The years ahead offer both opportunities and challenges for the European Union. In the Council government ministers from each Member State meet to discuss, amend and adopt laws and to coordinate policies. A single currency is practical for citizens and good for business, and represents a major achievement of European integration. invite the European Commission to make a proposal to address it; pass it on to the Council of the European Union to deal with. The goals of the region include uniting Europe toward common goals and providing aid to developing nations. The Member States and the EU institution or institutions concerned then implement adopted EU laws. stabilise neighbouring countries by addressing economic development, employability and youth, transport and energy connectivity, migration, mobility and security; promote the key EU interests of good governance, democracy, the rule of law and human rights; and. In May 2018 the European Commission presented its proposal for the EUâs long-term budget from 2021 to 2027. The EU is not simply a single market for goods and services. Europe needs efficient transport connections to drive trade, growth, and employment. The EU runs several programmes and initiatives to help young people in Europe to play a more active role in society and benefit from experiencing another country. It supports the EUâs food and farm sector, one of the major sectors of the economy, which provides some 44 million jobs. Decarbonising the EUâs energy system is crucial to reaching our climate objectives, as part of the European Green Deal announced in December 2019. European funding has supported Britain for decades. In the wake of the crisis the EU carried out ambitious reforms to strengthen the financial system and the EUâs ability to deal with future financial and economic shocks. The common fisheries policy and the integrated maritime policy are financed through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, which, for the 2014-2020 period, is providing over â¬6.4 billion to help fishermen and women adapt to sustainable fishing, create jobs for the sector and diversify the economy in coastal communities. For example, in 2017 the European Commission fined Google â¬2.42 billion for abusing its market dominance as a search engine by promoting its own comparison shopping service in its search results and demoting those of competitors. Air, rail, ship or bus passengers travelling in the EU have rights when they experience delays or cancellations. Reviewing the Commissionâs work programme and requesting that it propose legislation. The ministers have the authority to commit their governments to the actions agreed on in the meetings. The EU's main economic engine is the single market. It represents the highest level of political cooperation between the EU Member States. Decisions are taken as openly as possible and as closely as possible to the citizen. National parliaments monitor the correct application of this principle in EU decision-making and can give âreasoned opinionsâ when they consider that the principle is not being respected. The presidency of the Council rotates among the EU Member States every 6 months, and is responsible for chairing all Council meetings and setting the agendas. Culture and creativity are at the core of the European project and at the heart of the EUâs cultural policy. The work of the European Union is assisted by a number of EU agencies, which are separate legal entities set up to perform specific tasks under EU law. The European Central Bank is an independent institution of economic and monetary union to which all EU Member States belong. From lab to patient: journey of a medicine Follow the journey of a medicine for human use assessed by EMA in this interactive timeline. coordinating and co-financing the transport costs of firefighting operations in Europe during a particularly intense summer. The Europass set of documents helps workers apply for jobs abroad by presenting their skills and qualifications in a standard Europe-wide format, more easily understood by employers. If they do agree the Council will adopt exactly the same text as the Parliament and the proposal will become law. This is possible thanks to the single market. The European Union is a unique economic and political union between 27 EU countries that together cover much of the continent. The EU aims to develop this huge resource to other areas like energy, knowledge and capital markets to ensure that Europeans can draw the maximum benefit from it. In general, decisions are made by consensus, but votes can also take place. A further EU initiative is the establishment of the European Energy Union, which will improve synergies with other policy areas, such as transport, research and innovation, digitalisation, the circular economy, and sustainable financing. In 2018 there were 16 ongoing civilian missions and military operations on three continents. It is investing â¬1.46 billion to: Creative Europe also promotes initiatives such as EU prizes for cultural heritage, architecture, literature and music, the European Heritage Label and the European Capitals of Culture. To keep climate change below dangerous levels, under the Paris Agreement on climate change the international community has agreed that the average global temperature rise must be kept to well below 2 Â°C above pre-industrial levels, with the aim being to limit the increase to 1.5 Â°C. The EU is working to ensure the financial system remains strong and secure and that the single market offers consumers and businesses the financial products they need. Its citizens share a currency, a single market and common history and culture. These plenary sessions are normally held in Strasbourg, with any additional sessions held in Brussels. To ensure safety in the Schengen area, these countries have stepped up checks on the EUâs external borders and also increased police cooperation. More information on the outcome of the 2019 European Elections and the forming of the new Parliament can be found on the European Parliament's website. More than 3.2 