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Institutional and Legal Affairs

This category contains 756 posts

Members of the European Parliament from February 2020

In May 2019, on a turnout of 51%, European Union citizens elected their representatives to the European Parliament for the next five years. Continue reading

Plenary round-up – Brussels, September 2020

The September 2020 plenary session was the sixth conducted with Members participating remotely, using the alternative voting procedure put in place in March by Parliament’s Bureau, although a majority were again present in Brussels. Continue reading

Brexit: Towards the end-game [What Think Tanks are thinking]

There is now growing doubt about possible progress on the future relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom. Continue reading

The State of the Union 2020 [What Think Tanks are thinking]

In what has now become a tradition, every year in September, the President of the European Commission delivers the State of the Union address before the 2020 European Parliament, taking stock of achievements over the past year and presenting priorities for the year ahead. Continue reading

The State of the Union debate in the European Parliament, 2020

The State of the Union address of 2020 will be delivered at a time when the coronavirus pandemic continues to create challenges for the European Union and its Member States. Continue reading

The von der Leyen Commission’s six priorities: State of play in autumn 2020

In her statements to the European Parliament in July and November 2019, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen outlined the political priorities that would shape the Commission’s work programme for the years 2019 to 2024. The 2020 Commission work programme, adopted before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe, mirrored these priorities. Continue reading

Replacement of individual Commissioners

On 26 August 2020, Commissioner Phil Hogan tendered his resignation to the President of the European Commission following controversy over his participation in an Oireachtas (Irish Parliament) Golf Society dinner attended by more than 80 people, despite the applicable Irish public health guidelines adopted to contain the spread of Covid-19 limiting gatherings to a fraction of that number. Continue reading

Understanding the EU response to organised crime [Policy Podcast]

The EU has made substantial progress in terms of protecting its citizens since the early 1990s, often in response to dramatic incidents, such as mafia or other organised crime group murders, big money-laundering scandals, a steep increase in migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings following the 2015 migration crisis, or – more recently – a sharp rise in cybercrime, fraud and counterfeiting during the coronavirus pandemic. Continue reading

Jacques Delors: Architect of the modern European Union

The consensus among most historians of European integration and political scientists is that Jacques Delors, who served as President of the European Commission from 1985 to 1995, was the most successful holder of that post to date. His agenda and accomplishments include the EU single market, the Single European Act, Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the rapid integration of the former German Democratic Republic into the European Community. His combination of coherent agenda-setting and strong negotiating skills, acquired through long experience of trade union bargaining and years of ministerial responsibilities in turbulent times, puts Delors above other Commission Presidents, whether in terms of institutional innovation or the development of new Europe-wide policies. He also showed himself able to react swiftly to external events, notably the collapse of the Soviet bloc, whilst building Europe’s credibility on the international stage. This Briefing records Delors’ life across its crucial stages, from trade union activist, senior civil servant, French politician, and Member of the European Parliament, to the helm of the European Commission, where he left the greatest individual impact on European integration history to date. It also traces the most important ideas that guided Delors in his national and European roles. Finally, it describes the political events and key actors which made Delors’ decade in office a time of important decisions and progress in the process of European integration and, in doing so, it draws on recent academic literature and on speeches Delors gave in the European Parliament. Continue reading

Plenary round-up – Brussels, July 2020

The July 2020 plenary session was the fifth conducted with Members participating remotely, using the alternative voting procedure put in place in March by Parliament’s Bureau, although a majority were present in Brussels. Continue reading

States of emergency in response to the coronavirus crisis: Situation in certain Member States IV

With the virulence of the coronavirus pandemic gradually diminishing, and in the light of the restrictive measures adopted by Member States, attention remains on the way chosen by the various states to respond to the crisis. Continue reading

What if insects were on the menu in Europe? [Science and Technology podcast]

Insects, while commonly consumed elsewhere in the world, have long been off the menu in Europe, but they could soon be creeping their way onto our plates. Continue reading

Priority dossiers under the German EU Council Presidency

This note looks at the legislative and political projects, which could feature predominantly during the German Presidency. Continue reading

Plenary round-up – Brussels, June 2020

The June 2020 plenary session was the fourth conducted with Members participating remotely, although this time a majority were present in Brussels, and using the alternative voting procedure put in place in March by Parliament’s Bureau. Continue reading

Coronavirus and prisons in the EU: Member-State measures to reduce spread of the virus

The coronavirus crisis has put huge pressure on European prisons, already often affected by chronic overcrowding and poor healthcare services. Continue reading

EU and UK citizens’ rights after Brexit: An overview

On 1 February 2020, the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) became effective. With the UK’s exit from the EU, UK nationals lose the rights deriving from EU citizenship, unless they also have the nationality of an EU Member State. Continue reading

States of emergency in response to the coronavirus crisis: Situation in certain Member States III

The spread of the coronavirus pandemic has prompted countries to take extensive and far-reaching measures to tackle the consequences of the outbreak. Apart from curbing the spread of the disease, these measures have also posed legal and economic challenges, significantly affecting people’s lives. Continue reading

Key issues in the European Council: State of play in June 2020

Established as an informal summit meeting in 1975, the European Council became a formal European Union institution, with a full-time President, in 2009, on the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon. Continue reading

Coronavirus and elections in selected Member States

With the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, many countries around the world that were or are due to organise elections or referendums, have had to decide whether to hold them as originally planned, introducing mitigating measures, put them on hold or postpone them to a later date. Continue reading

Outlook for the European Council video-conference of 18-19 June 2020

The European Council meeting on 19 June, to be held by video-conference, will be almost exclusively dedicated to the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the proposed new EU recovery fund, dubbed ‘Next Generation EU’. Continue reading

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