Pracovní monitoring WG Instituce (22. 2. 2016 –28. 2. 2016)
1. Instituce, agentury a orgány
- February infringements’ package: key decisions
- 25/2/2016, fact sheet, 10 stran
- The key decisions taken by the Commission (including, 34 reasoned opinions and 3 referrals to the Court of Justice of the European Union) are presented below and grouped by policy area. The Commission is also closing 108 cases where the issues with the Member States concerned have been solved without the Commission needing to pursue the procedure further.
- Agriculture and Rural Development
- Climate Action
- Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
- Mobility and Transport
- Parliament approves its economic, social and single market priorities for 2016
- 25/2/2016, tisková zpráva, 2 strany
- Parliament’s economic, social and single market priorities for 2016 were adopted on Thursday in three separate resolutions. MEPs gave their input to the upcoming March economic summit, focusing on the implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact, its social aspects and how to further exploit the economic potential of the single market.
- Flexibility for investment and structural reforms
- Social fairness
- Single market integration and SMEs
- European Semester 2016: Commission publishes Country Reports
- 26/2/2016, tisková zpráva, 2 strany
- As part of the European Semester, the Commission will pursue a close dialogue with the Member States in the months ahead. In March, the Commission will hold bilateral meetings with the Member States to discuss the Country Reports. Commissioners will also visit Member States to meet national governments, parliaments, social partners and others. The Member States are required to present in April their National Reform Programmes and their Stability Programmes (for euro area countries) or Convergence Programmes (for non-euro area countries), covering public finances. The Commission has called on Member States to consult closely national parliaments and the social partners when preparing these documents. The Commission will then present its proposals for a new set of Country-Specific Recommendations in spring, targeting the key economic and social priorities for each country.
- Also in March, the Commission will decide on the Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure (MIP) category for each Member State covered by an In-Depth Review. As of this year, the Commission has streamlined the MIP from six to four categories of macroeconomic imbalances: no imbalances, imbalances, excessive imbalances, and excessive imbalances with corrective action.
- Opening: Schulz acknowledges Lebanese effort in refugee crisis
- 24/2/2016, tisková zpráva, 1 strana
- Welcoming the President of the Lebanese Parliament, Nabih Berri, the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz pointed out that Lebanon, with its four million inhabitants, is hosting one million Syrian refugees. This deserves the “greatest recognition and greatest thanks”, particularly in light of the debate on refugees in the EU, Schulz said at the opening of the February II plenary session, adding that the European Parliament will assist the country in any way.
- EU-UK deal: both sides better off with Britain in, say main group leaders
- 24/2/2016, tisková zpráva, 1 strana
- Leaders of the main political groups in Parliament welcomed a fair EU-UK deal as an offer to the British people to remain in the EU. But it’s an “in or out” vote some said, not another phase in the negotiations. During the plenary debate on the outcome of the recent EU summit with European Council President Donald Tusk and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, many UK MEPs voiced arguments for and against EU membership.
za sledované období žádný výstup
za sledované období žádný výstup
- President Donald Tusk visits the main countries of the Western Balkans route
- 26/2/2016, Press release, 1 strana
- President Tusk will travel to Vienna, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Skopje and Athens from the 1st to the 3rd of March to continue building a European consensus on how to handle the migration crisis and to prepare for the summit with Turkey on 7 March and the European Council on 17-18 March. President Tusk will also meet NATO Secretary-General and the Executive Director of Frontex in Brussels on Friday 4 March.
- Report by President Donald Tusk to the European Parliament on the February European Council meeting
- 24/2/2016, Speech, 2strana
- The last European Council was as difficult as any of my term. And even though we found a common solution, the real test of time is ahead of us, of course because of the referendum in the United Kingdom on whether or not to remain a member of the European Union. Only the British people can and will decide that. What we could do on our side was to agree a new settlement for Britain within the EU. And we did.
