamentary sessions owing either to the restrictions on freedom of movement and bans on public gatherings in virtually all Member States, or to personal health concerns? National parliaments in the EU have adopted a variety of approaches to address this challenge. Some have gone entirely digital, using remote technology to ensure all members can take part in parliamentary work, including voting. Others have opted to adopt parliamentary decisions with a reduced number of members while ensuring the balance of power between their different political groups. Some others, finally, have decided to adopt social distancing measures, allowing members to continue with their parliamentary activities from different rooms of the parliament premises or from another location entirely. Given the particular difficulties in travelling between Member States, the European Parliament opted for the first solution, holding its first ever digital plenary session, in which Members voted remotely using a new electronic voting procedure, on 26 March 2020.

Guardia di frontiera e costiera europea: sistema relativo ai documenti falsi e autentici online (FADO)

05-02-2020

Nel 2018 la Commissione ha adottato una proposta di nuovo regolamento relativo alla guardia di frontiera e costiera europea (EBCG). Uno dei numerosi obiettivi della proposta riguardava l'integrazione del sistema relativo ai documenti falsi e autentici online (FADO) nel quadro dell'EBCG. I colegislatori hanno già adottato il nuovo regolamento sull'EBCG, ma hanno deciso di adottare un atto giuridico distinto per istituire il quadro giuridico del sistema FADO. Il Parlamento dovrebbe votare sull'accordo ...

Nel 2018 la Commissione ha adottato una proposta di nuovo regolamento relativo alla guardia di frontiera e costiera europea (EBCG). Uno dei numerosi obiettivi della proposta riguardava l'integrazione del sistema relativo ai documenti falsi e autentici online (FADO) nel quadro dell'EBCG. I colegislatori hanno già adottato il nuovo regolamento sull'EBCG, ma hanno deciso di adottare un atto giuridico distinto per istituire il quadro giuridico del sistema FADO. Il Parlamento dovrebbe votare sull'accordo negoziato con il Consiglio durante la tornata di febbraio.

Vote of investiture for the Commission

22-11-2019

On 27 November 2019, the European Parliament is expected to vote on the von der Leyen Commission as a whole. This would be one of the final steps in an investiture process that started in May 2019, following the European elections. If the Commission obtains Parliament's consent – by a majority of the votes cast by roll call – the European Council will then appoint its members by qualified majority, finally allowing the new Commission to take up its duties, expected to be on 1 December 2019.

On 27 November 2019, the European Parliament is expected to vote on the von der Leyen Commission as a whole. This would be one of the final steps in an investiture process that started in May 2019, following the European elections. If the Commission obtains Parliament's consent – by a majority of the votes cast by roll call – the European Council will then appoint its members by qualified majority, finally allowing the new Commission to take up its duties, expected to be on 1 December 2019.

Hearings of the Commissioners-designate: Věra Jourová – Vice-President: Values and Transparency

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.

Audizioni parlamentari dei Commissari designati: Una fase decisiva della procedura di investitura

23-09-2019

Le audizioni dei Commissari designati dinanzi alle commissioni del Parlamento europeo sono un passaggio necessario per consentire al Parlamento di decidere se approvare o respingere il Collegio di Commissari proposto. Ciascun Commissario designato deve essere ascoltato in un'audizione dedicata, cui partecipano una o più commissioni parlamentari, dopo aver risposto a un questionario scritto e presentato la propria dichiarazione di interessi. Nelle precedenti audizioni, le principali critiche espresse ...

