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Latest stories – Institutional affairs

Special meeting of the European Council

Council meeting room © EU

29/08/2014

Institutional affairs

EU heads of state or government meet for a special meeting of the European Council on the appointment of a new President of the European Council and a new EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

 

Adoption of agreed EU sanctions over Russia's role in Eastern Ukraine

EU flags outside Justus Lipsius building © EU

31/07/2014

External relations and foreign affairs, Institutional affairs

The Council has adopted further EU restrictive measures targeting sectoral cooperation and exchanges with the Russian Federation.

 

Additional restrictive measures against Russia

Justus Lipsius building in Brussels © EU

29/07/2014

External relations and foreign affairs, Institutional affairs

On 29 July, the EU agreed a package of significant additional restrictive measures targeting sectoral cooperation and exchanges with the Russian Federation.

 

Spring 2014 Standard Eurobarometer: The European elections made a differenceChoose translations of the previous link 

Crowd of people and European flag © EU

25/07/2014

Institutional affairs, Statistics

After the European Elections, the number of citizens who feel their voice counts in the EU has risen from 29% in November 2013 to 42%. This is the highest level since this question was first put into the Standard Eurobarometer a decade ago.

 

Lithuania to adopt the euro on 1 January 2015

Group photo © EU

23/07/2014

Institutional affairs

The General Affairs Council celebrated Lithuania's entry into the euro area. Ministers also discussed the Italian presidency work programme and the mid-term review of the Europe 2020 strategy.

 

Special meeting of the European Council

Family photo © EU

16/07/2014

External relations and foreign affairs, Institutional affairs

The European Council met to discuss a number of key appointments to be made for top EU positions. They also discussed new sanctions on Russia and the situation in Gaza.

 

Parliament elects Jean-Claude Juncker as Commission President

Jean-Claude Juncker © EU

15/07/2014

Institutional affairs

With 422 votes in favour, the European Parliament elected Jean-Claude Juncker in a secret ballot as President of the new European Commission to take office on 1 November 2014 for a five year term. The minimum number of votes required was 376.

 

July infringements package: main decisionsChoose translations of the previous link 

Court of Justice of the European Union © EU

10/07/2014

Institutional affairs

The Commission has taken 420 decisions, including 29 reasoned opinions and 12 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice.

 

Future of Europe: MEPs debate Italian Council presidency priorities

Matteo Renzi at European Parliament © EU

02/07/2014

Institutional affairs

“If Europe was to take a selfie today, it would be a tired, resigned image," said Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi in a debate with MEPs on his country's priorities for the Council presidency for the next six months.

 

Martin Schulz re-elected President of the European Parliament

Martin Schulz © EU

01/07/2014

Institutional affairs

MEPs re-elected Martin Schulz as President of the European Parliament for another two and a half year term. The 58-year old German MEP will lead Parliament until January 2017. He won 409 out of 612 valid votes cast in the first ballot.

 

EU leaders choose Juncker to lead the future of the Union

European Council family photo in Ypres © EU

27/06/2014

External relations and foreign affairs, Institutional affairs

Meeting in the European Council on 26-27 June, EU leaders decided on their candidate for President of the European Commission. They also discussed a strategic agenda for the EU, the peace plan proposal in Ukraine and congratulated Greece for the main achievements of their presidency. 

 

EU candidate status for Albania

View of General Affairs Council meeting room © EU

24/06/2014

Institutional affairs

The General Affairs Council meeting on 24 June granted EU candidate status to Albania, and adopted the EU maritime strategy and solidarity clause. Ministers also dealt with preparations for the upcoming European Council summit. 

 

REFIT – Commission making EU law lighter, simpler and less costly Choose translations of the previous link 

Documents in folder on table © EU

18/06/2014

Business, Institutional affairs

A Communication adopted today shows that the implementation of the Commission's Regulatory Fitness and Performance programme (REFIT) is in full swing and that EU law is indeed becoming lighter, simpler and less costly.

