constitutional affairs

This tag is associated with 14 posts

German Constitutional Court decisions on EU anti-crisis measures

In response to the financial crisis in the EU, a permanent crisis mechanism – the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) – was adopted by the euro area Member States. A number of cases, lodged with the German Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG), aimed at blocking Germany’s participation. The BVerfG has established four requirements for German participation in … Continue reading

In focus – the European Parliament has more power

The European Parliament (EP) is the only directly elected EU institution. The upcoming elections will highlight the increase in its powers subsequent to the Lisbon Treaty – for example, the EP will elect the European Commission President, on the basis of a proposal from the Heads of State, and taking into account the European elections. … Continue reading

Twenty years of co-legislation: from co-decision to ordinary legislative procedure

Under the co-decision procedure, a proposal needs to be approved by both the European Parliament and the Council in order to be adopted as legislation. The procedure was introduced just over twenty years ago in the Maastricht Treaty. Over time, its scope has gradually been extended to new policy areas and practices of legislative negotiations … Continue reading

Electoral thresholds in European elections. Developments in Germany

The procedure for elections to the European Parliament (EP) features only a limited set of principles common to all Member States (MS). There is no ‘harmonisation’ of electoral thresholds, but MS may establish thresholds of no more than 5%. In November 2012, the European Parliament adopted a resolution inter alia calling on MS to establish … Continue reading

The road to the 1984 Spinelli Report

The Spinelli Report was the result of many years of work and reflection, a project developed on the basis of the Manifesto di Ventotene written by Altiero Spinelli with Ernesto Rossi in 1941. Spinelli chose to advocate a United States of Europe, and the first elected Parliament offered him the chance to work on some … Continue reading

Spinelli’s legacy: the federal path

6 language versions available in PDF format Das Vermächtnis von Altiero Spinelli: der Weg zu einem föderalen System El legado de Spinelli: la vía federal L’héritage d’Altiero Spinelli: la voie du fédéralisme Il lascito di Spinelli: la via del federalismo Spuścizna po Spinellim: federalizm Spinelli’s legacy: the federal path The 1984 Draft Treaty establishing the … Continue reading

Constitutional problems of multi-tier governance in the EU

Differentiated integration – where some Member States are not yet ready or are unwilling to participate in new developments – is a fact of today’s European Union. Nonetheless, the route chosen by the Member States to move forward has a major impact both on the legal certainty around any new instruments and on their democratic … Continue reading

Bilan de l’initiative citoyenne européenne

Premier instrument de démocratie participative transnationale au monde, l’initiative citoyenne européenne (ICE) a été introduite par le Traité de Lisbonne afin de permettre aux citoyens de l’Union européenne (UE) d’intervenir plus activement dans la vie démocratique de celle-ci. Les modalités de la mise en œuvre de l’ICE ont été fixées en février 2011 par le … Continue reading

Referenda in Member States

A national referendum may be considered direct democracy in its purest form. However for the majority of EU Member States it is a rarely used tool reserved only for matters of high constitutional importance such as accession to the EU. Excluding pre-accession votes, since 1992 only three Member States, Italy, Ireland and Slovenia, have held … Continue reading

Policy and legislative evaluation in the EU

Evaluating policy and legislative measures helps to improve the accountability and efficiency of the public sector. At European Union level evaluations are located largely at the European Commission. Its evaluations focus mainly on EU expenditure programmes. Legislative evaluation, usually conducted in the form of Impact Assessments (IA), has also gained in importance. Moreover, some Member … Continue reading

The EU Accession procedure

The enlargement from a Community of six Member States (MS) to a Union of 27 is widely regarded as the EU’s greatest policy triumph. However even amongst those MS who have succeeded in joining, there have been significant differences in their experiences of the accession process. For current and potential candidate countries, completing the process … Continue reading

Bicameral traits at EU level

A bicameral structure for the European Union has been proposed on numerous occasions. A frequent suggestion, and one designed to address the EU’s alleged democratic deficit, is for a second chamber composed of national parliamentarians alongside the European Parliament. However, it is also argued that the EU already has a second chamber, the Council of … Continue reading

Reviewing the rules for written declarations

6 language versions available in PDF format Überprüfung der Regeln für schriftliche Erklärungen Revisión de las normas relativas a declaraciones por escrito La révision du régime des déclarations écrites Revisione del regime delle dichiarazioni scritte Przegląd przepisów dotyczących oświadczeń pisemnych Reviewing the rules for written declarations The European Parliament’s rules of procedure regulating written declarations … Continue reading

Assessing fundamental rights in the European Union

6 language versions available in PDF format Bewertung von Grundrechten in der Europäischen Union Evaluación de los derechos fundamentales en la UE Évaluation des droits fondamentaux dans l’Union européenne Valutazione dei diritti fondamentali nell’Unione europea Ocena przestrzegania praw podstawowych w Unii Europejskiej Assessing fundamental rights in the European Union Since 1993, the European Parliament has … Continue reading

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