Part 3 Institutionalstructure and decision-makingprocess
Article 13 1. The Union shall have an institutional framework which shall aim to promote its values, advance its objectives, serve its interests, those of its citizens and those of the Member States, and ensure the consistency, effectiveness and continuity of its policies and actions.
INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE The EuropeanCouncil The Court of Justice of the European Union The Commission The Council The Court of Auditors The EuropeanParliament The European Central Bank The Economic and SocialCommittee The Committe of Regions
Three key players The European Parliament- voice of the people Martin Schulz, President of of the European Parliament The Council- voice of the Member StatesHerman Van Rompuy, President of the European CouncilThe European Commission- promoting the common interestJosé Manuel Barroso, Presidentof the European Commission
Principles governing relations between institutions Article 13 2. Each institution shall act within the limits of the powers conferred on it in the Treaties, and in conformity with the procedures, conditions and objectives set out in them. The institutions shall practice mutual sincere cooperation.
Principle of institutionalbalance Case C-70/88 EuropeanParliament v. Council „The Treaties set up a system for distributing powers among thedifferent Community institutions, assigning to each institution its own role in theinstitutional structure of the Community and the accomplishment of the tasksentrustedto the Community. Observance of the institutional balance means that each of the institutions mustexercise its powers with due regard for the powers of the other institutions. It alsorequires that it should be possible to penalize any breach of that rule which mayoccur.”
TheEuropeanParliament (EP) Article 14 2. The European Parliament shall be composed of representatives of the Union’s citizens. They shall not exceed seven hundred and fifty in number, plus the President. Representation of citizens shall be degressively proportional, with a minimum threshold of six members per Member State. No Member State shall be allocated more than ninety-six seats. The European Council shall adopt by unanimity, on the initiative of the European Parliament and with its consent, a decision establishing the composition of the European Parliament, respecting the principles referred to in the first subparagraph.
Number of seats per country (2009 – 2014 parliamentary term)– total 754 • GERMANY 99 • FRANCE 72 + 2 • ITALY 72 + 1 • UNITED KINGDOM 72 + 1 • SPAIN 50 + 4 • POLAND 50 + 1 • ROMANIA 33 • NETHERLANDS 25 + 1 • BELGIUM 22 • CZECH REPUBLIC 22 • GREECE 22 • HUNGARY 22 • PORTUGAL 22 • SWEDEN 18 + 2 • BULGARIA 17 + 1 • AUSTRIA 17 + 2 • DENMARK 13 • SLOVAKIA 13 • FINLAND 13 • IRELAND 12 • LITHUANIA 12 • LATVIA 8 + 1 • SLOVENIA 7 + 1 • ESTONIA 6 • CYPRUS 6 • LUXEMBOURG 6 • MALTA 5 + 1
Elections Article 14 3. The members of the European Parliament shall be elected for a term of five years by direct universal suffrage in a free and secret ballot. Decisionof 20 September 1976, as amended byCouncil decision of 25 June and 23 September 2002 each Member State lays downits own election procedure, but must apply the same basic democratic rules: • direct general election, • proportional representation, • free and secret ballots, • renewable five-year term
EP – structure • President • 14 Vice-Presidents • 5 Quaestors (advisoty)
PoliticalGroups • Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) • Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament • Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe • European Conservatives and Reformists Group • Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance • Confederal Group of the European United Left - Nordic Green Left • Europe of Freedom and Democracy Group
EP - functions Article 14 TEU 1. The European Parliament shall, jointly with the Council, exercise legislative and budgetary functions. It shall exercise functions of political control and consultation as laid down in the Treaties. It shall elect the President of the Commission.
