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Environmental Legal TeamEnvironment and Beyond EU Law (Part 1) Legal Order 2nd lecture, 6 November 2012 Mery Ciacci.

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Presentation on theme: "Environmental Legal TeamEnvironment and Beyond EU Law (Part 1) Legal Order 2nd lecture, 6 November 2012 Mery Ciacci."— Presentation transcript:

1 Environmental Legal TeamEnvironment and Beyond EU Law (Part 1) Legal Order 2nd lecture, 6 November 2012 Mery Ciacci

2 Environmental Legal TeamEnvironment and Beyond Institutions Procedure for the adoption of the legal acts 2

3 Environmental Legal TeamEnvironment and Beyond The Institutions Listed in Article 13 TEU: European Parliament European Council Council of the European Union (EU Council) Commission Court of Justice of the European Union European Central Bank The Court of Auditors In addition: Social and Economic Committee, Committee of Regions 3

4 Environmental Legal TeamEnvironment and Beyond EU Parliament: Composition members of the European Parliament (MEPs) represent the Unions citizens and sit according to political group, rather than nationality (no more than 750 representatives + the President) (art. 14 TEU) Directly elected by EU voters every 5 years however a uniform electoral procedure (originally envisaged) for all the Mb States has not been created yet The Parliament elects its own President and 14 Vice-Presidents for 2 and a half year terms; together they form the Bureau of Parliament (responsible for the Parliaments budget, administrative and organizational matters) 20 standing committees on different matters (international trade, development, foreign affairs, industry, culture, agriculture, etc...) consider legislative proposal from the Commission; they adopt their own-initiative reports Seat: Strasbourg + Secretariat in Luxembourg and a seat in Brussels 4

5 Environmental Legal TeamEnvironment and Beyond EU Parliament: role Three main roles: Legislative power: debating and passing European laws, with the Council Supervisory power: scrutinising other EU institutions, to make sure they are working democratically; a dismissal and appointment power: censure the Commissions accountability and participate in the Commissions appointment Budgetary Power: debating and adopting the EU's budget, with the Council Gradual transformation: from a relatively powerless body to a strengthened institution 5

6 Environmental Legal TeamEnvironment and Beyond Decision-making SEA: cooperation procedure involved the EPs participation TEU: co-decision procedure, it made the EP a co-equal partner with the Council in the area where it applied (art. 251 former TEC) Today is the ordinary legislative procedure: Parliament works together with the Council to decide on the content of EU laws and officially adopt them (art. 289 TFEU and art. 294 TFEU) Under the Lisbon Treaty, the range of policies covered by the new ordinary legislative procedure has increased (giving Parliament more power to influence the content of laws in areas such as agriculture, energy policy, immigration and EU funds) Parliament must also give its permission for other important decisions, such as allowing new countries to join the EU 6

7 Environmental Legal TeamEnvironment and Beyond European Council began informally in the 60s and 70s as a forum for discussion between EU head of governments Institutionalized in 1992, in 2009 it became one of the EUs 7 official institutions Today: European Council meetings are essentially summits where EU leaders meet to decide on broad political priorities and major initiatives (twice every 6 months chaired by a permanent president) Composition: -Heads of State or Government of the Member States -President (elected by the European Council for 2 year and a half -President of the Commission -+ the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy shall take part in its work (art. 15) 7

8 Environmental Legal TeamEnvironment and Beyond European Council: role shall provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development and shall define the general political directions and priorities thereof. It shall not exercise legislative functions (Art. 15.1) Main role: to set general political direction and priorities, and dealing with complex or sensitive issues that cannot be resolved at a lower level of intergovernmental cooperation Decision are taken by consensus except if the Treaties provide otherwise The President of the European Council shall, at his level and in that capacity, ensure the external representation of the Union on issues concerning its common foreign and security policy, without prejudice to the powers of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy ( 8

