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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.

História rozpočtu EÚ

14-06-2019

Rozpočet Európskej únie má tri piliere: výdavky, financovanie a audit. Tento briefing sa zameriava na počiatky rozpočtu, jeho vývoj prostredníctvom viacročného plánovania a ročného rozpočtovania. Deje sa tak v kontexte meniacich sa právomocí Európskeho parlamentu, pokiaľ ide o rozpočet, a vývoja procesu jeho financovania a auditu. Od prvého Európskeho spoločenstva v roku 1952 dochádzalo k napätiu pri zostavovaní rozpočtu medzi európskymi inštitúciami a členskými štátmi, ako aj k úzkej väzbe medzi ...

Rozpočet Európskej únie má tri piliere: výdavky, financovanie a audit. Tento briefing sa zameriava na počiatky rozpočtu, jeho vývoj prostredníctvom viacročného plánovania a ročného rozpočtovania. Deje sa tak v kontexte meniacich sa právomocí Európskeho parlamentu, pokiaľ ide o rozpočet, a vývoja procesu jeho financovania a auditu. Od prvého Európskeho spoločenstva v roku 1952 dochádzalo k napätiu pri zostavovaní rozpočtu medzi európskymi inštitúciami a členskými štátmi, ako aj k úzkej väzbe medzi reformami výdavkov a reformami financovania.

Externý autor

Dr Giacomo Benedetto

The ECSC Common Assembly's decision to create political groups: Writing a new chapter in transnational parliamentary history

12-06-2019

Political groups in the European Parliament contribute greatly to the institution's supranational character and are a most important element of its parliamentary work. Moreover, the Parliament's political groups have proven to be crucial designers of EU politics and policies. However, when the forerunner of today's Parliament, the Common Assembly of the Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), was established in 1952, the creation of political groups was not envisaged at all. Making use of its autonomy with ...

Political groups in the European Parliament contribute greatly to the institution's supranational character and are a most important element of its parliamentary work. Moreover, the Parliament's political groups have proven to be crucial designers of EU politics and policies. However, when the forerunner of today's Parliament, the Common Assembly of the Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), was established in 1952, the creation of political groups was not envisaged at all. Making use of its autonomy with regard to writing its rules of procedures, the ECSC Common Assembly unanimously decided, at its plenary session in June 1953, to allow the creation of political groups. With this decision, the ECSC Common Assembly became the world's first international assembly organised in political groups. This briefing analyses the decision of the ECSC Common Assembly to create political groups by bringing together political and historical science literature on the topic, as well as original sources from the Parliament's Historical Archives that record considerations and motives for the decision to create political groups. It will illustrate the complementary cultural, historical, organisational and financial reasons for this decision. Furthermore, it will demonstrate that, for the first ECSC Common Assembly members, it was highly important to take account of political affiliations in order to highlight the supranational character of the newly emerging Assembly. Finally, the briefing highlights that common work within the political groups was essential in helping to overcome early difficulties between the Assembly's members with different national backgrounds.

Political groups in the European Parliament since 1979: Key facts and figures

12-06-2019

This study seeks to fill a gap in research on the development of political groups, which have become a crucial component of the European Parliament. In fact, the creation of political groups can be traced back to a June 1953 decision of the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community, the European Parliament’s forerunner, to allow members to establish three political groups – Christian Democrats, Socialists and Liberals – and thus begin the formation of supranational links among Members ...

This study seeks to fill a gap in research on the development of political groups, which have become a crucial component of the European Parliament. In fact, the creation of political groups can be traced back to a June 1953 decision of the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community, the European Parliament’s forerunner, to allow members to establish three political groups – Christian Democrats, Socialists and Liberals – and thus begin the formation of supranational links among Members. The paper focuses on the period from the first direct elections, in 1979, to the end of the eighth parliamentary term, and includes data on group membership, on committee chairs by group, on political groups’ staffing and on the funding allocated to political groups and the linked European political foundations.

European elections: A historical perspective

05-06-2019

Between 23 and 26 May 2019, 427 million European Union (EU) citizens had the opportunity to vote for Members of the European Parliament. This was the ninth time that EU citizens could vote directly for the policy- and decision-makers who will represent them in EU politics. European elections are consequently one of the most important events in the EU political cycle. With a view to this year's European election and challenges to come for the new Parliament, many EU observers attached special historical ...

Between 23 and 26 May 2019, 427 million European Union (EU) citizens had the opportunity to vote for Members of the European Parliament. This was the ninth time that EU citizens could vote directly for the policy- and decision-makers who will represent them in EU politics. European elections are consequently one of the most important events in the EU political cycle. With a view to this year's European election and challenges to come for the new Parliament, many EU observers attached special historical significance to this ninth European election. Looking back, while the very first European election was held forty years ago, in 1979, the journey to holding European elections was long and complex.

The historical relationship between artistic activities and technology development

03-05-2019

Understanding the past of art and technology can help us to navigate the present and future. Technology and art have always been linked, and are now more intertwined than ever before. Technology and humanity create and shape each other in profound ways. People are not distinct from the technologies they are surrounded by and use – they are also defined and shaped by them. The present study contributes to our understanding of the cyclic nature of the intertwining of technology and art, focussing on ...

