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In topic EU Treaties & Institutions:

Dr. Anja Hoffmann, LL.M. Eur.

Policy Analyst

+ 49 761 38693-247


Urs Pötzsch

Policy Analyst

+ 49 761 38693-246


EU Treaties and Institutions

The European treaties regulate the EU's relationship with the Member States and the responsibilities of EU organs. The most recent revision of the treaties was brought in by the Lisbon Treaty which came into effect in 2009. cep looks into proposed amendments to the treaties, paying particular attention to the distribution of competences, adherence to subsidiarity and proportionality and the loss of parliamentary control by way of delegated acts and implementing acts.

Brexit: Die Gipfelergebnisse


Die Staats- und Regierungschefs der EU haben sich am 19. Februar auf Sonderregeln für Großbritannien geeinigt, die einen Brexit verhindern sollen. Das cep bewertet die Ergebnisse.

The EU rule of law mechanism


For the first time, in light of the latest developments in Poland, the EU Commission applies what is known as the EU rule of law mechanism. The instrument was introduced in order to supplement the EU's toolbox for protecting common values in the Member States.

Legislation by way of trialogue


In order to shorten the legislative process in the EU, the European Parliament, Council and EU Commission have agreed to reach agreements in negotiations behind closed doors - the informal trialogues - prior to the respective first reading of the legislative proposal. In cep's view, this procedure is in urgent need of an overhaul.

The EU-Commission's Work Programme 2016


EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has given a widely watched speech on the State of the Union. The refugee crisis was at the centre of the speech. Given the predominance of this burning issue it was somewhat overlooked by many observers that Juncker at the same time also presented the Commission Working Programme for 2016.

A new concept for "better regulation"


The EU Commission is convinced that EU legislation can be improved. With the "Better Regulation Package" it has therefore taken measures to increase the quality of legislation. cep considers whether it has been successful in this regard.

Does TTIP need investment protection provisions?


The negotiations between the EU and the US on the free trade agreement TTIP are a hot topic at the moment. Investment protection in particular is the subject of heated debate. The cep takes a closer look at what kind of investment protection is really needed.

The European Citizens' Initiative


In the three years since its introduction, over 50 European Citizens’ Initiatives (ECI) have been started. Nevertheless, the hurdles are tough: at least one million citizens from at least seven Member States must support the Citizen’s Initiative before the EU Commission will look into it.

Reviving the Principle of Subsidiarity


The cep traces the development of the principle of subsidiarity and demonstrates that to date – five years after entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty – the principle of subsidiarity has failed to limit the exercise of power. It then offers five suggestions on how to strengthen the principle of subsidiarity in the EU.




Roadmap Towards a "Genuine" Economic and Monetary Union (Report)


The four Presidents of the European Council, the Commission, the Eurogroup and the European Central Bank (ECB) have proposed measures to improve the stability of the Euro Zone.

Anti-Fraud by Means of EU Criminal Law (Directive)


The Commission wishes to combat offences that have a detrimental effect on the EU budget by harmonising provisions on penalties. To this end, it proposes a harmonisation of the relevant offences and prescription periods for prosecutions as well as minimum sanctions depending on the severity of the offence.

Fiscal Correction Mechanism (Communication)


The Fiscal Compact of 2 March 2012 obliges the Contracting Parties to introduce a debt brake into national law. Amongst other things, it provides for a correction mechanism obliging the Contracting Parties directly in case of default. Thus the budgetary discipline of Contracting Parties is to be strengthened. The Commission proposes seven principles which the Contracting Parties should take into in shaping national laws.

Fiscal Compact


The EU Heads of State and Government (apart from Great Britain and the Czech Republic) entered into an agreement to improve the budgetary discipline of the Contracting Parties. The Contracting Parties undertake to transpose a debt brake into their national legal systems and to facilitate the imposition of sanctions in the deficit procedure.

Control of Implementing Powers through Committees (Regulation)


 “Implementing acts” serve to implement a legally binding EU legal act. Implementing binding legal EU acts according to national law is in principle the duty of Member States. If an EU-wide implementation is required, the basic legal act serves to delegate implementing powers to the Commission. The Member States control the exercise of the implementing powers by the Commission through committees. The Regulation rules such committee procedures.

Reform of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF)


As a reaction to serious tension on the financial market, on 21. July 2011, the heads of states and governments of the euro zone decided to amend the existing EFSF. The objective of the amendments is to increase the operative volume of the EFSF and to provide it with new legal instruments.

Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) (Regulation)


The MFF sets the legally binding ceilings for the annual budgets in advance and thus serves to maintain the budgetary discipline and the transparency of the budgetary procedure. The Commission proposes an EU financial volume to the amount of 1.11% of GNI (1,083 bn Euro). It is to consist of the actual MFF to the amount of 1.05% of GNI (1,025 bn Euro) and ), and further “possible“ expenditures outside the MFF to the amount of 0.06% of GNI (58 bn Euro) which are increased compared to the volume of 2007-2013.

Tariff Preferences for Developing Countries (Regulation)


The EU has been granting tariff preferences to developing countries since 1971 to help them improve their performance on the global market and to aid their economic development. The basis for that is the “Scheme of Generalised Tariff Preferences” (GSP). The Commission wishes to revise the existing tariff preference scheme and to suspend a number of countries which until now have been GSP beneficiaries as it deems them competitive at international level. 

Committee proceedings for the Control of Implementing Powers (Regulation)


“Implementing acts” serve the purpose of implementing legislative EU acts. The implementation of legally binding EU acts subject to national law is principally a task of the Member States. If an implementation is required throughout the EU, the basic act provides for a conferment of powers upon the Commission. The Regulation Proposal is laying down the rules for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers.

Commentary on the Communication COM(2009) 673


With the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon the legal basis for the comitology system- the procedure according to which the EU Commission may adopt acts - was revoked. In future, the delegation of legislative powers to the Commission will be subjected to Art. 290 and 291 TFEU. However, detailed rules regarding the delegation and scrutiny of how these are exercised are not provided for in the new Treaty. These will have to be the objective of an agreement to be concluded between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission. However, the interests of these parties differ considerably in parts. In its Communication (COM(2009) 673 the Commission has presented its vision of how the new procedure should be shaped.

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