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Charles Michel as President of the European Council: The first 100+ days

30-03-2020

On 1 December 2019, Charles Michel, previously prime minister of Belgium, became the third President of the European Council. He began his term in dynamic mode, aiming to make his mark in foreign affairs and develop the EU's interinstitutional relations. While pursuing his predecessors' efforts to secure unity between EU leaders, Michel has applied his own style, visible notably in his discourse, social media presence and transparency efforts. An analysis of the President's Twitter activities shows ...

On 1 December 2019, Charles Michel, previously prime minister of Belgium, became the third President of the European Council. He began his term in dynamic mode, aiming to make his mark in foreign affairs and develop the EU's interinstitutional relations. While pursuing his predecessors' efforts to secure unity between EU leaders, Michel has applied his own style, visible notably in his discourse, social media presence and transparency efforts. An analysis of the President's Twitter activities shows his strong focus on EU-Africa relations, climate and, most recently, COVID-19.

Outcome of European Council video-conference of 26 March 2020

30-03-2020

On 26 March, EU Heads of State or Government continued their joint coordination efforts to address the COVID-19 outbreak and held a six hour long video conference on this subject, but failed to agree on the adequate financing instruments to help countries in fiscal difficulty due to the crisis, The President of the European Parliament President, David Sassoli, strongly criticised the results of the European Council and ‘the short-sightedness and selfishness of some governments’.EU leaders asked the ...

On 26 March, EU Heads of State or Government continued their joint coordination efforts to address the COVID-19 outbreak and held a six hour long video conference on this subject, but failed to agree on the adequate financing instruments to help countries in fiscal difficulty due to the crisis, The President of the European Parliament President, David Sassoli, strongly criticised the results of the European Council and ‘the short-sightedness and selfishness of some governments’.EU leaders asked the President of the Commission and the President of the European Council to start working on a Roadmap accompanied by an Action Plan to prepare an exit strategy and a comprehensive recovery plan, including unprecedented investment.

Current membership of the European Council

25-03-2020

The European Council consists of the 27 Heads of State or Government of the EU Member States, who are voting members, together with the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, who have no vote (Article 15(2) TEU). The chart shows the current members, the national office they hold and their political affiliation, as well as the year their membership of the institution began. This publication is updated periodically to reflect changes in the European Council's ...

The European Council consists of the 27 Heads of State or Government of the EU Member States, who are voting members, together with the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, who have no vote (Article 15(2) TEU). The chart shows the current members, the national office they hold and their political affiliation, as well as the year their membership of the institution began. This publication is updated periodically to reflect changes in the European Council's membership.

Outcome of the video-conference call of EU Heads of State or Government on 17 March 2020

23-03-2020

On 17 March, the members of the European Council held a video-conference concerning the measures taken to fight the COVID-19 outbreak. European leaders felt the need for a coordinated approach, as individual They followed up on the four lines of action to contain the spread of the disease agreed at their video-meeting on 10 March, and discussed more in depth the EU’s external and internal border management.

On 17 March, the members of the European Council held a video-conference concerning the measures taken to fight the COVID-19 outbreak. European leaders felt the need for a coordinated approach, as individual They followed up on the four lines of action to contain the spread of the disease agreed at their video-meeting on 10 March, and discussed more in depth the EU’s external and internal border management.

Outcome of the special European Council, 20-21 February 2020

24-02-2020

On 20-21 February 2020, EU Heads of State or Government held their first meeting specially dedicated to the 2021-27 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) since the publication of the European Commission’s proposal in May 2018. Despite intense preparations and discussions, lasting over two days, EU leaders failed to overcome their differences and to find an agreement. At the end of the meeting, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, declared that ‘we need more time’. When, and under ...

On 20-21 February 2020, EU Heads of State or Government held their first meeting specially dedicated to the 2021-27 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) since the publication of the European Commission’s proposal in May 2018. Despite intense preparations and discussions, lasting over two days, EU leaders failed to overcome their differences and to find an agreement. At the end of the meeting, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, declared that ‘we need more time’. When, and under which conditions, the European Council will reconvene for another attempt to finding an agreement has not decided thus far.

The European Council and the 2021-27 Multiannual Financial Framework

17-02-2020

EU Heads of State or Government will meet on 20 February 2020 for a special European Council to discuss the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). Both the Sibiu declaration by EU Heads of State or Government and the Strategic Agenda 2019-2014 state that ‘the EU must give itself the means to match its ambitions, attain its objectives and carry through its policies’. Following a first informal discussion in February 2018, the European Council regularly touched upon the MFF negotiations at ...

EU Heads of State or Government will meet on 20 February 2020 for a special European Council to discuss the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). Both the Sibiu declaration by EU Heads of State or Government and the Strategic Agenda 2019-2014 state that ‘the EU must give itself the means to match its ambitions, attain its objectives and carry through its policies’. Following a first informal discussion in February 2018, the European Council regularly touched upon the MFF negotiations at its meetings over the last two years. However, until now, the EU Heads of State or Government did so without really attempting to reach an agreement.

