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EU Advocacy. The EU political system Where and how to influence policy Differences between domestic and European advocacy. The EU Political System . The Council of the European Union The European Council The European Parliament The European Commission.

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Eu advocacy

EU Advocacy

The EU political system

Where and how to influence policy

Differences between domestic and European advocacy

The eu political system
The EU Political System

  • The Council of the European Union

  • The European Council

  • The European Parliament

  • The European Commission

The council of the european union
The Council of the European Union

  • Composed of Ministers from each member state

  • 6-monthly rotating Presidency which sets policy Council agenda

  • Key functions:

    • Setting legislation (shared with Parliament)

    • Budget setting authority (shared with Parliament)

    • Setting and implementing foreign policy (led by Cathy Ashton, EEAS)

    • Why should advocacy managers care?

      • Mechanism through which campaigners can push their government reps to advance their issue

      • Key linkage between national politicians and EU level legislative process

      • Meetings are often well publicised and debates are important

The european council
The European Council

  • The ‘Leader-level’ grouping

  • Heads of State of each EU member meet at least once during every EU Presidency cycleplus during ‘crisis situations’

  • Do not set legislation

  • But…

    • Set out policy guidelines and timelines

    • Announce Declarations and Resolutions of action

    • Why should advocacy managers care?

    • Council carries huge weight politically

    • Huge attention paid to its actions

The european parliament
The European Parliament

  • Only elected EU Body

  • Three key functions:

    • Legislates on an equal footing with the Council of EU

    • It has the final say on the EU’s budget

    • It has the power of scrutiny

      • Committees of inquiry

      • Approves President of European Commission

      • Power to appoint/dismiss all 27 Commissioners

      • Why should advocacy managers care?

      • Campaigners can directly lobby their ‘local’ MEP who is answerable to constituents. This gives advocacy campaigners real leverage

      • Parliament is a good target for pan-European campaigns and for getting ‘blocs’ of MEPs to back your campaign

The european commission
The European Commission

  • The heart of the EU machine

  • It is the main executive body and the civil service of the EU – it is made of 25 commissioners plus the High Rep for Foreign Affairs and the Commission President

  • Only body that can initiate legislative proposals to the Council and the Parliament

  • Ensures that laws are implemented and adhered to

  • Represents the EU on the international stage

    • Why should advocacy managers care?

    • This is where policy is put into action.

    • This is effectively the ‘EU Government’ – engaging with the commissioners and advisors is often absolutely critical in EU advocacy campaigns

The emergence of the eeas
The Emergence of the EEAS

  • EEAS: European External Action Service

    • Headed up by Cathy Ashton

    • Responsible for foreign and security policy

    • Leads foreign affairs council

    • Key figurehead for the EU in bilateral & multilateral relations

    • Effectively setting up of EU ‘embassies’ and foreign office

  • Where does international development and humanitarian affairs fit in?

    • Commissioner AndrisPiebalgs – Development; EuropeAid

    • Commissioner KristalinaGeorgieva – Humanitarian Aid

So where does international development fit in
So where does international development fit in?

  • EU policy and legislative power can be split into three areas:

Types of eu legislative acts
Types of EU legislative acts

  • EU Regulation:

    • EU law which overrides member state domestic legislation and must be adhered to unless an ‘opt-out’ is secured

    • The EU budget is set by an EU Regulation; the next ‘Multi-annual Financial Framework (financial perspectives) is being decided now!

  • EU Directive:

    • This is a law which member states must enact through domestic legislation. The directive usually sets the ‘minimum legislative standard’ that the member state must meet

  • A Decision

    • The Council can also hand down ‘decisions’ which are far moe ad-hoc and are directed at individuals or groups. Sometimes nations. Debates around large company mergers; price setting levels or various types of disputes are settled this way

Its not just about legislation its about action as well
Its not just about legislation; its about action as well

  • Much like at the domestic level; a lot of EU advocacy is aimed at changing policy and practice rather than changing laws

  • When it comes to development – it is also often about how much and where aid money is spent

  • Legislation: