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The European Union and the Decision-making process PowerPoint Presentation
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The European Union and the Decision-making process

The European Union and the Decision-making process

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The European Union and the Decision-making process

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  1. EU The European Union and the Decision-making process

  2. EU I. Why a European Union?

  3. 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

  4. 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)

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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)

  11. 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 the independence 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.

  12. 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

  13. EU II. The EU decision-making process

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

  17. 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

  18. Around the European Institutions: EU More than 15.000 Lobbyists Lobby

  19. The European Council (EC) EU European Council (Summit) The European Council • Sets guidelines and objectives • Adopts final agreements • Reforms the Treaties

  20. 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 ».

  21. 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

  22. 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

  23. + 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

  24. The European Commission 27 Members of the Commission Cabinets Directorate Generals and Services EU The Directorate Generals of the Commission

  25. 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

  26. 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

  27. Directorate Generals of the Commission UE The Directorate Generals of the Commission

  28. EU The European Parliament The European Parliament European Parliament • Represents the citizens • Has general legislative power

  29. EU The European Parliament EP President Political Parties Secretariat Committees permanent andad hoc Secretariat National Delegations MEPs Info and contacts

  30. 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

  31. Votes in the European Parliament 785 MEPs directly elected by EU citizens in June 2004 : Germany 99 UK 78 Italy 78 France 78 Spain 54 Poland 54 Romania 35 Netherlands 27 Portugal 24 Belgium 24 Greece 24 Czech Rep. 24 Hungary 24 Sweden 19 Austria 18 Bulgaria 18 Finland 14 Denmark 14 Slovakia 14 Ireland 13 Lithuania 13 Latvia 9 Slovenia 7 Luxemburg 6 Estonia 6 Cyprus 6 Malta 5 EU Political parties: Conservatives 278 Socialists 218 Liberals 104 Greens 42 United left 40 Others 102 Votes in the European Parliament

  32. EU The political groups in the European Parliament

  33. 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

  34. 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

  35. 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

  36. 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]

  37. 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

  38. 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

  39. 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

  40. The Court of Justice EU The Court of Justice The Court of Justice Judges over the legality of acts

  41. 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

  42. 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.

  43. EU IV. EU Decision-Making process

  44. 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)

  45. 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

  46. EU Regulation Legal Sources of Community Law Directly applicable in all Member States Of “general application” Binding in its entirety

  47. EU Directive Legal Sources of Community Law Binding, as to result to be achieved! Binding in its principle

  48. EU Decision Legal Sources of Community Law Shall be binding in its entirety upon those to whom it is addressed

  49. EU Recommendation and opinion Legal Sources of Community Law Do NOT formally constitute part of EU Law Have no binding force

  50. 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