138/79 SA RoquetteFrères v Council 4 . THE CONSULTATION PROVIDED FOR IN (…) THE EEC TREATY , IS THE MEANS WHICH ALLOWS THE PARLIAMENT TO PLAY AN ACTUAL PART IN THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS OF THE COMMUNITY . SUCH POWER REPRESENTS AN ESSENTIAL FACTOR IN THE INSTITUTIONAL BALANCE INTENDED BY THE TREATY . ALTHOUGH LIMITED, IT REFLECTS AT COMMUNITY LEVEL THE FUNDAMENTAL DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLE THAT THE PEOPLES SHOULD TAKE PART IN THE EXERCISE OF POWER THROUGH THE INTERMEDIARY OF A REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY .
Article 10 of the TEU (representative democracy) 1. The functioning of the Union shall be founded on representative democracy. 2. Citizens are directly represented at Union level in the European Parliament. Member States are represented in the European Council by their Heads of State or Government and in the Council by their governments, themselves democratically accountable either to their national Parliaments, or to their citizens. 3. Every citizen shall have the right to participate in the democratic life of the Union. Decisions shall be taken as openly and as closely as possible to the citizen. 4. Political parties at European level contribute to forming European political awareness and to expressing the will of citizens of the Union.
EP - functions legislative: Article 14 • The European Parliament shall, jointly with the Council, exercise legislative and budgetary functions. • ordinarylegislativeprocedure (actisadoptedjointly by the EP and the Council); • speciallegislativeprocedure(actsisadopted by the Council with participation of the EP or by the EP with participationof the Council) • bugetaryprocedure. .
EP - functions • political control • over the Commission, • motion of censure – Commisionresign as a body; • dissusion on the annualgeneral report of the Commission; • over the Council and the EuropeanCouncil; • temopraryCommitteeof Inquiry; • petitons; • EuropeanOmbudsman .
EP - seats • „Flying institution” • Strasbourg – plenarysessions • Brussels – plenarysessions, meetings of the politicalgroups and committees • Luxembourg – Secretariat General
The European Council • provides the Union with the necessary impetus for its development • defines the general political directions and priorities • donot exercise legislative functions.
The European Council The European Council consists of the Heads of State or Government of the Member States, together with its President and the President of the Commission. The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy shall take part in its work.
ThePresident of theEuropeanCouncil • the European Council elects its President by a qualified majority for a termof two and a half years, renewable once • the decision to appoint Herman VAN ROMPUY wastaken unanimously by representatives of all Member States.
ThePresident of theEuropeanCouncil - functions • chairs it and drives forward its work; • ensures the preparation and continuity of the work of the European Council in cooperationwith the President of the Commission, and on the basis of the work of the General AffairsCouncil; • endeavoursto facilitate cohesion and consensus within the European Council; • presents a report to the European Parliament after each of the meetings of theEuropeanCouncil • ensures the external representation of the Union on issuesconcerning its common foreign and security policy, (without prejudice to the powers of the HighRepresentative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy).
Except where the Treaties provide otherwise, decisions of the European Council shall be taken by consensus Article 235 • Where a vote is taken, any member of the European Council may also act on behalf of not more than one other member. • Article 16(4) of the Treaty on European Union and Article 238(2) of this Treaty shall apply to the European Council when it is acting by a qualified majority. Where the European Council decides by vote, its President and the President of the Commission shall not take part in the vote. Abstentions by members present in person or represented shall not prevent the adoption by the European Council of acts which require unanimity.
TheCouncil Article 16 (2) ‘the Council shall consist of a representative of each Member State at ministerial level, authorised to commit the government of that Member State’.
TheCouncil TheCouncilmeets in different compositions depending on the particular subject matter on the agenda. With the exception of the Foreign Affairs Council (which is chaired by the High Representative) each of those meetings ischaired by the representative of the Member State which holds the Presidency
The General Secretariat The Presidency is assisted by the General Secretariat, which prepares and ensures the smooth functioning of the Council's work at all levels.
Ambassadors of theMemeberStates (known as ‘permanent representatives’) meet weekly within the Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER). The role of this committee is to prepare the work of the Council, with the exception of most agricultural issues, which are handled by the Special Committee on Agriculture. COREPER is assisted by a number of working groups, made up of officials from the national administrations.
