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EU-integration knowledges Prepared by Dr. Endre Domonko s (PhD)

EU-integration knowledges Prepared by Dr. Endre Domonko s (PhD) Academic Year 20 12 /2013 Autumn Semester. I . The expansion of the Parliament’s powers. The Single European Act expanded the competences of the Parliament.

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EU-integration knowledges Prepared by Dr. Endre Domonko s (PhD)

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  1. EU-integration knowledges Prepared by Dr. Endre Domonkos (PhD) Academic Year 2012/2013 Autumn Semester

  2. I. The expansion of the Parliament’s powers • The Single European Act expanded the competences of the Parliament. • Another important changement was that the so-called „assent powers” was introduced by the Act. • The Treaty of Maastricht expanded the decision-making and legislative powers of the Parliament (co-decision procedure). • According to the Treaty of Lisbon the Parliament can act as a decision-maker, and no decision can be made without its agreement (ordinary legislative procedure).

  3. II. Decision-making of the EU in the Treaty of Lisbon I. • According to the Treaty of Lisbon, qualified majority voting is applied in 80% 0f policy areas, and the extension of its scope will take effect immediately and not in 2014 like the double majority rule. • The co-decision procedure is named as ordinary legislative procedure. • There are about twenty areas left where the Council retains its lead legislative role with Parliament playing a merely consultative role in the current consultation procedure. • The cooperation procedure was abolished completely.

  4. III. Decision-making of the EU in the Treaty of Lisbon II. • The Treaty of Lisbon maintains special legislative procedures as well. • Four types of special legislative procedure: 1. The consultation procedure; 2. Assent procedure I.; 3. Assent procedure II.; 4. The budgetary procedure. • Special status of the former inter-governmental pillars (for example: Common Foreign and Security Policy): unique rules are maintained.

  5. III. Decision-making of the EU in the Treaty of Lisbon III. • According to the provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon, third pillar areas were incorporated into the general structure; so much so, that in the area of judicial cooperation in criminal matters, the ordinary legislative procedure was introduced. • For police cooperation the ordinary legislative procedure is the general rule, with the exceptional application of the consultation procedure. • The European Council and the Council set the Common Foreign and Security Policy by unanimity. • The European Parliament has got merely a consultative role.

  6. IV. The consultation procedure • Before the Single European Act was adopted, consultation procedure was essentially the only legislative procedure. • The Council may only decide on a matter after it has obtained the Parliament’s opinion. • The Parliament cannot postpone indefinitely the delivery of its opinion, it must cooperate with the Council in good faith. • If the Commission adopts the amendments requested by the Parliament, those amendments also become Commission proposals, which the Council can only reject with a unanimous vote.

  7. V. The consent procedures • The assent procedure (now: consent procedure), introduced by the Single European Act, essentially means that the Parliament has the right of veto in areas placed within the scope of this procedure by the Treaties. • Within this decision-making procedure, obtaining the Parliament’s assent prior to the decision by the Council is necessary condition for adopting a proposal on a specific matter. • However, the Parliament is not allowed to submit any amendments during this procedure.

  8. VI. The ordinary legislative procedure I. • In the ordinary (co-decision) procedure, the Parliament acts as a co-decision maker with a rank equal to that of the Council. • The Treaties (of Maastricht, Amsterdam and Nice) introduced the co-decision procedure in areas that directly concern the interests of citizens. • The Treaty of Lisbon defines the co-decision making procedure as ordinary legislative procedure (i.e. general rule) naturally entails a considerable extension of its scope. • Co-decision procedure potentially involving three readings.

  9. VI. The ordinary legislative procedure II. • In co-decision, as a first step of the procedure, the Commission forwards its proposal to the Council and Parliament. • The Parliament thus is the first one to deliver its opinion on the Commission proposal, which may also comprise proposals for amendments. • Should the Council agree with the proposal from the Parliament, it may also adopt the act, which brings the procedure to close.

