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Institutional and Legal Affairs

This category contains 583 posts

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, September 2018

The highlight of September’s plenary session was the State of the Union speech by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, announcing a number of legislative proposals to come by the end of the Commission’s mandate. Continue reading

‘Fake news’ [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Attempts at influencing or distorting elections in the United States and other countries, including some European Union Member States, have drawn attention to what is commonly referred to as ‘fake news’, or false news posing as factual stories. Continue reading

Digital technology in elections: Efficiency versus credibility?

Digital technology brings greater efficiency in many walks of life, and elections are no exception. Online databases hugely facilitate the task of creating and managing accurate and up-to-date electoral rolls. In less developed countries, whose citizens often lack reliable identity documents, biometric technology can help to identify voters, thus preventing fraud in the form of multiple voting. Continue reading

The State of the Union [What Think Tanks are thinking]

The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, will deliver his last State of the Union address to the European Parliament on Wednesday 12 September, a little more than eight months before the next European elections. In this annual speech in Strasbourg, President Juncker is expected to take stock of the state of play on his ten priorities for the 2014-2019 political cycle and present his remaining initiatives on building a ‘more united, stronger and more democratic Union’. Juncker’s 2017 address was marked by cautious optimism: since then, whilst the European economy has continued to recover, several other challenges have proved persistent. Continue reading

The Juncker Commission’s ten priorities: State of play in autumn 2018

This publication provides an up-to-date overview and analysis of the state of play in the delivery by the European Commission of the various legislative and other political initiatives flowing from the ten priorities defined by its President, Jean-Claude Juncker, when the Commission took office in 2014. Continue reading

The 2018 State of the Union debate in the European Parliament

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union address to the European Parliament, and the subsequent debate, on 12 September 2018 is to be the last one during the current mandate. Continue reading

2019 European elections: National rules

This Infographic contains up-to-date information on key data concerning the forthcoming European elections (to be held in 2019). In a one-page format, readers can find information of the Election day, the voting systems adopted at Member States’ level, as well as on rules governing eligibility and allocation of seats. Most importantly, the infographic takes into account the re-distribution of seats following on the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU, and the overall reduction of total number of seats to 705. Further, more in-depth analysis is available on the second page of the infographic. Continue reading

EU law for an open independent and efficient European administration: Summary report of the public consultation

As a follow-up to the European Parliament resolution of 9 June 2016 calling for an open, efficient and independent European Union administration – 2016/2610(RSP), rapporteur: Heidi Hautala (Greens/EFA, Finland) – the Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) asked the European Parliamentary Research Service’s European Added Value Unit to carry out a public consultation. The aim of the consultation was to survey public opinion, first, on general perceptions and attitudes towards the EU administration; second, on personal experience in dealing with the EU institutions; and, third, on further action that the EU should take in the area of EU administrative law to address the shortcomings identified. Continue reading

Brexit: Latest state of play [What Think Tanks are thinking]

he politically charged negotiations on the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union moved forward a little in July, when the British Cabinet put detailed proposals on the table for the future framework of EU-UK relations. The document, which envisages relatively close ties between the EU and UK, in trade and several other areas, after Britain leaves in March 2019, prompted the resignations of two senior ministers David Davis and Boris Johnson, who favour an even harder Brexit. EU officials have said that the new proposals contain some constructive elements, although many questions remain unanswered. This note offers links to reports and commentaries from some major international think-tanks and research institutes on Brexit negotiations and related issues. Continue reading

Revision of the Community Code on Visas [EU Legislation in Progress]

The European Union Code on Visas is one of the core elements of the EU’s visa policy. It lays down the procedures and conditions for issuing short-stay visas for third-country nationals. Continue reading

The Rome Statute at 20: The International Criminal Court’s achievements and challenges

Adopted on 17 July 1998, the Rome Statute is the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which was set up to deal with the most serious crimes of international concern – genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Continue reading

The EU-UK withdrawal agreement: Progress to date and remaining difficulties

With less than one year to go before the planned Brexit date of 30 March 2019, talks are continuing as regards the terms of the United Kingdom’s (UK) withdrawal from the European Union (EU). Continue reading

Acquisition and loss of citizenship in EU Member States: Key trends and issues

Access to citizenship status is an important prerequisite for enjoying rights and privileges, such as migration and political rights, as well as for developing a sense of identity and belonging. Since the establishment of Union citizenship, all persons who are nationals or citizens of an EU Member State enjoy the status of EU citizenship, which confers on them a number of additional rights and privileges. Continue reading

European Council: Facts and Figures

The European Council is one of the most important European Institutions and receives a lot of media attention when it meets. However, many aspects of this institution are less well known, and citizens ask themselves who are the Members of the European Council, since when does the European Council exist and how did its role evolve and the number and type of participants change over time. Continue reading

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, July 2018

The July plenary session highlights were: the continuation of the debate on the Future of Europe, this time with the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, the discussion on the outcome of the European Council meeting of 28-29 June 2018, and the review of the Bulgarian and presentation of the activities of the Austrian Presidencies. Continue reading

The European Council in 2017: Overview of decisions and discussions

For the first year in almost a decade, the European Council was not in crisis mode in 2017. Throughout the year, the political and economic situation in the European Union (EU) improved markedly. Continue reading

Priority Dossiers under the Austrian EU Council Presidency

Austria will hold the EU Council Presidency from July to December 2018. Its presidency comes at the end of the Trio Presidency composed of Estonia, Bulgaria and Austria. The last time Austria held the Council Presidency was in 2006. Continue reading

The migration challenge [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Next week, European Union Heads of State or Government will discuss the politically charged issue of reforming the EU’s migration and asylum policies. Divisions among EU members over how to handle migrants were exposed again earlier this month when Italy’s new government tightened its migration policy, while the German ruling coalition faced a potentially destabilising rift over the issue. Continue reading

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, June 2018

The June plenary session highlights were the continuation of the debate on the future of Europe with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, and the preparation of the European Council meeting of 28 and 29 June 2018. Continue reading

Future of Europe debates: Parliament hosts Heads of State or Government

Against the background of the many challenges which the European Union has faced in recent years, the European Parliament has taken the lead in launching and hosting a series of high-profile debates on the Future of Europe, intended to run for the whole of 2018. Continue reading

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