TheCouncil - functions The Council is responsible for decision-making and co-ordination • passes laws, usually legislating jointly with the European Parliament. • co-ordinates the broad economic policies of the Member States. • defines and implements the EU’s common foreign and security policy, based on guidelines set by the European Council. • concludes, on behalf of the Community and the Union, international agreements between the EU and one or more states or international organisations. • co-ordinates the actions of Member States and adopts measures in the area of police and judicial co-operation in criminal matters. • the Council and the European Parliament constitute the budgetary authority that adopts the Community’s budget.
"Qualifiedmajorityvoting"QMV • Distribution of votes for each Member State • Germany, France, Italy, United Kingdom 29 • Spain, Poland 27 • Romania14 • Netherlands 13 • Belgium, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Portugal 12 • Austria, Bulgaria, Sweden 10 • Denmark, Ireland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Finland7 • Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Luxembourg, Slovenia 4 • Malta 3 • TOTAL 345
A qualified majority will be reached if the following two conditions are met: • a majority of Member States approve (whenthe Council does not act on a proposal from the Commission or from the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy -two-thirds majority); • a minimum of 255 votes is cast in favour of the proposal, out of a total of 345 votes. In addition, a Member State may ask for confirmation that the votes in favour represent at least 62% of the total population of the Union. If this is found not to be the case, the decision will not be adopted.
From 1 November 2014 • QMV- at least 55 % of the members of the Council representing the participating Member States, comprising at least 65 % of the population of these States. • A blocking minority - at least the minimum number of Council members representing more than 35 % of the population of the participating Member States, plus one member, failing which the qualified majority shall be deemed attained; • where the Council does not act on a proposal from the Commission or from the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy - at least 72 % of the members of the Council representing the participating Member States, comprising at least 65 % of the population of these States.
Unanimity • Abstentions by members present in person or represented do not prevent the adoption by the European Council of acts which require unanimity.
The Commission- composition • 27 members, i.e. one Commissioner per Member State(2009-2014) • Article 17 (5) As from 1 November 2014, the Commission shall consist of a number of members, including its President and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, corresponding to two thirds of the number of Member States, unless the European Council, acting unanimously, decides to alter this number.
The Commission - appointment • the future President of the Commission is proposed to the European Parliament on the basis of a selection by the European Council acting by a qualified majority; • the Council, by common accord with the President-elect, adopts the list of the other persons whom it proposes for appointment, • the proposed Commission is subject ‘as a body to a vote of consent by the European Parliament’ • Commission isappointed by the European Council, acting by a qualified majority.
The members of the Commission arechosen on the ground of their general competenceand European commitment from persons whose independence is beyond doubt. In carrying out its responsibilities, the Commission iscompletely independent. The members of the Commission mustneither seek nor take instructions from any Government or other institution, body, office or entity. They shall refrain from any action incompatible with their duties or the performance of their tasks.
The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy • appointed by the European Council (qualified majority), with the agreement of the President of the Commission, for an unspecified period • hybridposition within the institutional framework of the Union • the Vice-Presidents of the Commission, albeit in a special privileged position, • theCouncil and theEuropeanCouncil.
The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy • • conducts the Union's common foreign and security policy; • • contributes by her proposals to the development of that policy, which she will carry out asmandated by the Council, and ensures implementation of the decisions adopted in this field; • • presides over the Foreign Affairs Council; • • is one of the Vice-Presidents of the Commission; ensures the consistency of the Union‘sexternal action and is responsible within the Commission for responsibilities incumbent on itin external relations and for coordinating other aspects of the Union's external action. • • represents the Union for matters relating to the common foreign and security policy, conductpolitical dialogue with third parties on the Union's behalf and expresses the Union's positionin international organisations and at international conferences. • • exercises authority over the European External Action Service and over the Union delegationsin third countries and at international organisations.
