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 The European Union is not a federation, nor an organization for cooperation between governments  The Member States remain independent sovereign nations.

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Presentation on theme: " The European Union is not a federation, nor an organization for cooperation between governments  The Member States remain independent sovereign nations."— Presentation transcript:


2  The European Union is not a federation, nor an organization for cooperation between governments  The Member States remain independent sovereign nations  They delegate some of their decision-making powers to shared institutions they have created  The decision-making process and the co- decision procedure involve three main institutions:

3  I. the European Parliament (EP) – represents the EU citizens and is directly elected by them in order to represent their interest  Elections are held every five years  Every EU citizen is entitled to vote and to stand as a candidate  The latest elections were in June 2009  Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) do not seat in national blocks but in 7 political groups, they are grouped by political affiliation

4  The EP has 3 places of work: Brussels, Luxembourg, (home to the administrative offices – the General Secretariat) Strasbourg  Meetings of the whole Parliament – plenary sessions – take place in Brussels and Strasbourg  Committee meetings are held in Brussels

5 It has 3 main roles:  1.debating and passing European laws – jointly with the European Council  e.g. in areas such as consumer protection and the environment, Parliament works together with the Council to decide on the content of EU laws and officially adopt them  This process is called “ordinary legislative procedure”  Under the Lisbon Treaty the range of policies covered by “ordinary legislative procedure” has increased including agriculture, energy policy, immigration and EU funds  Parliament gives permission for other countries to join the EU

6  2. scrutinizing over other EU institutions, in particular the Commission – to make sure they are working democratically  it has the power to approve or reject the nomination of commissioners: its 28 members – one from each EU country – cannot take up office until Parliament has approved them  It can call on the Commission to resign – motion of censure  It examines the reports the Commissions produces and questions the Commissioners  MEPs look at citizens’ petitions and sets up committees of inquiry  When national leaders meet for European Council summits, Parliament gives its opinion on the topics on the agenda

7  3. debating and adopting the EU’s budget, with the Council  Parliament adopts the annual budget with the Council  Parliament has a committee that monitors how the budget is spent and passes judgment on the Commission’s handling of the previous year’s budget

8 composition  The number of MEPs for each country is in proportion to its population, but  No country can have more than 96 MEPs or fewer than 6  The numbers will be adjusted for the next mandate of the European Parliament:  Germany - will be reduced from 99 to 96  Malta – will increase from 5 to 6

9  II. The Council - is the EU’s decision- making body  It began informally in 1974 as a forum for discussions between EU leaders  Later it became the body which fixed goals and priorities for the bloc  Its meetings are summits where EU leaders meet to decide o broad political priorities and major initiatives  There are 4 meetings a year, chaired by a permanent president  Note: it has no power to pass laws

10  The European Council brings together the heads of states or government of every EU country, the Commission President and the European Council President, who chairs the meetings.  The EU’ High Representative of Foreign Affairs and Security Policy takes part too  Herman Van Rompuy is the President of European Council until November 30 th, 2014  It decides by consensus  It adopts decisions by unanimity or by qualified majority

11  III. European Commission – is independent of national governments  - represents and upholds the interests of the EU as a whole  - it drafts proposals for new European laws and presents them to the European Parliament and the Council  - it is EU’s executive arm – it is responsible for implementing EU policies and spending EU funds  Was set up in the 1950s

12 composition  28 Commissioners – one from each EU country  Each is assigned responsibility for specific policy areas  Jose Manuel Barroso – current President  Ciolos Dacian – Agriculture and Rural Development  The appointment of all Commissioners and the President is subject to the approval of the European Parliament  The President is nominated by the European Council  Commission’s staff: lawyers, economists, translators, interpreters, administrators, secretarial staff – are organized in departments known as Directorate-General

13 What it does  It oversees and implements EU policies  How does it work?  1. proposing new laws:  It has the right of initiative – it can propose new laws to protect the interests of EU and its citizens  To get technical details right, it consults experts through committees or groups and holds public consultation  It produces a draft, if at least 14 of the 28 Commissioners agree with it, the draft is sent to the Council and Parliament

14  2. managing the EU’s budget and allocating funds  Together with the Council and Parliament, the Commission sets broad, long-term spending priorities for the EU  It draws up the annual budget  It supervises how EU funds are spent  It manages funding for EU policies;  Agriculture,  Rural development  Erasmus

15  3. enforcing European law  Is a guardian of the treaties – it checks that each member country is applying the EU law properly  If a country is failing to do so  first sends an official letter asking to correct the problem  A last resort – the Commission refers the issue to the Court of Justice which can impose penalties and its decisions are binding on EU countries and institutions

16  4. representing the EU internationally  Speaks on behalf of all EU countries in international bodies like the World Trade Organization  negotiates international agreements for the EU such as Cotonou Agreement (on aid and trade between the EU and developing countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific)

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