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The European Union

The European Union

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The European Union

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  1. EU The European Union Its Development and Institutions & Life in Brussels

  2. History of European Integration EU Treaties of Rome Formation of EEC+ Euratom 1957 (1958) 6 Member States Schuman- Plan 1950 ECSC 1951 (1952) Treaty on the European Union (Maastricht) 1992 (1993) Single European Act 1986 (1987) Treaty of Amsterdam 1997 (1999) Treaty of Nice (2000)

  3. Enlargement of the Union EU Founding Members: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands 1973: Denmark, Ireland, United Kingdom 1981: Greece 1986: Portugal, Spain 1995: Austria, Finland, Sweden 2004: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Cyprus 2007: Bulgaria, Rumania

  4. The Three Pillars of the EU EU EU European Union European Communities EC ECCS* Euratom Common Foreign and Security Policy Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters * The ECSC Treaty ceased to exist in 2002

  5. Free Movement of Goods Prohibition of customs duties between Member States Harmonisation and mutual recognition of rules and regulations Certain restrictions are still permitted The Four Freedoms of the Single Market EU Basic Freedoms

  6. The Four Freedoms of the Single Market EU Basic Freedoms Free Movement of Persons • Abolition of border controls • Freedom of residence and employment (mutual recognition of diplomas) • Under certain conditions EU-citizens have the right to reside in any other Member state even after the end of their employment

  7. The Four Freedoms of the Single Market EU Basic Freedoms Free Movement of Services • Free movement of services (e.g.: Free choice of phone provider) • Harmonisation of bank and traffic supervision • Opening of transport and telecommunications markets

  8. The Four Freedoms of the Single Market EU Free Movement of Capital • More freedom for monetary and capital movements • Steps towards a common market for financial services (e.g.: no double transfer fees) • Liberalisation of stock broking (security trading) Basic Freedoms

  9. Euro-Cash- implementation 01.01.2002 History of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) EU EMU(first stage) 1990 EMU(third stage)1997/1999 EMU(second stage)1994 First Stage: Complete liberalisation of capital movement; intensified co- operation of national Central Banks; free application of ECU; improvement of economic convergence. Second Stage: Establishment of the European Monetary Institute; prohibition of Central Bank credits to public bodies; intensified co-ordination of monetary policy; intensified economic convergence; process leading to the independence of national central banks completed with the creation of the European System of Central Banks; preparatory work for the third stage. Third Stage: irrevocable fixing of exchange rates; implementation of the Euro; implementation of a single monetary policy under the authority of the ECB; set-up of the exchange rate mechanism (ERM II) within the EU; set-up of the stability and growth pact.

  10. Inflationrate must not exceed that of the 3 best performing Member states of the EU by more than 1.5 percentage points Applicant states should have joined the exchange-rate mechanism (ERM II) for 2 consecutive years and should not have devaluated their currencies during the 2-year-period The nominal long-term interest rate must not be more than 2 percentage points higher than the 3 best performing Member States The ratio of the annual government deficit to gross domestic product (GDP) must not exceed 3% . The ratio of gross government debt to GDP must not exceed 60% . The Convergence Criteria EU The Convergence Criteria

  11. EU European Council (EC) European Commission (EC) Council of the European Union (Council) European Parliament (EP) The Institutions of the EU European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) European Court of Justice (ECJ) European Court of Auditors Committee of the Regions (CoR) European Investment Bank (EIB) --------------------------- European Investment Fund (EIF) European System of Central Banks (ESCB) ---------------------------- European Central Bank (ECB) Decentralised Bodies (e.g.: Europol) Institutions with special status Other bodies Advisory Committees

  12. EU European Council (EC) The European Council • The European Council consists of the Heads of State and Government of all Member States together with the President of the European Commission • The European Council generally meets four times a year to set the basic political guidelines and to review progress. • Since the European Council became the supreme political authority of the EU, its meetings have been referred to as „summits“.