 

2015 EU draft budget to help Europe's economic growth despite financial constraints Choose translations of the previous link 

Janusz Lewandowski © EU

11/06/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition, Institutional affairs

The bulk of the commitments is for future projects that make Europe stronger economically whereas some 40% of the payments still cover EU funded projects from the 2007-2013 financial period.

 

Commission proposes final step in OLAF reform processChoose translations of the previous link 

Algirdas Šemeta © EU

11/06/2014

Institutional affairs, Justice and citizens rights

The Commission has proposed measures to further safeguard procedural guarantees in OLAF investigations, in order to complete the already comprehensive reform of the EU's anti-fraud office.

 

European Elections 2014

European Parliament building in Strasbourg © EU

26/05/2014

Institutional affairs

Elections to the European Parliament took place throughout the EU from 22 – 25 May.

 

March infringements package: main decisions Choose translations of the previous link 

Gavel on table © EU

28/03/2014

Institutional affairs, Justice and citizens rights

The Commission has taken 139 decisions, including 11 reasoned opinions and 3 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice.

 

European Council focuses on Ukraine crisis and further sanctions

European Council family photo © EU

21/03/2014

External relations and foreign affairs, Institutional affairs

Meeting in the European Council on 20-21 March, EU leaders discussed the Ukraine crisis and also addressed economic issues, industrial competitiveness and climate and energy.

 

Main results of the General Affairs Council pdf

Dimitrios Kourkoulas and Evangelos Venizelos © EU

18/03/2014

Institutional affairs

The Council established the European voluntary humanitarian aid corps. This initiative provided for in the Lisbon Treaty will provide thorough training to volunteers and place them in humanitarian organisations, based on the needs of beneficiaries.

 

Things we learnt in plenary: Ukraine, data protection, Troika

European Parliament building in Strasbourg © EU

14/03/2014

Institutional affairs

The crisis in Ukraine and an update of EU data protection legislation were two of the main topics during the March plenary session in Strasbourg. MEPs also concluded the assessment of the Troika's work during the financial crisis and adopted tougher rules to fight money laundering.

 

View of MEPs voting during Strasbourg plenary session © EU

Things we learnt in plenary: Ukraine, CO2 reductions, regulating tobacco

28/02/2014

Institutional affairs

The situation in Ukraine was extensively debated by MEPs during February's second plenary session in Strasbourg that took place on 24-27 February. MEPs also approved measures to reduce CO2 emissions from new cars and vans and ways to discourage young people from taking up smoking.

 

Justice statue and European flag © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

February infringements package: main decisions

20/02/2014

Institutional affairs

The Commission has taken 121 decisions, including 18 reasoned opinions and 8 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice.

 

Maros Šefčovič, Evangelos Venizelos and Tonio Borg © EUpdf

Main results of the General Affairs Council

11/02/2014

Institutional affairs

The Council could not reach a qualified majority either in favour or against a Commission proposal to authorise the placing on the market for cultivation of the genetically modified maize 1507, which is resistant to certain insects (butterflies, pests).

 

European Parliament building in Strasbourg © EU

Things we learnt in plenary: insider trading, LGBTI rights, Italian president

07/02/2014

Institutional affairs

MEPs voted to make the recognition of official documents easier in another EU member state during the 3-6 February plenary session, backed rules to punish manipulators of financial markets and urged an EU-wide strategy to combat homophobia and protect the rights of LGBTI people.

 

Judge holding folder © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

January infringements package: main decisions

23/01/2014

Institutional affairs

The Commission has taken 134 decisions, including 22 reasoned opinions and 7 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice.

 

European Parliament building in Strasbourg © EU

Things we learnt in plenary: EU presidency, greener vans, public procurement

17/01/2014

Institutional affairs

The Greek presidency of the EU Council was welcomed by the Parliament in 2014's first plenary. MEPs approved new rules to make vans emit less CO2 by 2020, make public procurement more efficient and give the self-employed better social protection.

 

EU flags in front of European Council building © EUpdf

December summit – Council Conclusions

19/12/2013

Institutional affairs

The European Council held a thematic debate on defence. It identified priority actions for stronger cooperation. The European Council welcomed the general approach reached by the Council on the Single Resolution Mechanism, which will be a cornerstone of the Banking Union.

