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1 THE EUROPEAN UNION Institutions and Legal Framework Michele Colucci Web site: Parma.

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Presentation on theme: "1 THE EUROPEAN UNION Institutions and Legal Framework Michele Colucci Web site: Parma."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 THE EUROPEAN UNION Institutions and Legal Framework Michele Colucci Web site: Parma November 2007

2 2 PURPOSES OF THIS COURSE INTRODUCING THE EU LEGAL ORDER UNDERSTANDING THE EU INSTITUTIONS MECHANISM EU LAW IN MOTION THE FUTURE OF THE EU:BEYOND THE REFORM TREATY (RT)

3 3 What is the European Union? DREAM... –Monnet, Schuman, Spinelli,... HOPE –Peace and well being of its people (art.3 RT) A REALITY –As of : 27 Member States, one currency for 13 Member States, more than people united in diversity!

4 4 Population figures: EU-27 CountryPopulation % of population in EU-27 Germany France UK Italy Spain Poland Romania Netherlands Greece Portugal Belgium Czech Republic Hungary Sweden Austria Bulgaria Denmark Slovakia Finland Ireland Lithuania Latvia Slovenia Estonia Cyprus Luxembourg Malta Total %

5 5 HISTORIC STEPS Treaty of Paris, which set up the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1951 (expired on 23 of July 2002); Treaties of Rome, which set up the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) in Single European Act (1986); Treaty of the European Union (Maastricht, 1992); Treaty of Nice (2001). Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe signed in Rome on 29 october 2004 Reform Treaty (agreement on october 2007)

6 6 THE EUROPEAN UNION (2007): A political and economic structure

7 7 THE EUROPEAN UNION IN THE REFORM TREATY THE UNION SHALL REPLACE AND THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY (art. 1) Single Legal Personality for the EU: no more pillar structure VALUES: – –respect for human dignity, – –freedom, – –democracy, – –equality, – –the rule of law and respect for human rights (art.2).

8 8 AIMS AIMS: – –Internal Market, – –sustainable development based on balanced economic growth and price stability, – –a highly competitive social market economy, – –full employment and social progress, – – a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment, scientific and technological advance. It shall combat social exclusion and discrimination, shall promote – – social justice and protection, – –equality between women and men, solidarity between generations and protection of the rights of the child, – –and solidarity among Member States. It shall respect its rich cultural and linguistic diversity (art. 3 RT).

9 9 THE INSTITUTIONS THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL (art.9- 9bis RT) THE COUNCIL THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION THE COURT OF JUSTICE THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK (art.9 RT) THE COURT OF AUDITORS

10 10 OTHER INSTITUTIONS THE COMMITTEE OF REGIONS THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE THE EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK AGENCIES

11 11 THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION Structure PRESIDENT AND 26 COMMISSIONERS (2007), 15 (RT). Secretariat General, Legal Service 36 DIRECTORATES- GENERAL (DGs):Agriculture, Environment, Employment and Social Affaires,Transport, and so on.

12 12 The European Commission Role INITIATOR OF LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS GUARDIAN OF THE TREATIES EXECUTIVE ARM OF THE EU MOUTHPIECE FOR THE EU AT INTERNATIONAL LEVEL

13 13 THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT Structure 785 Members from all 27 EU countries – Malta (5 seats), Germany (99 seats) (96). –751 members (RT). 17 committees Administrative offices in Luxembourg Plenary sessions in Strasbourg Committee meetings in Brussels

14 14 Member stateSeats Member stateSeats Germany99(96) Austria18 France78(77) Bulgaria18 Italy78(76) Finland14 United Kingdom78(76) Denmark14 Spain54 Slovakia14 Poland54 Ireland13 Romania35 Lithuania13 Netherlands27 Latvia9 Belgium24 Slovenia7 Czech Republic24 Cyprus6 Greece24 Estonia6 Hungary24 Luxembourg6 Portugal24 Malta5 Sweden19Total:785(751)