2. TT’s a NGO’s
European Policy Centre
Brexit averted through EU reform?
- 22/2/2016, 2 pages, commentary by Fabian Zuleeg
- After some drama, the EU Summit produced the expected result: an agreement on the UK-EU relationship that broadly reflects the demands Prime Minister Cameron set out in his letter to President Tusk in November 2015. This reveals that no other EU leader wants to see the UK leave, given the political and economic costs this implies for the EU as a whole, especially in such a crises-dominated period.
Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute
The EU-UK Agreement: much ado about (almost) nothing?
- 25/2/2016, 2 pages, report by Yves Bertoncini, Alain Dauvergne and António Vitorino
- Adopted following unilateral action from David Cameron and permitted by the goodwill of his counterparts, the recent agreement between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom(UK) contains a number of reminders and adjustments that are worth getting into perspective from both a political and a legal standpoint.
Friends of Europe
Cameron’s “deal” and the growing Brexit threat
- 22/2/2016, 2 pages, article by Giles Merritt
- The “deal” struck between David Cameron and his 27 fellow EU leaders is largely irrelevant to the UK’s Brexit debate and the outcome of the June 23 referendum. The increasingly tense arguments within Britain are emotional and about local British politics rather than about the rational case for staying in or getting out of the European Union.
The Polish Institute of International Affairs
A Win-Win Situation? What to Make of the EU-UK Deal
- 22/2/2016, 6 pages, article by Karolina Borońska-Hryniewieck
- After over three months of intense multilateral negotiations, an agreement on a new settlement for the United Kingdom within the European Union was successfully concluded at last week’s European Council. The deal allows the British government to deliver on its plans for a referendum on EU membership to be held in June 2016. While Prime Minister David Cameron will now need to convince British voters that he has negotiated a strong and credible package for the UK, other EU leaders also will seek to explain to their publics that they have secured their national and European interests. The contents of the deal actually allow for both claims.
The European Parliamentary Research Service
- Differentiated integration in the European Union
- 19/2/2016, 4 pages article by Aidan Christie and Giulio Sabbati
- As the number of European Union Member States has increased and the competences of the Union have widened, some Member States have on occasion been exempted from joining their partners in new fields of integration. Whilst the single market and its ‘four freedoms’ remain at the heart of the Union, it has found ways to allow the majority to move forward, notably in the fields of Economic and Monetary Union and Justice and Home Affairs, without all Member States taking part.
- Article 50 TEU: Withdrawal of a Member State from the EU
- 19/2/2016, 1 page article by Eva-Maria Poptcheva
- The right of a Member State to withdraw from the European Union was introduced for the first time with the Lisbon Treaty; the possibility of withdrawal was highly controversial before that. Article 50 TEU does not set down any substantive conditions for a Member State to be able to exercise its right to withdraw, rather it includes only procedural requirements. It provides for the negotiation of a withdrawal agreement between the EU and the withdrawing state, defining in particular the latter’s future relationship with the Union. If no agreement is concluded within two years, that state’s membership ends automatically, unless the European Council and the Member State concerned decide jointly to extend this period.
- The UK ‘rebate’ on the EU budget: An explanation of the abatement and other correction mechanisms
- 21/2/2016, 2 pages briefing paper by Alessandro D’Alfonso
- The UK ‘abatement’, ‘rebate’ or ‘correction’ is the ad hoc mechanism that is applied to lower the UK’s contribution to the EU budget, by reimbursing 66% of the country’s budgetary imbalance (the difference between payments and receipts). In 2014, the rebate amounted to almost €6.1 billion, reducing the UK’s national contribution by 35% – to €11.34 billion – leaving it the fourth largest national contribution. All Member States but the UK cover the costs of the rebate. Introduced in 1985, it has remained unchanged in its basic concept, and is best understood with reference to some features of the UK economy and of the common budget at that time. Each year, the amount of the rebate is determined by a complex calculation, linked to several variables and which has evolved over time to take into account developments in the EU and its financing system. Included in the Own Resources Decision, modification of which requires unanimity of the Member States, the rebate is de facto a permanent mechanism.