The President of the Commission 6. The President of the Commission shall: (a) lay down guidelines within which the Commission is to work; (b) decide on the internal organisation of the Commission, ensuring that it acts consistently, efficiently and as a collegiate body; (c) appoint Vice-Presidents, other than the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, from among the members of the Commission. A member of the Commission shall resign if the President so requests.
TheCommission- functions • to propose legislation to Parliament and the Council; • to manage and implement EU policies and the budget; • to enforce European law (jointly with the Court of Justice); • to represent the European Union on the international stage, for example by negotiating agreements between the EU and other countries.
TheCourt of Justice • Article 19 • 1. The Court of Justice of the European Union shall include the Court of Justice, the General Court and specialised courts. It shall ensure that in the interpretation and application of the Treaties the law is observed.
TheCourt of Justice • The Court is composed of one judge per member state, so that all 27 of the EU’s national legal systems are represented. For the sake of efficiency, however, the Court rarely sits as the full court. It usually sits as a ‘Grand Chamber’ of just 13 judges or in chambers of five or three judges. • The Court is assisted by eight ‘advocates-general’. Their role is to present reasoned opinions on the cases brought before the Court. They must do so publicly and impartially.
TheCourt of Justice The Court gives rulings on cases brought before it. The five most common types of case are: • references for a preliminary ruling; • actions for failure to fulfil an obligation; • actions for annulment; • actions for failure to act; • actions for damages.
The European Court of Auditors The Court of Auditors carries out the Union's audit. It consists of one national of each Member State. Its Members shall are completely independent in the performance of their duties, in the Union's general interest.
The Union's advisory bodies The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission areassisted by an Economic and Social Committee and a Committee of the Regions, exercising advisory functions. The Economic and Social Committee consists of representatives of organisations of employers, of the employed, and of other parties representative of civil society, notably in socio‑economic, civic, professional and cultural areas. The Committee of the Regions consists of representatives of regional and local bodies who either hold a regional or local authority electoral mandate or are politically accountable to an elected assembly.
Revision of theTreaty • Ordinaryrevisionprocedure • Specialrevisionprocedure
Ordinary revision procedure • The Government of any Member State, the European Parliament or the Commission may submit to the Council proposals for the amendment of the Treaties. These proposals is submitted to the European Council by the Council and the national Parliaments arenotified.
Ordinary revision procedure • If the European Council, after consulting the European Parliament and the Commission, adopts by a simple majority a decision in favour of examining the proposed amendments, the President of the European Council convenes a Convention composed of representatives of the national Parliaments, of the Heads of State or Government of the Member States, of the European Parliament and of the Commission. The European Central Bank isconsulted in the case of institutional changes in the monetary area. The Convention examines the proposals for amendments and adopts by consensus a recommendation to a conference of representatives of the governments of the Member States. • The European Council may decide by a simple majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament, not to convene a Convention should this not be justified by the extent of the proposed amendments. In the latter case, the European Council shall define the terms of reference for a conference of representatives of the governments of the Member States.
Ordinary revision procedure • A conference of representatives of the governments of the Member States isconvened by the President of the Council for the purpose of determining by common accord the amendments to be made to the Treaties. • The amendments shall enter into force after being ratified by all the Member States in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements.
Ordinary revision procedure • If, two years after the signature of a treaty amending the Treaties, four fifths of the Member States have ratified it and one or more Member States have encountered difficulties in proceeding with ratification, the matter shall be referred to the European Council.
Simplified revision procedures • The Government of any Member State, the European Parliament or the Commission may submit to the European Council proposals for revising all or part of the provisions of Part Three of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union relating to the internal policies and action of the Union. • The European Council may adopt a decision amending all or part of the provisions of Part Three of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The European Council acts by unanimity after consulting the European Parliament and the Commission, and the European Central Bank in the case of institutional changes in the monetary area. That decision shall not enter into force until it is approved by the Member States in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements. • The decision mustnot increase the competences conferred on the Union in the Treaties.