  10. VI. The ordinary legislative procedure III. • From the second reading once the Council has adopted its common position strict deadlines are defined for the procedure. • The Parliament must then choose from one of the following four options within a period of three months: 1. not to deliver an opinion; 2. adopt the Council’s position; 3. reject the Council’s position, acting by an absolute majority; 4. propose amendments to the Council’s position. • If the Council fails to agree with the Parliament on every aspect of the matter, then the special third readings begins.

  11. VI. The ordinary legislative procedure IV. • In the third reading, a so-called Conciliation Committee is convened a period of six weeks (which may be extended by two weeks). • The Conciliation Committee is composed of the members of the Council and an equal number of representatives of the European Parliament from each Member State. • The main task of the Committee is to approximate the positions in the framework of informal so-called trialogue meetings between the Council, Parliament and Commission.

  12. VI. The ordinary legislative procedure V. • There are three possible outcomes of the conciliation procedure: 1. An agreement is reached, and the Conciliation Committee prepares a joint text. 2. An agreement is reached, but one of the two institutions fails to approve the joint text. 3. Members of the Conciliation Committee fail to come an agreement.

  13. VII. The catalogue of competences according to the Treaty of Lisbon • The Lisbon Treaty: abolition of three pillar structure of the Union + clear division of competences. • The catalogue of Union’s competences in compliance of the Lisbon Treaty (Title I TFEU – Categories and areas of Union competence) are the followings: 1. Exclusive competences; 2. Shared competences; 3. Co-ordination of economic and employment policies; 4. Common foreign and security policy; 5. Supporting, co-ordinating and complementary measures.

  14. VIII. Exclusive competences • According to the Treaty of Lisbon, the Union has exclusive competences in the following areas: - Customs union; - the establishment of competition rules necessary for the functioning of the internal market; - Monetary policy for the Member States whose currency is the euro; - the conservation of marine biological resources under the common fisheries policy; - Common commercial policy.

  15. IX. Shared competences I. • In the field of shared competences both the Union and the Member States can legislate and adopt legally binding acts. • The Union and the Member States have shared competences in the following areas: - internal market; - social policy; - economic, social and territorial cohesion; - agriculture and fisheries, excluding the conservation of marine biological resources;

  16. IX. Shared competences II. - environment; - consumer protection; - transport; - trans-European networks; - energy; - area of freedom, security and justice; - common safety concerns in public health matters. • Shared competences will also include the following areas, but with special rules: - research, technological development and space; - development cooperation and humanitarian aid.

  17. X. Co-ordination of economic and employment policies • Economic and employment policies: • Article 5 of the TFEU: the Council shall adopt measures (broad guidelines) in order to co-ordinate the economic policies of the Member States. • To ensure the proper functioning of the monetary union, specific provisions can apply to those Member States, whose currency is the euro. • Economic and employment policies: Union can adopt guidelines, in the field of social policies it can take initiatives.

  18. XI. Common foreign and security policy • The principles and objectives of the common foreign and security policy are set out in Article 24 of the TEU. • Common foreign and security policy: it consist of all matters related to foreign policy and questions linked to the EU’s security (common defence policy that might lead to common defence). • Development of mutual political solidarity among the Member States + identification of questions of general interest + achieve convergence of the Member States’ actions.

  19. XII. Fields of supporting, co-ordinating and complementary measures • The areas where the Union will have competence to carry out actions to support, coordinate or supplement the actions of the Member States at European level are: - protection and improvement of human health; - industry; - culture; - tourism; - education, youth, sport and vocational training; - civil protection; - administrative cooperation.

  20. Literature - Zoltán Horváth (2011): Handbook on the European Union, Hungarian National Assembly, Fourth Edition, Chapter 4., Decision-making and legislation in the European Union, pp. 162-207. - Zoltán Horváth – Bálint Ódor (2010): The Union after Lisbon. The Treaty Reform of the EU, Chapter 4., The Union’s competences, pp. 117-134. - Zoltán Horváth – Bálint Ódor (2010): The Union after Lisbon. The Treaty Reform of the EU, Chapter 6., Decision-making in the Union, pp. 186-193.

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