Presentation on theme: "Introduction to EU law Structure – EU institutions"— Presentation transcript:
1 Introduction to EU law Structure – EU institutions EU legislation – principlesInfluenceAccessionCapacity to implement acquisPartnerships
2 1. Structure: EU Institutions - Council of EU (ministers, topic)- European Council (heads of state)- European Parliament (732 members directly elected)European Commission (1 per state)European Court of Justice (1 per state)Court of Auditors
3 Decision-making (legislation) - 1 Involved institutions:- Council of Ministers- European Parliament- European Commission
4 Decision-making (legislation) - 2 Different procedures, depending on the issue (treaty provision used as basis)Initiative: mostly European CommissionConsultation (EP can advise)Co-operation (EP can amend, art. 251 EC)Co-decision (EP can amend,reject, art. 252)
5 Decision-making (legislation) - 3 3 pillars of EUEC (used to be EEC, Euratom + ECSC also included)Common Foreign and Security PolicyJustice and Internal Affairs (police and judicial cooperation in criminal affairs)Agriculture part of first pillar. Decision making in pillar 1 mostly co-decision, in others EP less involvedAgriculture policy made by consultation (art. 37 sub 2 EC)
6 Decision-making (legislation) - 4 Ultimately, Members States (Council or European Council) have final sayPolitical decisions by European Council for instance to deal with impasses
7 ButAfter adoption of legislation it is out of political handsCourt can interprete and give binding decisions on legislation (creating a consistent frame of community law)
8 2. EU Law PrinciplesEC – EU : own system of law, special becauseDirect sources of rights and obligations for states and citizens (van Gend & Loos, 1962) (vs states create obligations they want)Priority (previous and later national legislation) (Costa-ENEL, 1964) (vs later legislation repeals previous legislation)Autonomous character of the law system of the EU (vs states hand over competencies they choose and choose their obligations)
9 EU Law Principles - 2Court decides what is community law!Court (ECJ) deals with directives, regulations, treaty provisions in:Direct approach (Court of First Instance) (also: EP vs EC)Prejudicial question (referral by national court, national court acts as EU body in applying EU law)
10 Directives & Regulations (art. 249 EC) EU Law Principles - 3Directives & Regulations (art. 249 EC)Both are binding for member states. They commit themselves to transposing them into national law. If a state does not do this (or does it after the agreed deadline), as a citizen in court you can use them as follows:Regulation: direct transposal (literal text of regulation is binding)Depending on formulation: direct rights and obligations for citizens to use (in court) – clear, intended, target group clearDirective: state has to formulate own law in line with aim and text of directive before certain date (commitment is binding, form and methods up to Member State)In case of non-compliance and clear: can use (in court)
11 EU Law Principles – 4Trend:EU makes policies for more and more issues, more and more intertwined (ever closer union, art. 2 EC)Court reinforces EU order: less space for national interpretations, emphasis on harmonising law (interpretation) for EU citizens (for instance: now criminal punishments for environmental tresspasses under EU jurisdiction according to Court!)
12 EU Law Principles – 5DiscussionEU/Court tends to protect weaker parties (women, employees, consumers)Court tends to use Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU (Nice 2000, not binding yet – would be binding if Constition were adopted) to levy the 4 freedoms (movement of goods, services, persons, capital) (Schmidtberger)4 freedoms are used to harmonise treatment of citizens
13 EU Law Principles – 6DiscussionMember states have less room for own policies (e.g. NL drug policy, euthanasia...)Compromises on political level undermine unity and clarity of law as applied by ECJ
14 Influence – 1Political Parties from non-member states are members of European parties and can influence policies of those parties -> voting in EP- Lobby national parties or directly European partiesMember states and candidates can influence policiesLobby national governmentEuropean networks/organisations- Lobby European networks
15 Commission initiates policies 4. Influence - 2Commission initiates policiesLobby Commission (e.g. Commissioner Environment open for NGO input)EU policies tend to favour public participationUse this as tool on national level (compliance with EU)Use legal options available to protest!For example: fundamental rights, incl. jurisprudence of ECJ and ECHR
16 Copenhagen criteria (1993) AccessionCopenhagen criteria (1993)- stable institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for minorities- functioning market economy- acquis and support the various aims of the European Union- public administration capable of applying and managing EU laws in practiceThe EU reserves the right to decide when a candidate country has met these criteria and when the EU is ready to accept the new memberAccept acquis (approximation) : legislation + jurisprudenceMonitored by EC, with input from new member states and other sources
17 Stabilisation and Association process Specific for Western Balkans (since 2000, Zagreb)Stabilisation and development market economyRegional cooperationProspect of EU accession+ elements of previous accession processes (since 2003, Thessaloniki)
18 Stabilisation and Association Agreements (SAAs) SApStabilisation and Association Agreements (SAAs)Gradual alignment to EU legislation in some areasFree trade area with EURegional cooperationCooperation with EU on justice, visa, etcTrade measuresFinancial assistance (CARDS)
19 SAp since Thessaloniki European PartnershipsPolitical Cooperation CFSPAssistance institution buildingPromoting economic developmentOpening Community programmes, incl environment
20 Accession processEurope Agreements/Association Agreements/SAAsAccession Partnerships/European PartnershipsPre-accession assistance (IPA)Co-financing from IFIsParticipation in EU programmes/agencies/committeesNPAAProgress Reports/Regular ReportsPolitical Dialogue
22 Capacity to implement effectively Adoption, application and enforcement of acquis (Copenhagen, Madrid, Luxembourg, Helsinki)Adjusting structures of administrationExamples: paying agencies in frame of SAPARD: if not, no SAPARDMoney & Men?
