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Institutional and Legal Affairs

This category contains 663 posts

Women in foreign affairs and international security: Contours of a timely debate

The debate on the participation and role of women in foreign affairs and international security is a timely and relevant one, and is being raised with increasing frequency at both national and international levels. Continue reading

EU challenges at a time of transition [What Think Tanks are thinking]

The European Union faces numerous challenges, both short and long-term, as it prepares to choose the new executive European Commission for the next five years, following elections to the European Parliament in May 2019. The most immediate task is for European Commission President-elect, Ursula von der Leyen, to put together a college of Commissioners and secure the approval of the European Parliament for it. The EU is also engaged in tough negotiations on the terms of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU, currently due on 31 October. Continue reading

Cost of non-Europe in robotics and artificial intelligence

Robotics is a wide and multi-faceted domain that crosses boundaries between many economic sectors and legal disciplines. The perception of a need for some kind of Europe-wide legal framework to accompany the development of robotic and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies is growing. Continue reading

Revising the Taking of Evidence Regulation [EU Legislation in Progress]

On 31 May 2018, the Commission proposed a proposal for a new regulation on taking of evidence in civil proceedings. It takes stock of the existing regulation (from 2001), but provides for a number of changes to remove legal uncertainty and to promote electronic communications. Continue reading

Appointment of the President of the ECB

During the September 2019 plenary sitting, the European Parliament is expected to vote on a resolution on the candidate (Christine Lagarde) for the position of President of the European Central Bank (ECB), to succeed Mario Draghi, whose term is due to end on 1 November 2019. Continue reading

Parliamentary hearings of the Commissioners-designate: A decisive step in the investiture process [Policy podcast]

The hearings of the Commissioners-designate before the European Parliament’s committees are a necessary ingredient in informing Parliament’s decision to give its consent to, or reject, the proposed College. Continue reading

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

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