LSE European Politics and Policy Blog
- 21/02/2016; 1 page article by Steve Peers
- After a gruelling two-day European Council summit which saw the UK renegotiation top even the migrant crisis on the agenda, David Cameron and EU leaders finally agreed on a deal on the evening of 19 February. The British PM has expressed his satisfaction with the result obtained and announced a date for the referendum, to be held on Thursday, 23 June. But will it be enough to satisfy critics?Steve Peers discusses the four main issues the deal considers, and how these results will fare with Eurosceptic voters.
- Yanis Varoufakis: “The UK should stay in the EU to fight tooth and nail against the EU’s anti-democratic institutions”
- 22/02/2016; 1 page interview by Yanis Varoufakis
- In an interview with EUROPP’s editor Stuart Brown, former Greek finance ministerYanis Varoufakis discusses the launch of his new ‘Democracy in Europe’ movement (DiEM25), the UK’s upcoming referendum on EU membership, and why a surge of democracy is needed to prevent the EU from sliding toward disintegration.
- 25/02/2016; 1 page article by Katarina Lezova
- Slovakia will hold a general election on 5 March, with the ruling SMER-SD party, led by Prime Minister Robert Fico, looking to maintain its majority in the Slovakian parliament.Katarina Lezovapreviews the election and assesses the main parties looking to mount a challenge to SMER-SD. She states that while the ruling party is unlikely to win another majority, it should still have enough support to be able to enter into a coalition with a smaller party and stay in power.
- 25/02/2016; 1 page article by Robert Rohrschneiderand Stephen Whitefield
- How should mainstream parties react to increasing Euroscepticism among voters?Robert Rohrschneider and Stephen Whitefield argue that the failure of mainstream parties to alter their positions on European integration in light of these shifts in public opinion has left a significant representational gap for extreme anti-integration parties to fill. They notice a difference between western European and eastern European countries, remarking that the latter have better managed to integrate growing scepticism about the EU, although the examples of Hungary and Poland demonstrate that the adoption of Eurosceptic stances is by no means a firewall against extreme politics.
Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale
- Has Cameron Delivered for the City of London?
- 22/2/2016; 2 pages commentary by Erik Jones
- The deal reached between British Prime Minister David Cameronand his colleagues on the European Council last week was supposed to transform the relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union on four dimensions – economic governance, competitiveness, sovereignty and immigration. Three of these issues are largely symbolic. No declaration or agreement is going to ensure ‘better regulation’ either in Brussels or in Westminster; British sovereignty was never seriously under threat from the vague aspiration to achieve an ‘ever closer union’; and while immigration is a vital issue, few experts on cross-border labour imagine it turns on access to ‘in-work benefits’ or can be deterred by the indexation of child support. By contrast, economic governance is a vital national interest both for the British people and for the City of London. The question is whether Cameron has managed to improve that aspect of Britain’s relationship with the rest of Europe.
- What if…? The consequence if Brexit
- 22/2/2016; 2 pages commentary by Vincenzo Scarpetta
- With the British referendum only a few months away and opinion pollspointing to an uncertain outcome, the key question of what would happen if the UK left the EU remains largely unanswered. All kinds of estimates have been kicking around. Some have said 3 million British jobs would be lost if the UK were to leave the EU. Some others have suggested that Brexit would make the UK better off by 10% of its GDP.