Outcome of the meetings of EU leaders, 12-13 December 2019

17-12-2019

At the first European Council meeting chaired by the new President, Charles Michel, the main issues on the agenda were climate change, the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), and the proposed Conference on the Future of Europe. Regarding climate change, the European Council announced an agreement on the objective of achieving a climate-neutral EU by 2050, despite the refusal of one Member State to commit to implementing this objective at this stage. On the MFF, the European Council did not ...

At the first European Council meeting chaired by the new President, Charles Michel, the main issues on the agenda were climate change, the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), and the proposed Conference on the Future of Europe. Regarding climate change, the European Council announced an agreement on the objective of achieving a climate-neutral EU by 2050, despite the refusal of one Member State to commit to implementing this objective at this stage. On the MFF, the European Council did not reach agreement, but mandated its President to take the negotiations forward. The European Council also considered the idea of a Conference on the Future of Europe, and tasked the in-coming Croatian Council presidency to work towards defining a Council position on the matter, and on that basis, to engage with the European Parliament and the Commission. EU leaders also discussed a wide range of international issues, including relations with Turkey and Russia.

Outlook for the meetings of EU leaders on 12-13 December 2019

09-12-2019

The main issues on the agenda of the European Council are climate change and the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). EU leaders will also address the idea of a Conference on the Future of Europe, with the aim of developing a joint position of Member States on the initiative. In addition, the European Council (Article 50) meeting is expected to discuss the result of the general election in the UK (taking place on 12 December) and the likely consequences for the Brexit process, as well as preparations ...

The main issues on the agenda of the European Council are climate change and the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). EU leaders will also address the idea of a Conference on the Future of Europe, with the aim of developing a joint position of Member States on the initiative. In addition, the European Council (Article 50) meeting is expected to discuss the result of the general election in the UK (taking place on 12 December) and the likely consequences for the Brexit process, as well as preparations for the negotiations on future EU-UK relations. Finally, the Euro Summit will concentrate on the revision of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Treaty, the budgetary instrument for convergence and competitiveness (BICC), and technical work on the strengthening of the banking union.

The European Council under the Lisbon Treaty: How has the institution evolved since 2009?

04-12-2019

On 1 December 2009, with the coming into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Council became a formal EU institution. Ten years later, the European Council is seen by many as representing the centre of gravity of the EU's institutional framework. However, was this development purely the result of the changes to the Treaties made with Lisbon or did it happen naturally over time? This study analyses both the formal changes brought about by the Lisbon Treaty and the incremental evolution resulting ...

On 1 December 2009, with the coming into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Council became a formal EU institution. Ten years later, the European Council is seen by many as representing the centre of gravity of the EU's institutional framework. However, was this development purely the result of the changes to the Treaties made with Lisbon or did it happen naturally over time? This study analyses both the formal changes brought about by the Lisbon Treaty and the incremental evolution resulting from the institution's day-to-day practice, including the European Council's behaviour during the various crises of the last decade. It outlines the responsibilities envisaged for the European Council in the Treaty and the informal roles it has taken on over time. It explores the extent to which the Lisbon Treaty changed the functioning of the European Council, and how EU leaders themselves tried to optimise the working methods of their institution. Special attention is to the new position of full-time European Council President and the way in which the first two incumbents have interpreted their office. The analysis concludes that, while the EU’s various crises strongly contributed to the rise of the European Council, the Lisbon Treaty united two previously separate dimensions – the political and the legal, formally adding new competences to the role already performed by the EU Heads of State or Government. Many of these competences have yet to be fully exploited and represent a rich seam of unused Treaty potential for the future.

Outcome of the European Council of 17-18 October 2019

22-10-2019

After endorsing the revised UK withdrawal agreement, and approving a revised political declaration, in the European Council (Article 50) format, EU Heads of State or Government had to tackle a range of divisive issues at their 17-18 October meeting, including the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework, enlargement, climate change and Turkey. EU leaders were not able to find common ground on key elements of the MFF, nor to reach consensus on the opening of accession negotiations with Albania and ...

After endorsing the revised UK withdrawal agreement, and approving a revised political declaration, in the European Council (Article 50) format, EU Heads of State or Government had to tackle a range of divisive issues at their 17-18 October meeting, including the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework, enlargement, climate change and Turkey. EU leaders were not able to find common ground on key elements of the MFF, nor to reach consensus on the opening of accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. On climate, the European Council only reiterated its June 2019 conclusions considering persistent lack of agreement on raising climate targets. With respect to Turkey, EU leaders did not go beyond the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions, either in the area of sanctions or in the area of arms exports control. In the presence of the European Commission President-elect, Ursula von der Leyen, EU leaders also discussed the political priorities of the EU for the coming years and the follow-up to the Strategic Agenda 2019-24.

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