Bois Colombes Academic Prep Kit
Created on Tue Nov 24 2020 20:05:51 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
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The main European InstitutionsAccording toArticle 13 TFEU, the institutional framework of the EU comprises seven institutions, as follows:TheEuropean Commission(EC): The common policyThe EC is the executive arm of the EU, with one Commissioner from each Member State being responsible for a specific policy area. It monitors the implementation of EU policy(acquis Communautaire)and proposes legislation while representing the EU in foreign affairs through theHigh Representative(HR/VP). It operates throughDirectorates-General(DGs)for each policy area, similar to national ministries at an EU level.The European Parliament(EP): The voice of the peopleThe EP is the legislative arm of the EU, with 751 members directly elected by European citizens every five years. Its three main roles are co-deciding on legislative and budgetary proposals together with theCouncil of the EU, as well as supervisingthe EC. The EP operates either in plenary, or through its 20 Standing Committees and some temporary Specialised ones.TheCouncil of the EU(‘The Council’): The voice of Member StatesThe Council is composed of ministers from each Member State, with different configurations according to the policy area under discussion. It has a rotating 6-month presidency and shares legislative and budgetary competences withthe EP.TheEuropean Council: Setting the strategyThe European Council is composed of the EU heads of state, together with its President and the President ofthe EC, as well as the attendance of theHR/VP. It is a strategic body with no legislative power; its role is to define the general political direction and priorities of the EU, as well as its the foreign policy. It meets in ‘summits’ every four months.The Court of Justice of the EU(CJEU): Interpreting EU LawThe CJEU ensures the application of EU Law and of the Treaties. It reviews the legality of the acts of all EU institutions, ensures the legal compliance of Member States, and interprets EU law at the request of national courts. The CJEU consists of two major courts: theEuropean Court of Justice(ECJ), the highest EU court; and theGeneral Court.The European Central Bank(ECB): The monetary policyThe ECB is the central bank that administers the monetary policy of the eurozone, i.e., the 19 Member States using the euro. Its owners and shareholders are the central banks of all 27 Member States.The European Court of Auditors(ECA): Guarding the financesThe ECA checks EU finances, ensuring that taxpayers’ money is collected and spent appropriately. It has one member from each Member State, appointed for six years.The interactions between the first four EU institutions, which are the most frequently cited in the context of EYP academics, are described in the following diagram:
The EU competencesWith the EU being a political union, Member States have transferred significant powers and parts of their sovereignty to the EU through its founding treaties. In the setting of EU legislation, competence refers to the jurisdiction to take such legal actions and decisions, clearly fined through the Treaties through the principle ofconferral. TheLisbon Treaty (2009)significantly increases EU competences.Defined inArticles 2-6 TFEU, the types of EU competences are as follows:Exclusive competence(Article 3 TFEU)Only the EU has the power to produce legally binding acts and international agreements.Shared competence(Article 4 TFEU)European Commission and Member States both draft and implement policy, with EU legislation taking priority and Member States tailoring it to the specific needs of their national legislation. In the context of employment, economic, and social policy, the EU may specifically direct Member States to coordinate their policies(Article 5 TFEU).Supporting competence(Article 6 TFEU)The EU can onlysupport, coordinate, or supplementthe action of Member States and their national legislation. It can also set up relevant programs and share best practices; however, it cannot push Member States to harmonise their national legislations.The policy areas on which the EU can legislate are organised by competences as follows:In any area of legislation not covered by this diagram,Member States have exclusive competence, which means that the EU cannot make any legally binding proposals.Any legislative initiatives by the EU are further framed by the principles ofproportionalityandsubsidiarity. Proportionality requires that EU action achieve the objectives of its Treaties without imposing on national and local authorities; for example, directives and frameworks should be preferred over regulations and binding measures. Likewise, subsidiarity requires that the EU avoid legislating where national or regional action is more effective, only intervening if necessary.
Making a good resolutionWhat are the types of EU legislation?As defined in the Treaties, there arethree kindsof EU law:Primary LawThis is the supreme EU law that legally distributes powers and responsibilities to EU institutions. It is made up of the founding treaties, TFEU (1957) and TEU (1992), as well as their amending and accession treaties, along with theCharter of Fundamental Rights.Secondary LawThis is the most commonly used type of EU law, consisting of communications and agreements between the EU and Member States. It consists primarily ofunilateral acts(Articles 288, 289 TFEU)adoptedautonomouslyby EU institutions, with their legality observed by theCJEU. These are outlined in the following table: Supplementary LawFilling the gaps between the first two types of legislation, supplementary law is primarily based on international law involving the EU and its Member States. It also consists of European case law, i.e., the legal precedent established by previous rulings of the CJEU.What institutions can the EYP call upon in its resolutions?In general, EYP resolutions usually call upon EU bodies, such asthe ECand itsDGs, or other relevant agencies specific to their topic area. When you are searching for the best solutions to your topic, it is important to choose the right actor for a specific action. For example,the ECis a major stakeholder for EU-level legislation, when the topic is an exclusive or shared EU competence; otherwise,Member Statesare more appropriate for adapting their national legislation.However, there is no strict rule that resolutions must be implemented only through EU institutions and agencies. You may call upon any actor that the EU can influence through European and national legislation, for exampleNon-Governmental Organisations (NGOs); or through the international presence ofMember States, for example international organisations. The most important such stakeholders are theUnited Nations(UN), active at a global level, and theCouncil of Europe(CoE); there are several other international organisations with relevance to specific topics.How can EYP suggest building a new EU body?In general, it is not advised to build new EU bodies in your resolutions, since most often there are already-existing EU or international actors that you can call upon or expand for your proposed measure. However, such an idea may be valid in some exceptional situations or very novel topics with little pre-existing EU action, so it is useful to know how to put forward such a proposal.EU agenciesare distinct bodies from EU institutions, separate legal entities set up under EU law for specific tasks. Almost always, the new EU body you want to establish will be an EU agency, falling in one of two categories:Decentralised agencieshelpMember Statesand the EU collaborate on the implementation of EU policies.Executive agenciesare set up bythe ECfor specific tasks during a specified time frame.How can we fund the ideas in our Resolutions?It is important to keep in mind that the ECB is exclusively responsible for monetary policy; in particular, itcannot provide fundingfor any policy proposals. The relevant bodies to this effect are theEuropean Investment Bank(EIB), at the level of Member States and EU foreign policy, theEuropean Investment Fund(EIF), for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), and various other topic-specific funds and DGs.