 

Mr Stefan FULE, Member of the European Commission; Mr Linas LINKEVICIUS, Lithuanian Minister for Foreign Affairs © EUpdf

Main results of the General Affairs Council

18/12/2013

External relations and foreign affairs, Institutional affairs

The Council discussed enlargement and the stabilisation and association process. "Enlargement remains a key policy of our Union" said Linas Linkevičius, the President of the Council after the meeting.

 

Euro banknotes © EUpdf

Council adopts the multiannual financial framework 2014-2020

02/12/2013

Economy, finance, tax and competition, Institutional affairs

Today's decision marks the end of two and a half years of negotiations and allows the new generation of EU spending programmes to be implemented as from 1 January 2014.

 

Gavel on table © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

November infringements package: main decisions

20/11/2013

Institutional affairs

The Commission has taken 248 decisions, including 58 reasoned opinions and 12 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice.

 

Euro symbol, banknotes and coins © EU

EU budget for the financial year 2014 agreed

12/11/2013

Economy, finance, tax and competition, Institutional affairs

On 11 November the Council and the European Parliament agreed on the 2014 EU budget and on the financing of € 400.5 million to redress damages from natural disasters in four member states.

 

50 euro note and calculator © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

EU accounts signed off, but errors persist in all main spending areas, say EU Auditors

05/11/2013

Economy, finance, tax and competition, Institutional affairs

As independent auditor, the ECA has signed off the 2012 accounts of the European Union, as it has done each year since the 2007 financial year. But in most spending areas of the EU budget the report finds that the legislation in force is still not fully complied with.

 

European Council family photo © EU

European Council: focus on the digital economy

24/10/2013

Institutional affairs

At their meeting on 24-25 October 2013, EU leaders discussed the digital economy, economic and social policy, the Economic and Monetary Union, the Eastern Partnership and migration flows. They also issued a statement on recent developments concerning possible intelligence issues.

 

Euro notes on European flag © EU

Budget 2014: Parliament reverses Council cuts in research and jobs expenditure

23/10/2013

Economy, finance, tax and competition, Institutional affairs

Parliament reversed the Council's proposed cuts in research and employment expenditure in 2014 in a plenary vote in Strasbourg. MEPs also reversed cuts in funding for international policy, such as humanitarian aid to the Middle East and Syrian refugees and added funds for the external border control agency Frontex.

 

Maroš Šefčovič and Linas Linkevicius © EUpdf

Main results of the General Affairs Council

22/10/2013

External relations and foreign affairs, Institutional affairs

The Council adopted a regulation establishing the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) and agreed to confirm the EU common position for the opening of chapter 22 on regional policy and coordination of structural instruments with Turkey.

 

Judge holding folder © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

The 2012 performance of EU Member States in applying EU law

22/10/2013

Institutional affairs

The 30th Annual Report on monitoring the application of EU law shows how Member States are performing in applying EU law. There were fewer infringements open at the end of 2012 than previous years. The number of cases in problem solving mechanisms such as EU Pilot increased.

 

Justice symbol European flag © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

October infringements package: main decisions

17/10/2013

Institutional affairs

The Commission has taken 108 decisions, including 12 reasoned opinions and 5 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice.

 

European Parliament building in Strasbourg © EU

Things we learnt in Strasbourg: Lampedusa, Sakharov prize, smoking and extremism

11/10/2013

Institutional affairs

In a session marked by the tragedy off the coast of Lampedusa, Parliament held a minute of silence for the victims and then debated with the Commission how to improve how refugees are received in the EU.

 

Johannes Hahn © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Commission moves to help Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Romania after flood and drought disasters

03/10/2013

Institutional affairs, Regions and local development

The support, under the European Solidarity Fund, still needs to be approved by the European Parliament and the Council. Providing it is, it will help to contribute to the emergency costs incurred by the public authorities in these four member states because of the disasters.

