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EU. The European Union and the Decision-making process. EU. I. Why a European Union?. Why a European Union ?. EU. Peace and stability. Bringing Europe together again. Safety and security. Identity and diversity in a globalised world. Economic and social solidarity. Values. History.

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The european union and the decision making process

EU

The European Union

and the Decision-making process


The european union and the decision making process

EU

I. Why a European Union?


Why a european union

Why a European Union ?

EU

Peace and stability

Bringing Europe together again

Safety and security

Identity and diversity in a globalised world

Economic and social solidarity

Values


The european union and the decision making process

History

EU

Treaty of Rome

Formation of EEC + Euratom

1957 (1958)

6 Members States

ECSC

1951 (1952)

Schuman-Plan

1950

Single European Act

1986 (1987)

Treaty of the European Union (Maastricht)

1992 (1993)

Treaty of Amsterdam 1997 (1999)

Treaty of Nice (2000)


Enlargement of the union

Enlargement of the Union

EU

Founding Members: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands

1973: Denmark, Ireland, United Kingdom

1981: Greece

1986: Portugal, Spain

1995: Austria, Finland, Sweden

2004: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Cyprus

2007: Bulgaria, Rumania


The three pillars of the eu

The Three Pillars of the EU

EU

EU European Union

European Communities

EC ECSC* Euratom

Common Foreign and

Security Policy

Police and Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters

* The ECSC Treaty ceased to exist in 2002


The four freedoms of the single market

Free Movement of Goods

Prohibition of customs duties between Member States

Harmonisation and mutual recognition of rules and regulations

Certain restrictions are still permitted

The Four Freedoms of the Single Market

EU

Basic Freedoms


The four freedoms of the single market1

The Four Freedoms of the Single Market

EU

Basic Freedoms

Free Movement of Persons

  • Abolition of border controls

  • Freedom of residence and employment (mutual recognition of diplomas)

  • Under certain conditions EU-citizens have the right to reside in any other Member State even after the end of their employment


The four freedoms of the single market2

The Four Freedoms of the Single Market

EU

Basic Freedoms

Free Movement of Services

  • Free movement of services (e.g.: free choice of phone provider)

  • Harmonisation of bank and traffic supervision

  • Opening of transport and telecommunications markets


The four freedoms of the single market3

The Four Freedoms of the Single Market

EU

Basic Freedoms

Free Movement of Capital

  • More freedom for monetary and capital movements

  • Steps towards a common market for financial services (e.g.: no double transfer fees)

  • Liberalisation of stock broking (security trading)


History of the economic and monetary union emu

History of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)

EU

EMU

(1st stage)

1990

EMU

(2nd stage)

1994

EMU

(3rd stage)

1997/1999

Euro-Cash- Implementation

01.01.2002

First stage :Complete liberalisation of capital movement; intensified cooperation of national Central Banks; free application of ECU; improvement of economic convergence.

Second stage:Establishment of the European Monetary Institute; prohibition of Central Bank credits to public bodies; intensified coordination of monetary policy; intensified economic convergence; process leading to theindependence of national Central Banks completed with the creation of the European System of Central Banks; preparatory work for the third stage.

Third stage:Irrevocable fixing of exchange rates; implementation of the Euro; implementation of a single monetary policy under the authority of the ECB; set-up of the exchange rate mechanism (ERM II) within the EU; set-up of the stability and growth pact.


The convergence criteria

Inflation rate must not exceed that of the 3 best performing Member States of the EU by more than 1.5 percentage points

Applicant States should have joined the exchange-rate mechanism (ERM II) for 2 consecutive years and should not have devaluated their currencies during the 2-year-period.

The nominal long-term interests rate must not be more than 2 percentage points higher than the 3 best performing Member States.

The ratio of the annual government deficit to gross domestic product (GDP) must not exceed 3%.

The ratio of gross government debt to GDP must not exceed 60%.