The Peterson Institute for International Economics
- The Odds Remain against a Brexit
- 23/2/2016; 2 pages commentary by Jacob Funk Kirkegaard
- Almost certainly, yes. The burden on those favoring a British exit (Brexit) is to make the case that life on the outside will be better than staying in under this new deal—a difficult challenge. Most Scottish, Welsh, and perhaps even Northern Irish voters are likely to support EU membership, leaving it up to the numerically dominant English voters to drag the entire United Kingdom out of the European Union. Were that to happen, Scottish (and perhaps other) nationalists would seize the opportunity to demand a new referendum on whether to remain part of the United Kingdom or break free and seek membership in the European Union as a new independent country. Voting for UK secession could thus produce a series of votes to break up the United Kingdom itself, creating a Little England in its wake.
- Five Reasons to Fear a Brexit
- 25/2/2016; one page report by Pedro Nicolaci da Costa
- The fight over a potential British exit from the European Union is gaining momentum and so are warnersagainst it from economists and business leaders about the potential damage to trade, confidence, and growth.
In an interview this week, Adam Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics and a former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, elaborated on some of the sentiments driving the push for a “Brexit.” He also discussed the extensive negative consequences such a break, still seen as the less likely outcome of an upcoming referendum, would have on the United Kingdom’s economy.
The Central European Policy Institute
The Dire Straifs of Brexit: Potential implications for the EU, UK, and V4
- 19/2/2016; 5 pages opinion by Christian Schweiger and colleagues
- As the third largest member state in terms of population, the UK has in principle a substantial political weight inside the EU. Since the UK joined the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973, reluctantly and only after two failed attempts due to France’s veto, the country’s leaders have frequently chosen to play an obstructive rather than a constructive role in European affairs. Britain’s potentially strong influence on the EU’s policy agenda therefore remained sporadic and was strongest during the first two terms of Tony Blair as prime minister (1997-2005). This was also the period during which it seemed that the EU’s traditional leadership duo France and Germany, which had drifted apart since German reunification, would increasingly depend on the UK as a third pragmatic partner who would be able to help reconcile the growing variety of national interests in the enlarging EU. However, since the onset of the war in Iraq in 2003 and even more so after the global financial crisis, the UK has gradually returned to the position of splendid isolation in Europe.
Centre for European Reform
Would an ‘independent’ Britain want to join the single market?
- 24/2/2016; 3 pages analysis by John Springford
- Both sides of Britain’s EU debate claim the mantle of free-traders. Pro-Europeans emphasise the potential loss of access to the single market if Britain quits the EU. Outers point to the EU’s declining share of world trade, and the opportunities that might arise from signing free trade agreements with countries outside Europe, without having to find consensus with 27 other states. A central question in the campaign has become: ‘Would Brexit boost or depress Britain’s international trade?’
EUROPEUM – Institute for European Policy
Britain in Europe Renegotiation Scorecard
- 22/2/2016; 31 pages analysis by Vladimír Bartovic
- Ředitel Institutu EUROPEUM, Vladimír Bartovic, se jako výzkumník za Českou republiku podílel na speciálním reportu think tanku ECFR o postojích všech členských států k reformě EU, kterou navrhuje Velká Británie.
- Where have Tory MPs ended up on the Remain-Leave question?
- 25/2/2016; 2 pages analysis by Pawel Swidlicki
- Open Europe’s Pawel Swidlicki tallies up how Tory MPs have divided on the question of EU membership compared to Open Europe’s pre-renegotiation assessment, and looks at the factors that have driven them into declaring for one side or the other.
- Uncertain Irish election may see another EU state facing tricky coalition talks
- 24/2/2016; 1 page commentary by Raoul Ruparel
- The Irish election is now only a couple of days away and the outcome still looks uncertain. It’s likely that the post-election negotiations could be tricky. Open Europe’s Raoul Ruparel explains.
- New Italian document highlights growing demand for further EU reform
- 23/2/2016; 1 page analysis by Vincenzo Scarpetta
- The Italian government has published a new ‘position paper’ outlining a set of proposals for the future of Eurozone and EU integration. Some of the proposals would require EU Treaty change. Open Europe’s Vincenzo Scarpetta argues that the Italian document shows the demand for further EU reform is growing in other countries – a very encouraging sign for the UK.