Understanding the past of art and technology can help us to navigate the present and future. Technology and art have always been linked, and are now more intertwined than ever before. Technology and humanity create and shape each other in profound ways. People are not distinct from the technologies they are surrounded by and use – they are also defined and shaped by them. The present study contributes to our understanding of the cyclic nature of the intertwining of technology and art, focussing on pre-digital eras

Externý autor

DG, EPRS

The establishment and initial work of the European Parliamentary Assembly after the Rome Treaties

01-04-2019

The first Community assembly was the ‘Common Assembly’ provided for in the ECSC Treaty, and which operated as part of that Community from 1953 to 1958. The European Parliamentary Assembly was its historic and legal successor, but the establishment of the EEC and Euratom under the 1957 Rome Treaties meant that, as a single body serving the three Communities, it was no longer the seat of democratic representation for an organisation dealing with one sector, namely coal and steel, but of a system of ...

The first Community assembly was the ‘Common Assembly’ provided for in the ECSC Treaty, and which operated as part of that Community from 1953 to 1958. The European Parliamentary Assembly was its historic and legal successor, but the establishment of the EEC and Euratom under the 1957 Rome Treaties meant that, as a single body serving the three Communities, it was no longer the seat of democratic representation for an organisation dealing with one sector, namely coal and steel, but of a system of Communities which embraced the entire range of productive activities and trade. In other words, the Community system was now dealing with the European economy as a whole, but there were still three Communities with three Treaties. Two of those Treaties were similar to each other but the third, the ECSC Treaty, was significantly different in terms of distribution of powers. The problem therefore arose of coordination between the three Communities, the solution to which was considerably assisted by the merger of the executive bodies nine years later. It is to the European Parliamentary Assembly’s credit that it immediately seized upon that issue and made it the subject of one of its first reports, which was drawn up and discussed over a relatively short time-scale, given that all Parliamentary proceedings on the matter were concluded within three months. This publication deals essentially with that report, setting it in the context of the broader debate on the nature and future of integration addressed at the sittings of the part-session of March 1958.

Major changes in European public opinion towards the EU since1973 - 2015 Edition

05-02-2016

This desk research focusses on the major shifts in European public opinion towards the European Union since 1973, when Eurobarometer was created by Jacques-René Rabier. The results are presented in a timeline and illustrate the evolution of citizens' opinion in the key phases of the Union's institutional, political, economic and social development. This is the second edition of the 2014 Desk Research, updated with results of the 2015 Parlemeter. The main findings on the evolution of public opinion ...

This desk research focusses on the major shifts in European public opinion towards the European Union since 1973, when Eurobarometer was created by Jacques-René Rabier. The results are presented in a timeline and illustrate the evolution of citizens' opinion in the key phases of the Union's institutional, political, economic and social development. This is the second edition of the 2014 Desk Research, updated with results of the 2015 Parlemeter. The main findings on the evolution of public opinion in the last 40 years  from 1973 to 2014  show that it has gone up and down, notably in response to financial, economic and social crises. The major institutional and political staging-posts in the EU's development have generally improved the perception of the EU. This is particularly true of enlargements and elections to the European Parliament. This analysis shows the overriding influence of the economic and social context on public opinion. This is very well illustrated by the financial and economic crisis which began in 2008, prompting a sharp decline in indicators of support for the EU. However, even in this context of crisis, results show that Europeans remain committed to Europe when it comes to basic EU values. FR Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

The European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, 1988-2013 - A Quarter Century’s Engagement in Human Rights

09-12-2013

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought stands out among other initiatives as the best-known and most widely appreciated instrument of the European Parliament in the field of human rights. In some countries, it is as well-known as the Nobel Prize. Over its 25-year history, it has come to be associated with the European Union’s principled commitment to freedom of thought. However, empirical research on the personal and political circumstances of Sakharov Prize laureates, as well as on the political ...

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought stands out among other initiatives as the best-known and most widely appreciated instrument of the European Parliament in the field of human rights. In some countries, it is as well-known as the Nobel Prize. Over its 25-year history, it has come to be associated with the European Union’s principled commitment to freedom of thought. However, empirical research on the personal and political circumstances of Sakharov Prize laureates, as well as on the political impact of the prize in five case studies – China, Cuba, Israel and Palestine, and Russia – shows that its potential remains under-utilised. Drawing on unique perspectives from the laureates themselves, this report offers suggestions to enhance its impact, including: the prize must be targeted more tightly at contexts where it could have tangible impact; it must be dovetailed with other policy instruments; it must guard more carefully against unintended effects; and it must serve as a platform for broader international linkages in the defence of human rights. On the occasion of its quarter-century anniversary, the European Parliament must reflect on how the prize can continue to be relevant in a world whose contours and predicaments look vastly different from those that prevailed at its inception.

Externý autor

Kateryna Pishchikova (associate researcher and team leader - Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior - FRIDE, Spain)

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