The Convergence Criteria

EU

The Convergence

Criteria


The european union and the decision making process

EU

II. The EU decision-making process


Eu legislates in all areas of public policy

EU legislates in all areas of Public Policy:

EU

Market

Social Policy

Environment

Agriculture

Regional Policy

Research and Development

Law and Order

Citizenship

Human Rights

International Trade

Foreign Policy

Defence

Consumer affairs

Transport

Public Health

Education and Culture


The european union and the decision making process

The EU sets over 80 % of the rules on production, distribution and the exchange of goods, services and capital

EU

About 300 acts of EU legislation every year

Prevails over national law and has direct effect

Powerful indirect effect on the distribution of resources between individuals, groups and nations in the EU


The european union and the decision making process

EU

III. The EU is a complex institutional and policy environment with diverse actors


The european union and the decision making process

EU

European Council (EC)

European

Parliament

(EP)

European Commission

(EC)

Council of the European Union

(Council)

The Institutions

of the EU

European Economic and Social Committee

(EESC)

European Court of Justice

(ECJ)

European Court of Auditors

(ECA)

Committee of the Regions

(CoR)

European Investment Bank

(EIB)

---------------------------

European Investment Fund

(EIF)

European System of Central Banks

(ESCB)

----------------------------

European Central Bank

(ECB)

Decentralised Bodies

(e.g.: Europol)

Institutions with special status

Other bodies

Advisory Committees


Around the european institutions

Around the European Institutions:

EU

More than 15.000 Lobbyists

Lobby


The european union and the decision making process

The European Council (EC)

EU

European Council

(Summit)

The European

Council

  • Sets guidelines and objectives

  • Adopts final agreements

  • Reforms the Treaties


The european union and the decision making process

EU

European Council

The European

Council

  • Consists of the Heads of State and Government together with the President of the European Commission.

  • Generally meets four times a year to set the basic political guidelines and to review progress.

  • Since it became the supreme political authority of the EU, its meetings have been referred to as « summits ».


The european union and the decision making process

The European Commission

EU

European Commission

The Commission

  • Has the right of initiative and delegated implementing powers

  • Controls the implementation of EU legislation by Member States

  • Controls the Member States’ economic policy


The european union and the decision making process

The Commission

consists of:

27 Commissioners from

27 Member States

(including the President

and 5 Vice-Presidents).

Each Commissioner has

one vote.

The Commission is a collective

decision-making body.

Therefore minorities are bound

by the decisions of the majority.

Also in case of a future

enlargement the number of

commissioners should not exceed

27.

The term of office is 5 years.

EU

The Commission


The european union and the decision making process

+

Commission

President

Heads of State

and Government

Appoint with qualified

majority

EU

Heads of State

and Government

Commission President

The Election of the Commissioners

Needs

approval by

EP

Commission takes up its work.