- Commission challenges Belgium’s French border move
- The European Commission is challenging Belgium’s decision to temporarily patrol the border with France and effectively suspend the passport-free Schengen agreement alleging a surge in arrivals caused by the closure of a refugee camp in Calais.The EU’s commissioner for migration, DimitrisAvramopoulos, sent a letter to Belgium’s Prime Minister Charles Michel and Interior Minister Jan Jambon, outlining the Commission’s doubts. In the letter, the Commission questions the Belgians’ decision to police borders up until March 23 — and potentially longer.The Belgian government introduced the border checks Wednesday out of fear that great numbers of migrants and refugees will cross the border after France’s decision to dismantle parts of the makeshift refugee camp known as the “Calais Jungle.”
- Poland’s ‘rule of law in danger’
- Changes to Poland’s constitutional court pushed through by its new conservative government “endanger not only the rule of law, but also the functioning of the democratic system,” according to a draft report from a European legal advisory body.The Venice Commission, part of the Council of Europe, was invited to examine the state of the Constitutional Tribunal by Poland’s foreign minister in December after a constitutional crisis was set off by disputes over which judges should sit on the Tribunal and the Law and Justice party government’s subsequent legal changes to the court’s functioning. The situation is also being examined by the EU, which in January launched an unprecedented “rule of law” probe into the Polish government’s actions.
- G20 warns of Brexit
- G20 countries warned against Brexit Saturday, calling Britain’s departure from the EU a threat to the global economy.Meeting in Shanghai, the finance ministers of the world’s 20 leading economies noted in a draft communique that “downside risks and vulnerabilities have risen,” according to the BBC. Among “growing concerns” cited by the G20 was Brexit, along with volatility in capital flows, plunging oil prices, Europe’s refugee crisis and China’s troubled economy.ChristineLagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, stressed Brexit in the ministers’ dinner meeting on Friday, Bloomberg reported. Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne had earlier asked his colleagues to raise it.
- EU tries to heal Vienna-Berlin split on migration
- EU countries grappled Thursday to repair deepening divisions over their approach to the migration crisis, after a splinter-group move by Austria to seal borders threatened a chain reaction along the Western Balkan route that could leave refugees stranded in Greece.Political tensions surrounding the issue escalated Thursday afternoon when Greece recalled its ambassador in Vienna and issued a sharply worded statement decrying actions “that have their roots in the 19th century.”
- Donald Tusk says UK deal is ‘irreversible’
- European Council President Donald Tusk dismissed claims from critics of the EU-U.K. renegotiation deal, telling MEPs Wednesday the agreement was “legally binding” and “irreversible.”“The decision is in conformity with the treaties and can’t be annulled by the European Court of Justice,” Tusk said in a speech to the European Parliament in Brussels.That echoed comments made Monday to the British Parliament by U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, who insisted “the reforms will be legally binding in international law, and will be deposited as a treaty at the United Nations.”
- ECJ confirms ruling on migrant benefits
- The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled yesterday (25 February) that EU citizens can be legally denied access to certain social benefits in the first three months of their stay in another member state.
- Commission questions Hungarian referendum on migrant quotas
- Hungary’s planned referendum on the EU’s quota plan for asylum seekers may be at odds with an agreed strategy to handle the refugee crisis, the European Commission said yesterday (25 February).
- Ten days to save EU migration system, Commission warns
- The EU has ten days to curb the number of migrants coming to Europe or else the bloc’s migration system could “completely break down”, Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said on Thursday (25 February).
- Parliament braced for Energy Union “tsunami of legislation”
- Members of the European Parliament fear they will be swamped by a sudden flood of energy legislations this year, with some urging their colleagues to resist the temptation of “optimising” laws in endless negotiating rounds.