  13. EU European Council (EC) European Commission (EC) Council of the European Union (Council) European Parliament (EP) The Institutions of the EU European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) European Court of Justice (ECJ) European Court of Auditors Committee of the Regions (CoR) European Investment Bank (EIB) --------------------------- European Investment Fund (EIF) Decentralised Bodies (e.g.: Europol) European System of Central Banks (ESCB) ---------------------------- European Central Bank (ECB) Institutions with special status Other bodies Advisory Committees

  14. The European Parliament The European Parliament has three basic powers and functions: 785 MEPs Legislation Control of the Executive Budget • Hearing • Co-operation • Co-decision • Consultation EU Competences of the European Parliament

  15. EU European Council (EC) European Commission (EC) Council of the European Union (Council) European Parliament (EP) The Institutions of the EU European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) European Court of Justice (ECJ) European Court of Auditors Committee of the Regions (CoR) European Investment Bank (EIB) --------------------------- European Investment Fund (EIF) Decentralised Bodies (e.g.: Europol) European System of Central Banks (ESCB) ---------------------------- European Central Bank (ECB) Institutions with special status Other bodies Advisory Committees

  16. The Council of the European Union EU The Council coordinates the economic policies of the member states. Together with the EP the Council is the legislative body of the Community. Powers of the Council Council of the European Union The Council concludes international agreements between the community and one or several states or international organisations. The Council and the EP agree on a budget for the Community. The Council develops the Common Foreign and Security Policy according to the principles elaborated by the European Council. The Council coordinates the cooperation between the national courts and police forces.

  17. Cyprus [4] Hungary [12] Czech Rep. [12] Spain [27] Bulgaria [10] A member can request a verification that the countries supporting the proposal represent at least 62% of the total EU population. EU Slowenia [4] Belgien [12] Council of the European Union Slowakia [7] Denmark [7] Sweden [10] Voting weights in the council Germany [29] • The Council is the main decision-making body of the European Union • Every country is represented by the minister responsible for the policy area being discussed (Foreign Affairs, Finances, Social issues, Traffic, Agriculture, etc. ) • The presidency rotates between the member states every 6 months. Portugal [12] Estonia [4] Finland [7] Poland[27] Austria [10] France [29] Netherlands [13] Greece [12] Malta [3] United Kingdom [29] Luxembourg [4] Ireland [7] 255 of 345 votes (72,3%) are necessary for a qualified majority. Additionally the majority of the Member States needs to approve the proposal. Lithuania [7] Romania [14] Italy [29] Latvia [4]

  18. EU European Council (EC) European Commission (EC) Council of the European Union (Council) European Parliament (EP) The Institutions of the EU European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) European Court of Justice (ECJ) European Court of Auditors Committee of the Regions (CoR) European Investment Bank (EIB) --------------------------- European Investment Fund (EIF) Decentralised Bodies (e.g.: Europol) European System of Central Banks (ESCB) ---------------------------- European Central Bank (ECB) Institutions with special status Other bodies Advisory Committees

  19. The Commission consists of 27 commissioners from 27 states (including the president and five vice presidents). Every commissioner has one vote. The commission is a collective decision-making body. Therefore minorities are bound by the decisions of the majority. Also in case of a future enlargement the number of commissioners should not exceed 27. The term of office is five years. EU The Commission

  20. + Commission President Heads of States and Government Appoint with qualified majority EU Heads of States and Governments Commission President The Election of the Commissioners Needs approval by EP Commission takes up its work. EP Need approval by Propose Commissioners Appoint Commissioners Member States

  21. The Commission represents the interests of the EU in negotiations with the council or third countries. The Commission elaborates a draft budget and administers the EU funds. EU The functions of the Commission The Commission holds the legislative initiative. Since there is no European government, the Commission holds executive power. EC The Commission conducts the negotiations with candidate states. The Commission is the „guardian of the treaties“. It has to ensure the implementation of treaties and decisions made by the EU.

  22. Directorates-General of the Commission EU The Directorates- General of the Commission

  23. EU European Council (EC) European Commission (EC) Council of the European Union (Council) European Parliament (EP) The Institutions of the EU European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) European Court of Justice (ECJ) European Court of Auditors Committee of the Regions (CoR) European Investment Bank (EIB) --------------------------- European Investment Fund (EIF) Decentralised Bodies (e.g.: Europol) European System of Central Banks (ESCB) ---------------------------- European Central Bank (ECB) Institutions with special status Other bodies Advisory Committees