EP

Need

approval by

Propose

Commissioners

Appoint

Commissioners

Member States


The european union and the decision making process

The European Commission

27 Members of the Commission

Cabinets

Directorate Generals and Services

EU

The Directorate Generals of the Commission


The european union and the decision making process

European Commission

EC College

José Manuel BARROSO (P) - President

Margot WALLSTRÖM (S) - Institutional Relations & Communication Strategy, VP

Günter VERHEUGEN (D) - Enterprise & Industry, VP

Jacques BARROT (F) – Justice, Freedom and Security, VP

Siim KALLAS (EST) - Administrative Affairs, Audit & Anti-Fraud, VP

Antonio TAJANI (I) - Transport, VP

Viviane REDING (L) - Information Society & Media

Stavros DIMAS (GR) - Environment

Joaquìn ALMUNIA (E) - Economic & Monetary Affairs

Danuta HÜBNER (PL) - Regional Policy

Joe BORG (MAL) - Fisheries and Maritime Affairs

Dalia GRYBAUSKAITE (LIT) - Financial Programming and Budget

Janez POTOČNIK (SLV)- Science & Research

Meglena KUNEVA (BUL) – Consumer protection

EU

The Directorate Generals of the Commission


The european union and the decision making process

European Commission

EC College

Ján FIGEL(SLK) - Education, Training, Culture, & Youth

Androula VASSILIOU(CYP) - Health

Olli REHN(FI)- Enlargement

Louis MICHEL(B) - Development & Humanitarian Aid

László KOVÁCS(HU) - Taxation & Customs Union

Neelie KROES(NL) - Competition

Mariann FISCHER BOEL(DK) - Agriculture & Rural Development

Benita FERRERO-WALDNER(AU) - External Relations & European Neighbourhood Policy

Charlie McCREEVY(IRE) - Internal Market & Services

Vladimir SPIDLA (CZ) - Employment, Social Affairs & Equal Opportunities

Catherine ASHTON(UK) - Trade

Andris PIEBALGS(LAT) – Energy

Leonard ORBAN (RO) – Multilingualism

EU

The Directorate Generals of the Commission


The european union and the decision making process

Directorate Generals of the Commission

UE

The Directorate Generals of the Commission


The european union and the decision making process

EU

The European Parliament

The European Parliament

European Parliament

  • Represents the citizens

  • Has general legislative power


The european union and the decision making process

EU

The European Parliament

EP President

Political Parties

Secretariat

Committees

permanent andad hoc

Secretariat

National Delegations

MEPs

Info and contacts


The european union and the decision making process

The European Parliament

The European Parliament has three basic powers and functions:

785 MEPs

Legislation

Control of the Executive

Budget

  • Hearing

  • Co-decision

  • Consultation

  • Assent

EU

Competences

of the European

Parliament


The european union and the decision making process

Votes in the European Parliament

785 MEPs directly elected by EU citizens in June 2004 :

Germany99

UK78

Italy78

France78

Spain54

Poland54

Romania35

Netherlands27

Portugal24

Belgium24

Greece24

Czech Rep.24

Hungary24

Sweden19

Austria18

Bulgaria18

Finland14

Denmark14

Slovakia14

Ireland13

Lithuania13

Latvia9

Slovenia7

Luxemburg6

Estonia6

Cyprus6

Malta5

EU

Political parties:

Conservatives278

Socialists218

Liberals104

Greens42

United left40

Others102

Votes in the European Parliament


The european union and the decision making process

EU

The political groups in the European Parliament


The european union and the decision making process

EU

The Parliamentary Committees

AFET: Foreign Affairs

DEVE: Development

INTA: International Trade

BUDG: Budget

CONT: Budgetary Control

ECON: Economic and Monetary Affairs

EMPL: Employment and Social Affairs

ENVI: Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

ITRE: Industry, Research and Energy

IMCO: Internal Market and Consumer Protection

TRAN:Transport and Tourism

REGI: Regional Development

AGRI: Agriculture and Rural Development

PECH: Fisheries

CULT: Culture and Education

JURI: Legal Affairs

LIBE: Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

AFCO: Constitutional Affairs

FEMM: Women's Rights and Gender Equality

PETI: Petitions

DROI: Human Rights

SEDE: Security and Defense

CLIM: Climate Change

The Parliamentary Committees


The european union and the decision making process

The Council of the European Union

EU

The Council of the EU

The Council of the European Union

  • Represents the Member States

  • Has general legislative power

  • Sets the political agenda together with the Commission


The european union and the decision making process

European Council/Summit

Heads of State & Government

EU

Council of Ministers

National Ministers meet in 9 configurations

Council General Secretary +

High representative for

Common Foreign and Security Policy

Presidency of the Council

6 month term

The Council of the European Union

COREPER I

Technical

Deputy Permanent Representatives

COREPER II

Political

Permanent Representatives

Permanent Representations to the EU

Mertens

Group

Antici

Group

Working Groups

Diplomats and Experts

Info and contacts


The european union and the decision making process

Cyprus

[4]

Hungary

[12]

Czech Rep.

[12]

Spain

[27]

Bulgaria

[10]

A Member State can request a verification that the countries supporting the proposal represent at least 62% of the total EU population

EU

Slovenia [4]

Belgium [12]

Council of the European Union

Slovakia [7]

Denmark [7]

Sweden [10]

Pondération

des voix

au sein du Conseil

Germany [29]

  • The Council is the main decision-making body of the European Union.

  • Every country is represented by the minister responsible for the policy area being discussed (Foreign Affairs, Finances, Social issues, Traffic, Agriculture, etc.)

