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Institutional and Legal Affairs

This category contains 657 posts

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, July II 2019

The main highlight of the July II plenary session was the election of Ursula von der Leyen as President of the European Commission. Other highlights included a statement by Viorica Dăncilă, Prime Minister of Romania, on the outcome of that country’s Council presidency, and by Antti Rinne, Prime Minister of Finland on the priorities for the current Finnish Council Presidency. Continue reading

Role and election of the President of the European Commission

The President of the European Commission has taken on an ever more prominent leading role within the College of Commissioners, with the increasingly presidential system eclipsing the principle of collegiate decision-making. Continue reading

The European elections and thereafter [What Think Tanks are thinking]

On 23-26 May, 2019, European Union citizens elected a more fragmented European Parliament than its predecesor, with the two main political groups – the European People’s Party and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats losing some ground, and the Liberals, now known as Renew Europe, and the Greens-European Free Alliance strengthening their representation. Continue reading

Members of the European Parliament, 2019-2024

In May 2019, European citizens voted on their representatives in the European Parliament for the next five years, to defend their interests in the EU. This year’s election had a turnout of 51%, an increase of 8.3 percentage points from the previous election in 2014. It is also the first time since 1999 that more than half of adult citizens voted. Continue reading

Parliamentary scrutiny of the European Commission: Implementation of Treaty provisions

This updated implementation assessment examines the status quo of the European Parliament’s powers of scrutiny over the European Commission. Continue reading

Size of Political Groups in the EP (2019-2024)

Our table shows the number of MEPs in each group, broken down by Member State, as well as the non-attached (NI) Members not in any group. The figures are supplied by our colleagues from the Members’ Administration Unit. This infographic updates an earlier edition, of 4 December 2017, PE614.600. Continue reading

Impact Assessment and European Added Value work during the eighth legislative term, 2014-2019

Better law-making is at the same time both a policy objective and a process. As a methodology, its purpose is to design and to decide on regulation that is fit for purpose. Continue reading

(Non-)replacement of Commissioners elected to EP

Having been elected to the European Parliament, two current members of the College of Commissioners have resigned as Commissioners in order to take up their seats. As a general rule, a vacancy caused in this way needs to be filled by a new Commissioner of the same nationality – unless the Council unanimously decides otherwise. Continue reading

Continuation of work in progress from last term

With European elections held on 23-26 May 2019, the eighth parliamentary term formally ends on 1 July 2019, a day before the constituent part-session of the newly elected Parliament. Despite the efforts of the co-legislators, agreement could not be found on a number of legislative proposals before the end of the parliamentary term, and these form a major part of the business that needs to be picked up again in the new term. In order to ensure continuity in its work, therefore, Parliament has adopted rules on how to deal with unfinished files. Continue reading

What if policy anticipated advances in science and technology? [Science and Technology podcast]

What if blockchain revolutionised voting? What if your emotions were tracked to spy on you? And what if we genetically engineered an entire species? Continue reading

Political Groups in the European Parliament: A historical perspective

Taking a variety of shapes and forms, European transnational party cooperation is a unique international phenomenon. This is true of transnational party cooperation both outside and within the European Parliament. Continue reading

Electing the European Parliament’s President [Policy Podcast]

At the July I plenary sitting, the newly elected European Parliament (EP) is due to elect its 31st President, to hold office until mid-term at the beginning of 2022, when a new election for Parliament’s President will be held. The President has an important and increasingly visible function in the EU institutional and international setting, mirroring the influential role of the Parliament as shaper of EU policies and co-legislator. Continue reading

Understanding the d’Hondt method: Allocation of parliamentary seats and leadership positions [Policy Podcast]

The allocation of seats in collegiate organs such as parliaments requires a method to translate votes proportionally into whole seats. The ‘d’Hondt method’ is a mathematical formula used widely in proportional representation systems, although it leads to less proportional results than other systems for seat allocation such as the Hare-Niemeyer and Sainte-Laguë/Schepers methods. Continue reading

European elections: A historical perspective

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. Continue reading

Rules on political groups in the EP [Policy Podcast]

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) may form political groups; these are organised not by nationality, but by political affiliation. Since the first direct elections in 1979, the number of political groups has fluctuated between seven and ten. Continue reading

Outcome of the informal dinner of Heads of State or Government on 28 May 2019

EU leaders met to consider the outcome of the European Parliament elections, and to start the appointment process to high-level EU positions ahead of the June 2019 European Council. They discussed the principles that would guide their action, and mandated the European Council President, Donald Tusk, to begin consultations with the Parliament. Continue reading

Artificial intelligence, data protection and elections

The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica case in 2018, revealing alleged misuse of personal data for political advertising, demonstrated how the underlying values of the European data protection rules are essential for democracy. The EU has recently adopted a series of additional initiatives to support free and fair elections, reflected not least in European Parliament (EP) debates and resolutions. Continue reading

Area of freedom, security and justice: Cost of non-Europe

Since the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1999, the EU offers its citizens an area of freedom, security and justice (AFSJ). In this area, the free movement of persons should be ensured, in conjunction with appropriate measures with respect to external border controls, asylum and migration, as well as preventing and combating crime. Continue reading

Outcome of the informal meeting of EU-27 leaders on 9 May 2019 in Sibiu

Just two weeks before the European elections, EU-27 Heads of State or Government met on 9 May 2019 in the Romanian city of Sibiu, to discuss the Union’s common future. They adopted the Sibiu Declaration, recalling the achievements and values of the European Union. Continue reading

The Future of Europe debates in the European Parliament, 2018-19: A synthesis of the speeches by EU Heads of State and Government

The debates held in the European Parliament on the Future of Europe offered a unique opportunity for Heads of State or Government to present their views on the future direction that the EU-27 should take. This exercise showed, on the one hand, that the question of which policy areas are of compelling importance differs among the speakers, and, on the other hand, that they have converging views on many issues. Continue reading

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