15 15 Political Groups Formation of political groups: MEPs elected in at least one-fifth of the MSs – new rule since minimum number of MEPs required – 20 PPE-DE Group of the European Peoples Party and European Democrats (277) PSE Socialist group (217) ALDE Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (106) UEN Union for Europe of the Nations Group (44) Verts / ALE Group of the Greens /European Free Alliance (42) GUE/NGL Confederal Group of the European United Left - Nordic Green Left (41) IND / DEM Independence / Democracy (24) IDS Identity, Tradition and Sovereignty Group (21) NI Non-attached (13) Note: figures as of May 2007

16 16 THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT Role PASSING EUROPEAN LAWS – jointly with the Council DEMOCRATIC SUPERVISOR over the other EU institutions BUDGETARY POWER

17 17 THE COUNCIL Structure One minister from each Member State 9 different Council configurations General Affairs and External Relations (including European Security and Defence Policy and Developmnet Co-operation Economic and Financial Affairs (including budget) Agriculture and Fisheries Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer affairs Competitiveness (!) – comprising Internal Market IndustryResearchTourism Justice and Home affairs (including civil protection) Environment Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Education, Youth and Culture (including audiovisual matters) Council Presidency: rotation every six months General Secretariat Location: Brussels

18 18 How does the Council work? Working groups – more than 250 Coreper (Committee of the Permanent representatives off the MSs) – responsible for preparing the work of the Council Coreper I Council of Ministers (9 configuration) Coreper II Seat in Brussels – but holds meetings in Luxembourg as well (during April, June and October) Seat in Brussels – but holds meetings in Luxembourg as well (during April, June and October)

19 19 COREPER I and II Coreper I Composed of the Deputy Permanent Representatives, prepares the ground for the following Council configurations: –Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs; –Competitiveness (internal market, industry, research and tourism); –Transport, Telecommunications and Energy; –Agriculture and Fisheries; –Environment; –Education, Youth and Culture (including audiovisual); Coreper II Composed ofthe Permanent Representatives, prepares for the other configurations: General Affairs and External Relations (including European security and defence policy and development cooperation);General Affairs and External Relations (including European security and defence policy and development cooperation); –Economic and Financial Affairs (including the budget); –Justice and Home Affairs (including civil protection).

20 20 Responsibilities of the Council To pass EU legislation To co-ordinate economic and social policies of MS To conclude international agreements between the EU and other countries To approve the EUs budget To develop the EUs CFSP To coordinate co-operation in the area of Freedom, security and justice

21 21 The Council: voting system UNANIMITY –CFSP –Taxation –Asylum and Immigration policy Qualified Majority voting (in some cases a two thirds majority) and –minimum of 232 votes is cast in favour –representation of at least 62% population

22 22 Number of votes for MS (2007) Number of Votes according to population but not strictly proportional, adjusted to the less populous coountries Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom 29 Spain and Poland 27 Romania 14 Netherlands 13 Belgium, Czech Rep., Greece, Hungary and Portugal 12 Austria, Sweden, Bulgaria 10 Denmark, Ireland, Lithuania, Slovakia and Finland 7 Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Luxembourg and Slovenia 4 Malta 3 TOTAL 345

23 23 EUROPEAN COUNCIL (The summit) Art. 4 EU- Art. 9b RT Neither an EU institution nor a legislator –introduced by the Single European Act (SEA) –official status since the Maastrichti Treaty (TEU) provides the Union with the necessary impetus for its development and defines the general political directions and priorities. Composition: Heads of State or Government of the Member States and the President of the Commission. President elected for 2 and half years Council meets at least twice a year submit to the European Parliament a report after each of its meetings and a yearly written report on the progress achieved by the Union.

24 24 COURT OF JUSTICE Composition - 1 judge per each Member State Full court (27 judges) -Grand Chamber (13 judges) - chambers of 5 or 3 judges Appointed for a term of 6 years by joint agreement of the MSs President for 3 years 8 (11 RT)advocates general (AG= Amicus Curiae) present reasoned opinions (conclusions) to Court Seat - Luxembourg

25 25 THE COURT OF JUSTICE Role to ensure that: – EU law is complied with – Treaties are correctly interpreted and applied. It intervenes by: –References for a preliminary ruling –Actions for failure to fulfil an obligation –Actions for annulment –Actions for failure to act.