9 Environmental Legal TeamEnvironment and Beyond Council (EU Council) this is where national ministers from each EU country meet to adopt laws and coordinate policies Composition: a representative of each Member State at ministerial level Meetings: when are convened by the President, or requested by one of its Members, or at the request of the Commission There are no fixed members as such. At each Council meeting, each country sends the minister for the policy field being discussed – e.g. the environment minister for the meeting dealing with environmental matters. That meeting will then be known as the "Environment Council" It represents national interests 9

10 Environmental Legal TeamEnvironment and Beyond Councils powers: It exercises jointly with the Parliament legislative and budgetary functions carry out policy-making and coordinating functions as laid down in the Treaties: -Coordinates the broad economic policies of EU member countries -Develops the EU's foreign and defence policies (art. 24 and 26 TEU) Signs agreements between the EU and other countries 10

11 Environmental Legal TeamEnvironment and Beyond Councils voting qualified majority to adopt act is the rule Votes are weighted according to the number of population A qualified majority is reached when: - a majority (sometimes even two thirds) of the 27 EU countries vote in favour -at least 255 of the possible 345 votes are cast Furthermore, a member country can ask for a check to see whether the majority represents minimum 62% of the total population. If this is not the case, the proposal cannot be adopted Decisions in sensitive areas, like security or external affairs, shall be adopted by unanimity 11

12 Environmental Legal TeamEnvironment and Beyond Commission (art. 17 TEU) It represents and upholds the interests of the EU as a whole It drafts proposals for new European laws It manages the day-to-day business of implementing EU policies and spending EU funds Composition: 27 Commissioners, one from each EU country, provide the Commissions political leadership during their 5-year term. Each Commissioner is assigned responsibility for specific policy areas by the President. The President is nominated by the European Council. The Council also appoints the other Commissioners in agreement with the nominated President 12

13 Environmental Legal TeamEnvironment and Beyond Commissions powers Legislative power: central role in the legislative process 'right of initiative: Union legislative acts may only be adopted on the basis of a Commission proposal, except where the Treaties provide otherwise (Art TEU) Executive power: -manages the EU's budget and allocating funding -enforces EU law: the Commission brings actions against Member States when they are in breach of EU law -represents the EU internationally, for example, by negotiating agreements between the EU and other countries Administrative power: management of programmes (administration of policies) 13

14 Environmental Legal TeamEnvironment and Beyond Court of Justice of the European Union Court of Justice, the General Court and specialised courts (art. 19 TEU) its mission is to ensure that the law is observedin the interpretation and application of the Treaties Composition: one judge from each Member State; it is assisted by Advocates-General (8) 14

15 Environmental Legal TeamEnvironment and Beyond Role of the Court: reviews the legality of the acts of the institutions of the European Union ensures that the Member States comply with obligations under the Treaties, and interprets European Union law at the request of the national courts and tribunals 15

16 Environmental Legal TeamEnvironment and Beyond 5 kind of Rulings: requests for a preliminary ruling – when national courts ask the Court of Justice to interpret a point of EU law requests for a preliminary ruling actions for failure to fulfil an obligation – brought against EU governments for not applying EU law actions for failure to fulfil an obligation actions for annulment – against EU laws thought to violate the EU treaties or fundamental rights actions for annulment actions for failure to act – against EU institutions for failing to make decisions required of them actions for failure to act direct actions – brought by individuals, companies or organisations against EU decisions or actions direct actions 16

17 Environmental Legal TeamEnvironment and Beyond Legislation and decision-making: Adoption of the acts Ordinary legislative procedure Pre-Lisbon: cooperation and co- decision, + other forms Post-Lisbon: Co-decision is the ordinary legislative procedure Art. 294 TFEU Steps: -Commission submits a proposal -First reading -Second reading -Conciliation -Third reading Special legislative procedure Art TFEU: specific cases provided for by the Treaties the adoption of a regulation, directive or decision by the European Parliament with the participation of the Council, or by the latter with the participation of the European Parliament Important role of the Council exercised through its voting (unanimity or qualified majority) 17 The logic behind: - Dialogue - Compromise - More democratic procedure The logic behind: - Dialogue - Compromise - More democratic procedure


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