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IEL 101 JPGCU European Union and Human Rights Essay

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dr Iryna Kozak-Balaniuk  Public decides which politicians they wish to vote for at each election, judged on the performance of these politicians while in government, and then decide at the next election whether they wish to re-elect the same politicians or to vote for someone else.  European Commission – represents executive and administration of the EU  The Council and European Parliament – represent two chamber legislature  The European Council – is a collegiate body that defines the overall political directions and priorities of the EU Art. 223 of TFEU – provides for the adoption of a Council decision on the procedure for elections to the European Parliament and for European Parliament regulations on the statute of its members Art. 14(2) of TEU – provides for the European Council to adopt a decision on the composition of the European Parliament – MEPs Art. 22(2) of TFEU – provides that every EU citizen living in another Memeber State can vote or stand for elections to the European Parliament    It debates legislation. It can pass or reject laws, and it can also make amendments (but not in all cases). Laws must also be passed by the Council of the EU in order to become law. If the law is about EU budgets, the Parliament can only advise on it – it does not have the power to reject the law. It supervises EU institutions and budgets. The president of the EU Commission must be approved by Parliament, and the Commission must answer written or oral questions during Question Time. It establishes an EU budget (along with the Council of the EU). Legislative  Passing EU laws, together with the Council of the EU, based on European Commission proposals  Deciding on international agreements  Deciding on enlargements  Reviewing the Commission’s work and asking it to propose legislation Supervisory  Democratic scrutiny (inspection) of all EU institutions  Electing the Commission President and approving the Commission as a body. Possibility of voting a motion of censure, obliging the Commission to resign  Granting discharge, i.e. approving the way EU budgets have been spent  Examining citizens’ petitions and setting up inquiries  Discussing monetary policy with the European Central Bank  Questioning Commission and Council  Election observations Budgetary  Establishing the EU budget, together with the Council  Approving the EU’s long-term budget, the “Multiannual Financial Framework” Unlike most national parliaments, the European Parliament cannot initiate legislation. The European Commission is the only EU institution with the power to initiate (or start) new laws. The Parliament can ask the Commission to initiate laws.   The number of MEPs for each country is roughly proportionate to its population, but this is by degressive proportionality: no country can have fewer than 6 or more than 96 MEPs and the total number cannot exceed 705 (704 plus the President). MEPs are grouped by political affiliation, not by nationality. The President represents Parliament to other EU institutions and the outside world and gives the final go-ahead to the EU budget. Look on the following website: me   Committees – to prepare legislation. The Parliament numbers 20 committees and two subcommittees, each handling a particular policy area. The committees examine proposals for legislation, and MEPs and political groups can put forward amendments or propose to reject a bill. These issues are also debated within the political groups. Plenary sessions – to pass legislation. This is when all the MEPs gather in the chamber to give a final vote on the proposed legislation and the proposed amendments. Normally held in Strasbourg for four days a month, but sometimes there are additional sessions in Brussels. Registered European Political Parties  European People’s Party (EPP)  Party of European Socialists (PES)  Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)  European Green Party (EGP)  Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR)  Party of the European Left (PEL)  European Democratic Party (EDP)  European Free Alliance (EFA)  European Christian Political Movement (ECPM  Movement for a Europe of Nations and Freedom (MENF) Although the Parliament and the Council have the final word on eventual legislation, the importance of lobbying those that are drafting the proposal within the European Commission cannot be stressed enough. Once the proposal has gone to the Council and European Parliament, it is indeed more difficult to add aspects that were not included in the original draft as governments and MEPs usually tend to limit the Commission’s proposals rather than extend them. Since the Commission defends the common European interest, this lobbying is carried out most effectively at European level. The Commission helps to shape the EU’s overall strategy, proposes new EU laws and policies, monitors their implementation and manages the EU budget. It also plays a significant role in supporting international development and delivering aid Promotes the general interest of the EU by proposing and enforcing legislation as well as by implementing policies and the EU budget The European Commission is the EU’s politically independent executive arm. It is alone responsible for drawing up proposals for new European legislation, and it implements the decisions of the European Parliament and the Council of the EU Proposes new laws  The Commission is the sole EU institution tabling laws for adoption by the Parliament and the Council that:  protect the interests of the EU and its citizens on issues that can’t be dealt with effectively at national level  get technical details right by consulting experts and the public Manages EU policies & allocates EU funding  sets EU spending priorities, together with the Council and Parliament  draws up annual budgets for approval by the Parliament and Council  supervises how the money is spent, under scrutiny by the Court of Auditors Enforces EU law  together with the Court of Justice, ensures that EU law is properly applied in all the member countries Represents the EU internationally  speaks on behalf of all EU countries in international bodies, in particular in areas of trade policy and humanitarian aid  negotiates international agreements for the EU Political leadership is provided by a team of 27 Commissioners (one from each EU country) – led by the Commission President, who decides who is responsible for which policy area. The College of Commissioners is composed of the President of the Commission, eight Vice-Presidents, including three Executive Vice-Presidents, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and 18 Commissioners, each responsible for a portfolio. The day-to-day running of Commission business is performed by its staff (lawyers, economists, etc.), organised into departments known as DirectoratesGeneral (DGs), each responsible for a specific policy area. After each European election, the European Council proposes a president of the Commission. This nominee must be approved by a majority of the Parliament. The commissioners are then nominated and they too must be approved by the Parliament. The Government of each Member State nominates a commissioner. Each individual commissioner is subject to scrutiny by the relevant committee of the European Parliament before the vote by Parliament takes place. The current Commission will be in office from 2019 to 2024. The President of the Commission is appointed for a renewable 5 year term. Commissioners are given a portfolio which is their area of responsibility. It is up to the President of the Commission to decide which commissioner will be responsible for each policy area/portfolio and to change these responsibilities (if necessary) during the Commission’s term of office. Commissioners act independently in the interests of the EU. They do not represent the interests of their own Member State. Each commissioner appoints a cabinet of his/her own choice headed by the chef de cabinet. The cabinet consists of a small group of counsellors (usually about five) who assist them in the preparation of Commission decisions. As well as the cabinets, the Commission’s personnel is organised into specialist departments called Directorates General which are in turn divided into Directorates and then into Units. At the head of each department, there is a Director General responsible to the relevant commissioner. The Presidential candidate selects potential VicePresidents and Commissioners based on suggestions from the EU countries. The list of nominees has to be approved by national leaders in the European Council. Each nominee appears before the European Parliament to explain their vision and answer questions. Parliament then votes on whether to accept the nominees as a team. Finally, they are appointed by the European Council, by a qualified majority. The current Commission’s term of office runs until 31 October 2024. Strategic planning  The President defines the policy direction for the Commission, which enables the Commissioners together to decide strategic objectives, and produce the annual work program. Collective decision making  Decisions are taken based on collective responsibility. All Commissioners are equal in the decision-making process and equally accountable for these decisions.  The Vice-Presidents act on behalf of the President and coordinate work in their area of responsibility, together with several Commissioners. Priority projects are defined to help ensure that the College works together in a close and flexible manner.  Commissioners support Vice-Presidents in submitting proposals to the College. I
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