26 26 CoJ: the procedure Written phase: –Written statements from the parties –Reports by judges Oral phase –Public hearing Opinion from the advocate General Judgement decided by a majority

27 27 COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE and EUROPEAN CIVIL SERVICE TRIBUNAL CFI: Created in judge per MS No Advocates General Cases on: –Actions brought by private individuals –Competition law EUROPEAN UNION CIVIL SERVICE TRIBUNAL –7 judges –Disputes between EU/civil servants

28 28 The Court of Auditors checks that : –all the European Union's revenue has been received; –all its expenditure incurred in a lawful and regular manner –EU budget has been managed soundly.

29 29 The EESC and the CoR EESC: –317 members: Workers, Employers, others (NGOs, Academics) –Consultation role CoR: –317 members: regional and local authorities –Consultation role

30 30 EUROPEAN OMBUDSMAN (Art. 195 EC) Created by the Maastricht Treaty Elected by the EP (Nikiforos Diamandouros) for 5 years Duties Investigate maladminsitration by the European Institutions (except the European Courts) following by a complaint or on own initiative Powers of the Ombudsman Information (the Institiution concerned has 3 months to give a detailed opinion on the matter) conciliationrecommendation report to the EP report to the EP

31 31 European Community Agencies Bodies set up by the EU to carry out a very specific technical, scientific or management task within first pillar Legal basis: regulation specifying its task currently 23 bodies that match the definition of a Community Agency under the name centreinstitutefoundationofficeauthority

32 32 European Community Agencies European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) - Thessaloniki European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (EUROFOUND) - Dublin European Environment Agency (EEA) - Copenhagen European Training Foundation (ETF) - Turin European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) - Lisbon European Medicines Agency (EMEA) - London Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) (OHIM) - Alicante European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) - Bilbao Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) - Angers Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union (CdT) - Luxembourg European Fundamental Rights Agency - Vienna European Agency for Reconstruction (EAR) - Thessaloniki European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) - Parma European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) - Lisbon European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) - Cologne European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) - Heraklion European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) - Stockholm European Global Navigation Satellite System Supervisory Authority

33 33 SUMMING UP: REFORM TREATY (same as in the Draft Constitutional Treaty) Double majority decision making in Council of Ministers –55% of member states and 65% of the EU's population in favour –Polish request accepted: new voting system will only apply from 2014 –Extra transition period until 2017 when additional provisions to block a decision will apply Extending qualified majority voting –40 new policy areas –Especially: asylum, immigration, police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters; Permanent Council presidency –Chair EU Summits for a 2.5 years, renewable - instead of six-month rotation High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy –Replace current EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Javier Solana and the external relations commissioner –Name EU Foreign Minister dropped Reducing the number of Commissioners from 27 to 15 by 2014 Single legal personality for the EU – no more pillar structure EU competende on Sport National parliaments role enhanced –right to raise objections against draft EU legislation Exit clause - possible for Member States to leave the EU!!!!!

34 34 New Items and changes compared to the Constitutional Treaty Reference to new challenges –climate change –energy solidarity Applying new opt-in/out provisions –policies on border checks –asylum and immigration –judicial co-operation in civil matters –judicial cooperation in criminal matters –police co-operation Name Constitution discarded No reference to the symbols and anthem of the EU Full text of the Charter of Fundamental Rights replaced by cross-reference with the same legal value

35 35 The Reform Treaty and the way ahead Final adoption at the European Council in December 2007 To be ratified by every Member States parliament – Ireland: referendum is obligatory Netherlands, UK or others: referendum is optional Keeping in mind that ….

36 36 WE DO NOT UNITE STATES, WE UNITE PEOPLE. Jean Monnet ( )


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