Le audizioni dei Commissari designati dinanzi alle commissioni del Parlamento europeo sono un passaggio necessario per consentire al Parlamento di decidere se approvare o respingere il Collegio di Commissari proposto. Ciascun Commissario designato deve essere ascoltato in un'audizione dedicata, cui partecipano una o più commissioni parlamentari, dopo aver risposto a un questionario scritto e presentato la propria dichiarazione di interessi. Nelle precedenti audizioni, le principali critiche espresse sono state la mancanza di conoscenze specialistiche da parte dei candidati riguardo al portafoglio, la vaghezza delle risposte e la riluttanza ad assumere impegni, l'esistenza di possibili conflitti di interesse in relazione al portafoglio assegnato e le preoccupazioni in merito all'integrità del candidato. Dall'investitura del 2004 in poi, il Parlamento europeo si è avvalso del proprio ruolo nella nomina della Commissione per esercitare pressioni finalizzate alla sostituzione di alcuni candidati controversi e all'adeguamento di determinati portafogli, sebbene il Parlamento abbia soltanto la facoltà di rifiutare o accettare il Collegio nel suo insieme. Mentre alcuni esperti mettono in guardia rispetto all'eccessiva politicizzazione delle audizioni, altri accolgono con favore l'accresciuta responsabilità della Commissione nei confronti del Parlamento e vedono il rafforzamento del legame politico tra le due istituzioni come un ulteriore passo verso una maggiore democratizzazione del processo decisionale dell'UE. Le audizioni sono diventate fondamentali in vista dell'obbligo della Commissione di rendere conto al Parlamento e stanno acquisendo importanza come strumento che consente al Parlamento di svolgere un ruolo più incisivo nella definizione dell'agenda a livello dell'UE. La presente è una versione ulteriormente aggiornata e ampliata di un briefing del 2014 di Eva-Maria Poptcheva.

Recasting the Return Directive

14-06-2019

The Return Directive is the main piece of EU legislation governing the procedures and criteria to be applied by Member States when returning irregularly staying third-country nationals, and a cornerstone of the EU return policy. Taking into account the decrease in the EU return rate (45.8 % in 2016 and 36.6 % in 2017), and following European Council and Council calls to review the 2008 legal text to enhance the effectiveness of the EU return policy, in September 2018, the Commission proposed a targeted ...

The Return Directive is the main piece of EU legislation governing the procedures and criteria to be applied by Member States when returning irregularly staying third-country nationals, and a cornerstone of the EU return policy. Taking into account the decrease in the EU return rate (45.8 % in 2016 and 36.6 % in 2017), and following European Council and Council calls to review the 2008 legal text to enhance the effectiveness of the EU return policy, in September 2018, the Commission proposed a targeted recast of the directive aiming to 'reduce the length of return procedures, secure a better link between asylum and return procedures and ensure a more effective use of measures to prevent absconding'. In the 2014-2019 parliamentary term, the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee discussed some 654 amendments to the proposal, tabled in February 2019 following the publication of the rapporteur's draft report. However, since the committee did not adopt a report at that time, the new Parliament will have to decide how to approach the file (with a new rapporteur). In the meantime, the Council has reached a partial general approach on the proposal. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Guardia di frontiera e costiera europea

10-04-2019

Il Parlamento europeo e il Consiglio hanno raggiunto un accordo provvisorio per l'adozione di un nuovo regolamento sulla guardia costiera e di frontiera europea (EBCG). Il testo mira a rafforzare la protezione delle frontiere esterne dell'UE, sulla base dei precedenti sforzi delle istituzioni dell'UE volti sviluppare un sistema europeo di gestione integrata delle frontiere (EUIBM). Il voto del Parlamento sulla proposta è previsto per la tornata di aprile II.

Il Parlamento europeo e il Consiglio hanno raggiunto un accordo provvisorio per l'adozione di un nuovo regolamento sulla guardia costiera e di frontiera europea (EBCG). Il testo mira a rafforzare la protezione delle frontiere esterne dell'UE, sulla base dei precedenti sforzi delle istituzioni dell'UE volti sviluppare un sistema europeo di gestione integrata delle frontiere (EUIBM). Il voto del Parlamento sulla proposta è previsto per la tornata di aprile II.

Data on returns of irregular migrants

05-04-2019

The Return Directive is the main piece of EU legislation applied to return procedures. Under this directive, Member States shall generally issue a return decision (an administrative or judicial decision imposing and obligation to leave the territory of Member States) against every third-country national (TCN) found to be irregularly present in their territory. A proposal to recast the EU Return Directive is currently being discussed within the European Parliament and the Council. This infographic ...

The Return Directive is the main piece of EU legislation applied to return procedures. Under this directive, Member States shall generally issue a return decision (an administrative or judicial decision imposing and obligation to leave the territory of Member States) against every third-country national (TCN) found to be irregularly present in their territory. A proposal to recast the EU Return Directive is currently being discussed within the European Parliament and the Council. This infographic aims to provide relevant data on the EU return policy.

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