23 Empowered and accountable institutions + (Nicolaides)Empowered and accountable institutions +Decision making independence +Performance obligations and controlExecution of a task requires:KnowledgeAbilityWillingness
24 KnowledgeKnowledge on EU law and policies, obtainable also via screening process, seminars, advice, etcAbilityCommitting resources, extra staff, trainings, acquaintances with MS practice (TAIEX, twinning programmes)WillingnessMostly neglected according to Nicolaides, related to institutional design
25 WillingnessEffective implementation has become a “harder” requirementThis is both a clarification (lessons learned) and a toughening of EU position (raising entry requirements, unilateral, no criteria for judging preparedness, bringing commitments forward in time: before accession it all has be in order)So preparedness and assessment of this may obstruct accession!
26 WillingnessFirst time that Candidates had to show effective implementation was in fifth enlargement: 10 new MSIntegration in EU further advanced, so weaknesses in administration capacity and incorrect and incomplete implementation touch at the core of EUAlso within EU Commission is more and more supervising implementation
27 WillingnessHow does the EU deal with incorrect and incomplete implementation internally?No direct judgement of administrative capacity but indirectly
28 Publication of national records of transposition Publication of surveys of business opinionsEncouraging citizens and businesses to take actionInspections carried out by the CommissionLegal proceedings against MSEvaluation by Commission of state of internal marketMonitoring and coordination of national policiesPeer review and pressure
29 Quality of results, not just transposition All methods togetherDiverse systems in place in EU: extract basic elements
30 knowledge – ability – willingness a. Observable or quantifiable termsb. Ability to define targets, actions needed, measuring results, assessment of achieving targetsc. Conditions in which institute operates must be knownd. Learning capacitye. Means for adjusting actions: resources + legal powerf. Mistakes: review, evaluation, adjustment rather than pretending no mistakes will be made
31 g. No prior approval needed! (flexibility is needed within boundaries) h. Discretioni. Coordinationj. Accountability (assigned missions, safeguard against abuse): openness, transparency, explanations, standardsk. Appeal & judicial controlIt becomes in the interest of the institute to perform as expected!
32 Effects and impacts on others Side effectsBehavioural reactions of targeted groups= reducing compliance costs + strengthening detection and raising penalties(Maybe copy existing procedures that work well)
33 Trust!EU is asking more detailed information...Expectations about future behaviourTrack recordImpossible to act in another way(evaluation + adjusting)(willingness!)
36 Partnerships What is a partnership? What are reasons to develop a partnership?
37 Partnerships are for Milieukontakt a more structured and formalised way of cooperating with strategically chosen organisations with a time frame of 2 to 4 years.
38 Partnership Requirements MKI Shared missionSuccessful experience in cooperationMutual trustPosition of partnerConcrete ideasInsight in SWOT of partnersStability and capacityPartner organisation supports broadly partnership
39 Reasons for a partnership can be: united forces can lead to better resultsstrengthen the organisational capacitysharing resources, time and capacity can help to realise the aims more effectivelyincreasing the efficiencymore effective lobby and better promotion of the workto learn from each others knowledge and expertise
40 What is the common ground between the network members? What is the common ground between the network and the ministry?What can each of us bring to a partnership? What can be our role?Who is the other? What are strengths and weaknesses of the partners?
41 Why this partnershipVision/MissionAims & ResultsWhatDurationWhat is needed for our partnership to work?Requirements of each of the partners for the partnershipShared principles?CommunicationDecision making?What are the steps to develop the partnership?MoU?