- Green MEP denounces Gazprom´s bullying tactics over Nord Stream 2
- Claude Turmes, a leading Member of the European Parliament for the Greens party, dropped a bombshell at a Brussels event yesterday (24 February) when he made allegations about Gazprom’s tactics to push the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project.
- EU judges could strike down migrant benefit curbs after UK referendum
- The ‘emergency brake’ banning European Union migrants from claiming British in-work benefits – part of David Cameron’s deal to keep the UK in Europe – could be struck down by EU judges after the referendum, a leading legal expert has told EurActiv.
- State of the Energy Union: Policy influencers debate the 1st year´s progress
- A ranking of the top 40 policy experts with influence in EU Energy Union policy was unveiled at a debate on the “State of the Energy Union one year after its launch”, organised by the EurActiv Institute.
- Socialist MEPs cast doubt on UK´s EU migrant benefit curbs
- Members of the European Parliament today (24 February) cast doubt on Prime Minister David Cameron’s deal to curb EU migrant benefits, raising the possibility of voting down the emergency brake after the 23 June referendum on Britain’s membership of the bloc.
- Ombudsman criticises Commission´s handling of pesticides
- European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly has strongly criticised the European Commission’s regulation of pesticides.
- EU institutions start large-scale move towards cloud services
- EU institutions are getting ready to move data to cloud services as part of the first broad, European Commission-backed push for government cloud computing.
- ECB policy increasing wealth gap
- The European Central Bank’s monetary policy has proved highly controversial with many observers and a new report into the link between its bond-purchasing programme and wealth inequality has shown that well-off households are benefitting the most.
- Cyprus asks to make Turkish an EU language
- Cyprus has asked the Dutch EU presidency to make Turkish an official EU language, in a “gesture” that could help reunification and improve EU-Turkey relations.
- EU sneaks in bleak economic report
- The European Commission waited until the end of the week to publish its annual “analysis of [EU] economic and social challenges,” in what looked like an attempt to keep the bad news quiet.
- EU at breaking point over migration crisis
- EU divisions over the migrant crisis reached a new low on Thursday (25 February), with Greece saying that it won’t become “Europe’s Lebanon” and accusing Austria of “19th century attitudes.”
- MEPs split on tobacco deal with PMI
- Several members of the European Parliament proposed to EU commissioner KristalinaGeorgieva on Thursday (25 February) that there should be an extension of the 12-year tobacco agreement with Philip Morris International (PMI) when it expires in July, while others called on her to let the deal lapse.
- Greek PM threatens to block EU decisions
- Greek prime minister AlexisTsipras has said he will block EU decisions at the next summit if Greece is left alone to deal with the migration crisis.
- Austria criticises Germany on migrants, piles ‘pressure’ on EU
- Austria has said Germany should stop sending mixed messages on migration at a meeting with Western Balkan states in Vienna on Wednesday (24 February).
- Hungary to hold referendum on EU migration plan
- Hungary will hold a referendum on European Union plans for a system of mandatory quotas, prime minister Viktor Orban said on Wednesday (24 February) at a press conference.
- EU questions ‘continued relevance’ of tobacco deal
- A long-awaited report assessing an agreement between tobacco multinational Philip Morris International (PMI), the European Union and its member states says the deal “effectively met its objective”, but may not be fit for the future.
- MEPs threaten to unpick UK welfare deal
- The leader of the socialist bloc in the European Parliament has threatened to undo the EU deal on British welfare curbs, amid broader debate on if the pact will stick.
- EU’s Article 50: the rules for Brexit
- Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty that guides member states wishing to leave the EU is a vague map towards the exit door. British prime minister David Cameron warned on Monday (22 February) in the House of Commons that once he invoked the article, if British voters choose to leave the bloc in the 23 June referendum, there would be no way back.
- Cameron: No second chance after Brexit vote
- British prime minister David Cameron warned that the UK would not be able to negotiate another deal, and have another referendum in case British voters chose to leave the EU in a referendum set for 23 June.