  • The presidency rotates between the Member States every 6 months.

Portugal [12]

Estonia [4]

Finland [7]

Poland [27]

Austria [10]

France [29]

Netherlands [13]

Greece [12]

Malta [3]

United Kingdom [29]

Luxembourg [4]

Ireland [7]

255 of 345 (72,3%) are necessary for a qualified majority

Additionally the majority of the Member States needs to approve the proposal

Lithuania [7]

Romania [14]

Italy [29]

Latvia [4]


The committee of the regions and the economic and social committee

The Committee of the Regionsand the Economic and Social Committee

EU

Committee of the Regions and Economic and Social Committee

The Committee of the Regionsand the Economic and Social Committee

  • Consultative bodies

  • Compulsory consultation for certain areas


Consultative or advisory bodies

Consultative or Advisory Bodies

EU

European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

Represents the “organized civil society”: employers, trade unions, farmers, consumers and the other interest groups

Committee of the Regions (CoR)

Is the political assembly that provides local and regional authorities with a voice at the heart of the European Union

Compulsory consultation before EU decisions are taken on matters which concern local and regional government, such as regional policy, the environment, education and transport

But its opinion does not have to be taken on board

European Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions


The european union and the decision making process

The Committee of the Regions

EU

CoR President

Bureau

The Committee of the Regions

CoR Secretary General

Commissions

Secretariat

Political Parties

Secretariat

Elected Members

National Delegations

Info and contacts


The court of justice

The Court of Justice

EU

The Court of Justice

The Court of Justice

Judges over the legality of acts


The european court of justice ecj and the court of first instance

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the Court of First Instance

EU

  • The ECJ is made up of one judge per Member State and 8 Advocates General

  • The ECJ may sit in chambers of 3, 5 or 13 judges, and in very exceptional cases as a full Court.

  • The Judges and Advocates General are nominated by the Member States by mutual agreement for a period of six years.

  • The Court of First Instance was established in 1989 and corresponds approximately to the ECJ, but does not have permanent Advocates General

  • The Courts preserve the community right when treaties are being interpreted and implemented.

The European Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance


Other european interests lobby groups

Other European Interests - Lobby Groups -

EU

  • Regions and Cities: AER, CEMR, CPMR, Eurocities, and other specialised organisations like EPRO (environment), ERRIN (research & innovation), ISLENET (energy and environment), POLIS (transport), REGLEG (legislative competences), etc.

  • Business and Industries: UEAPME (Craft and SMEs), UNICE (industrial and employers’ confederations) and many others in different sectors

  • European networks & associations in different sectors

  • NGOs

    … and a long etc.


The european union and the decision making process

EU

IV. EU Decision-Making process


The european union and the decision making process

Decision-making at EU Level

EU

  • Involves various European institutions, in particular

    • The European Commission (EC),

    • The European Parliament (EP),

    • The Council of the European Union

  • In general the Commission makes new legislation proposals, but Council and Parliament pass the laws. Other institutions and bodies also have roles to play (e.g. Committee of the Regions)


The european union and the decision making process

Legal Sources of Community Law

EU

  • Primary Legislation (Treaties)

  • Secondary Legislation

Legal Sources of Community Law

Institutional Acts of the EU

  • Regulations

  • Directives

  • Decisions

  • Recommendations and Opinions


The european union and the decision making process

EU

Regulation

Legal Sources of Community Law

Directly applicable in all Member States

Of “general application”

Binding in its entirety


The european union and the decision making process

EU

Directive

Legal Sources of Community Law

Binding, as to result to be achieved!