  24. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the Court of First Instance EU • The ECJ is made up of one judge per Member State and 8 Advocates General • The ECJ may sit in chambers of 3, 5 or 13 judges, and in very exceptional cases as a full Court. • The Judges and Advocates General are nominated by the Member States by mutual agreement for a period of six years. • The Court of First Instance was established in 1989 and corresponds approximately to the ECJ, but does not have permanent Advocates General • The Courts preserve the community right when treaties are being interpreted and implemented. The Court of Justice and the Court of first instance

  25. EU European Council (EC) European Commission (EC) Council of the European Union (Council) European Parliament (EP) The Institutions of the EU European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) European Court of Justice (ECJ) European Court of Auditors Committee of the Regions (CoR) European Investment Bank (EIB) --------------------------- European Investment Fund (EIF) Decentralised Bodies (f.ex. Europol) European System of Central Banks (ESCB) ---------------------------- European Central Bank (ECB) Institutions with special status Other bodies Advisory Committees

  26. Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions EU • The ESC consists of representatives of different economic and social organisations of civil society. • The CoR is made up of representatives of local and regional authorities. • Both make advisory statements to the other institutions. • The ESC comprises 344 members who are appointed for four years and can be re-elected. (between 6 and 24 per member state, depending on its size). • With the Treaty of Nice the number of members has been limited to 350. The Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions

  27. Legal Sources of Community Law EU • Primary Legislation (Treaties) • Secondary Legislation The Legal System of the EU Institutional Acts of the EU • Regulations • Directives • Decisions • Recommendations and Opinions

  28. The Outcomes of the Constitutional Treaty EU Major Points • Simplification • Democracy • Transparency • Efficiency • Legitimacy The Constitution

  29. The Outcomes of the Constitutional Treaty EU • The EU acquires a legal personality • General application of legislative procedure • Minor number of instruments • Clearer division of competencies (EU, member states) • Charter of fundamental rights is part of the Treaty • Open sessions of the Council in its role as legislator The Constitution

  30. The Outcomes of the Constitutional Treaty EU • Reinforcement of the role of national Parliaments (e.g.: control of the application of the Principle of Subsidiarity) • Consideration of civil society aspects • Well-balanced institutional system • Restriction of the right of veto • Improvements in the areas of freedom, security and justice • Reinforcement of the role of the Union on the international stage The Constitution

  31. Changes with the Reform Treaty EU • The Reform Treaty only amends the existing treaties and those will not have a constitutional character • The foreign minister will be renamed "High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy" • The “Charter of Fundamental Rights” is no part of the Treaty but will still be legally binding • No more EU-Symbols (Flag and Hymn) The Constitution

  32. Life in Brussels EU • Staying in Brussels: General Information • The right to vote • Housing • Health care • Mobility • Leisure • Brussels – the capital region Life in Brussels

  33. Staying in Brussels: General Information EU • Short-term stay(< 3 months) = Passport or ID Card • Long-term stay(> 3 months) = Residence permit (also valid for family members) Life in Brussels

  34. The right to vote EU Every European citizen, irrespective of nationality, has the right to vote in municipal elections and European Parliament elections throughout Europe. Life in Brussels

  35. Housing EU • Sufficient supply of accommodation • The following websites have a broad selection of properties to rent or buy: www.immoweb.be www.vlan.be www.pap.be www.entre-particuliers.be Life Brussels

  36. Health Care EU • Sophisticated and efficient health care system • Health insurance is obligatory • Additional health care cover is possible • Doctors and dentists can be found on the website www.mgbru.be or via consulates and embassies • Wide choice of public and private hospitals • Emergency number: 100 or 112 Life in Brussels

  37. Mobility EU • Metro, tram and bus www.stib.be www.infotec.be www.delijn.be • Taxi www.taxi.irisnet.be/en/all.html • Train www.b-rail.be Life in Brussels

  38. Leisure EU • Cultural Life www.agenda.be • Going out - Bars and Restaurants www.brusselsinternational.be www.resto.be • Fashion http://www.modobruxellae.be Life in Brussels

  39. Brussels – the capital region EU • 19 municipalities • 6 police zones • The region • The capital of Belgium • A bilingual city Life in Brussels

  40. Brussels – the capital region EU The capital of Europe approx. 15 000 lobbyists in Brussels Life in Brussels

  41. Life in Brussels EU The following links will give you extra information: www.bruxelles.irisnet.be www.blbe.be www.belgopocket.be Life in Brussels

  42. Thank you! EU