 

Documents in folder on table © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

"Fit for growth" – Commission takes ambitious next steps to make EU law lighter

02/10/2013

Business, Institutional affairs

The Commission sets out in a very concrete way, policy area by policy area, where it will take further action to simplify or withdraw EU laws, ease the burden on businesses and ensure that implementation is becoming lighter.

 

Discussion at the Council meeting room © EU

Council discusses cohesion policy package 2014-2020

30/09/2013

Institutional affairs

The General Affairs Council held an exchange of views on the cohesion policy package for 2014-2020. During their discussions, ministers addressed issues at the heart of talks with the European Parliament and the Commission.

 

Court of Justice of the European Union © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

September infringements package: main decisions

26/09/2013

Institutional affairs

The Commission has taken 220 decisions, including 32 reasoned opinions and 6 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice.

 

Plenary meeting room in Strasbourg © EU

Things we learnt in the September plenary

13/09/2013

Institutional affairs

Commission President José Manuel Barroso delivered his State of the Union address and debated with MEPs about the EU's future. In response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria, MEPs called for a coordinated EU approach, not excluding deterrent measures if political and diplomatic ones fail.

 

President Barroso at the European Parliament © EU

President Barroso delivers State of Union address

11/09/2013

Institutional affairs

President Barroso set out his vision for the EU in the year to come in the fourth annual State of the Union address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg. It was followed by a debate with MEPs and political leaders.

 

ECOFIN Council meeting room © EU

European Semester 2013 completed

09/07/2013

Economy, finance, tax and competition, Institutional affairs

The Ecofin Council concluded this year's coordination of economic and fiscal policies during the European Semester.

 

Flags in front of the EP building © EU

Things we learnt in the July plenary

05/07/2013

Institutional affairs

Croatia was welcomed as the 28th member state in another eventful plenary, while Lithuania replaced Ireland at the helm of the European Union. Parliament voted in favour of Latvia joining the eurozone, gave the green light to a political deal on the EU's long-term budget and selected Emily O'Reilly as the first woman to be EU ombudsman.

 

Split, Croatia © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Croatia joins the EU

01/07/2013

External relations and foreign affairs, Institutional affairs

On the 1 July 2013, Croatia became the 28th member of the EU after a decade of carrying out all the reforms needed to bring it into line with EU laws and standards.

 

Press conference © EUpdf

Conclusions of the European Council

28/06/2013

Institutional affairs

The European Council agreed on a comprehensive approach to combat youth unemployment. It also endorsed country-specific recommendations to guide Member States' policies and budgets, thus concluding the 2013 European semester. In addition, the European Council assessed progress towards the banking union. It also warmly welcomed Croatia as a member of the European Union as of 1 July 2013.

 

Banknotes and euro coins © EUpdf

Main results of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council

27/06/2013

The Council set out its position on a draft framework for bank recovery and resolution with a view to negotiations with the European Parliament. The Council also approved draft amending budget no. 1 for 2013 providing the EU's 2013 budget with the necessary resources for the accession of Croatia to the EU on 1 July.

 

General Affairs Council © EUpdf

Main results of the General Affairs Council

25/06/2013

The Council agreed to recommend to the European Council to open accession negotiations with Serbia. The Council also agreed in principle on draft Council decisions authorising the opening of negotiations on a stabilisation and association agreement (SAA) between the European Union and Kosovo, to be adopted on 28 June 2013, following the necessary procedures.

 

Tractor in a field © EUpdf

Main results of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council

25/06/2013

As regards agriculture, the Council held a debate on the outcome of the trilogues on the proposals for the direct payments regulation, the single common market organisation (CMO) regulation, the rural development regulation and the horizontal regulation within the framework of reform of the common agricultural policy (CAP).

 

A lawyer © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

June infringements package: main decisions

20/06/2013

The Commission has taken 186 decisions, including 47 reasoned opinions and 12 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice, out of which 4 include financial penalties.

 

MEPs voting in Strasbourg © EU

Things we learnt in the June plenary

14/06/2013

Parliament agreed on a common asylum system for the EU and backed a higher budget for a European fund to help the poorest.