Binding in its principle


The european union and the decision making process

EU

Decision

Legal Sources of Community Law

Shall be binding in its entirety upon those to whom it is addressed


The european union and the decision making process

EU

Recommendation and opinion

Legal Sources of Community Law

Do NOT formally constitute part of EU Law

Have no binding force


The european union and the decision making process

EU

Implementing Acts into national legislation

  • Directives must be transposed in National legal systems, however, the Member States can decide how  Second phase for regions to lobby

  • Regulations are directly applicable in national law

  • The Commission monitors the implementation by Member States; it can take Member States to the European Court of Justice for a breach of their implementation obligations in case of failure to comply

Legal Sources of Community Law


The european union and the decision making process

EU

Three Main

EU Decision-Making Procedures

Co-decision

Consultation

Assent

Requires two readings by the Parliament and the Council, if the two cannot agree they enter into conciliation

The Parliament’s opinion is incorporated into the Commission proposal. If the Council decides to reject the proposal, this requires unanimity

The Council must obtain the European Parliament's assent before taking certain important decisions. The Parliament can approve or reject a proposal but not amend it


The european union and the decision making process

EU

Consultation

EC proposal

CoR

EESC

accepts

Council

Examines the amendments

EP

approves

Approves

Rejects

Amends


The european union and the decision making process

EU

  • Areas subject to consultation:

  • Police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters

  • Revision of the Treaties

  • Discrimination based on gender, race or ethnic origin, religion, political beliefs, handicap, age or sexual orientation

  • European citizenship

  • Agriculture

  • Cohesion Policy: ERDF and ESF Regulations

  • Legal immigration and free movement of people-connected

  • Transport (when it may have a significant influence in certain regions)

  • Competition law

  • Tax provisions

  • Economic policy

Consultation


The european union and the decision making process

EU

Assent

EP’s Assent

EC

Council

Approves

Rejects

Amends

Approval requires the absolute majority of the vote cast!


The european union and the decision making process

EU

Areas subject to assent:

  • Specific tasks of the European Central Bank

  • Amendments to the statutes of the European System of Central Banks or the European Central Bank

  • Financial Perspectives

  • European Parliament’s uniform election procedure

  • Certain international agreements

  • Accession of new Member States

  • Sanctions imposed on a Member State for a serious and persistent breach of fundamental rights under Article 7 of the EU Treaty


The european union and the decision making process

EU

  • The most frequently used procedure – under the Constitutional Treaty this would be the standard procedure

  • Council and Parliament on equal footing – they share the legislative power equally. Both Institutions carry out up to three readings

  • If Council and Parliament cannotagree on a piece of proposed legislation, it is put before a conciliation committee

  • The Conciliation Committee consists in equal shares of representatives from theCouncil and the Parliament

  • Once the Committee has reached an agreement, the text is sent back to Parliament and Council for its final adoption as law

Co-Decision


The european union and the decision making process

Proposal from EC to EP and the Council

EU

First reading in the EP: adopts an opinion with or without amendments

First reading in the Council: either,

Adopts the text approved by the EP, with QMV

Does NOT adopt the text and adopts a COMMON POSITION with QMV

ADOPTED


The european union and the decision making process

EU

Second reading in the EP

Approves the common position

Does not take any decision

Rejects the common position by absolute majority

Proposes amendments to the common position by absolute majority

NOT-ADOPTED

EC delivers opinion on amendments

ADOPTED

ADOPTED


The european union and the decision making process

EU

Second Reading in the Council

The legal system

The Council accepts EP Amendments

The Council does NOT accept EP Amendments

ADOPTED

The Council convenes, in agreement with the EP President, the CONCILIATION COMMITEE


The european union and the decision making process

EU

The Conciliation Committee can:

The legal system

Fail to agree on a joint text

Approve a joint text and submit it to Council and EP

They fail to agreewithin max. 6 weeks

They agree within max. 6 weeks

NOT ADOPTED

ADOPTED

NOT ADOPTED


The european union and the decision making process

EU

Policy areas subject to co-decision:

The legal system

Prevention of discrimination on the grounds of nationality

Freedom of movement and residency

Free movement of labour

Social security of migrant labour

Freedom of establishment

Transport

Internal market

Employment

Customs cooperation

Combating social exclusion

Equal opportunity and treatment

Education

Vocational training

Implementation of decisions relating to ESF

General Regulation for Cohesion Policy

Culture

Health

Consumer protection

Trans-European networks

Execution of European Regional Development Fund decisions

Research

Environment

Prevention and prosecution of fraud

Visas, asylum and illegal immigration (1 April 2005 at the latest)


Thanks for your attention

Thanks for your attention!

EU


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