million asylum seekers have applied for international protection in the EU since 2015, many of whom were fleeing from war and terror in Syria and other troubled countries. In bringing other countries into the EU, one of the aims is to deepen the solidarity between the people of Europe and increase their prosperity and opportunities while respecting and preserving diversity. The 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage aimed to encourage more people to discover and engage with Europeâs cultural heritage and to foster a sense of belonging to a common European space. The EU also provides help to resolve disputes with traders quickly and efficiently. This is possible thanks to the single market. The EUâs transport policy is focused on creating a single European transport area with fair competition conditions for and between the different modes of transport. The EUâs economic and financial policies in the euro area and the EU aim to: In reaction to the economic and financial crisis of 2008, the EUâs economic governance was strengthened through improvements to the Stability and Growth Pact, the fiscal rules Member States follow to facilitate and maintain the stability of economic and monetary union. The seas and oceans provide us not only with food, jobs, transport and recreation, but also â thanks to research and technological progress â pharmaceuticals, minerals and sources of renewable energy. How does Europe affect our everyday lives? help workers to find jobs in their own or another EU country; coordinate and modernise social security schemes; create better working conditions through common minimum standards; support social inclusion and combat poverty; and. The EU remains focused on making its governing institutions more transparent and democratic. It fuels growth and jobs and makes everyday life easier for people and businesses. A name change from the European Economic Community (EEC) to the European Union (EU) in 1993 reflected this. The multiannual financial framework lays down the maximum annual amounts (ceilings) that the EU may spend in different categories of expenditure (headings). The EUâs health policy focuses on tackling serious EU-wide health threats, preventing diseases and ensuring an equal chance of good health and quality healthcare for all. All EU citizens have the right and freedom to choose in which EU country they want to study, work or retire. The advisory bodies (the European Economic and Social Committee and the European Committee of the Regions) as well as the national parliaments are involved in the process by providing their opinions on the proposals, mainly from the perspective of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2020. Each Member State elects a number of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs); seats are allocated on the basis of the population of each Member State. The European Council, based in Brussels, is made up of the Heads of State or Government of all of the EU Member States, the President of the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. This helps to build consumer trust across the EU, which is also good for businesses trading across borders in the EUâs single market. It tries to make it easier for Europeans to buy and sell things to each other. an integrated approach to conflicts and crises; political stability, wherein the countriesâ political institutions guarantee democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities; a functioning market economy and the capacity to cope with competition and market forces in the EU; and. Decision-making at EU level involves various European institutions, in particular: The advisory bodies (the European Economic and Social Committee and the European Committee of the Regions) and national parliaments also play a role. The potential economic, social and environmental consequences of proposed measures are analysed and reported in impact assessments that accompany legislative proposals. Since then, 22 more countries joined (and the United Kingdom left the EU in 2020) and a huge single market (also known as the âinternalâ market) has been created and continues to develop towards its full potential. It will then be published in the. Its focus is on increasing the EUâs jobs and growth potential and on supporting climate action and the EUâs policies beyond its borders. The third section of this publication contains more information on how the EU makes decisions, and how it implements them. Being a European citizen also means enjoying political rights. When making decisions in a number of policy areas, the Parliament, the Council and the Commission consult the European Economic and Social Committee (of which Luca Jahier is the President). At the same time, research and innovation help make peopleâs lives better through improvements in areas such as healthcare, transport and energy, and are the launch pad for countless new products and services that can improve quality of life and strengthen our economic performance. What was claimed. Funded through the Connecting Europe Facility, with a budget of over â¬24 billion, the EUâs transport infrastructure policy aims to connect the continent from east to west and from north to south by closing the gaps between national transport networks; removing bottlenecks to the smooth functioning of the single market; and overcoming technical barriers such as incompatible standards for rail traffic. The European Commission works with authorities and stakeholders in Member States to monitor and enforce the existing rules so that people and businesses can benefit from the opportunities offered by the single market. Since then, 22 other members joined and a huge single market (also known as the 'internal' market) has been created and continues to develop towards its full potential. Your MEPs are your elected representatives in the EU and they represent your interests and those of your city or region in Europe. European citizens are encouraged to contribute to the democratic life of the EU by giving their views on EU policies during their development or by suggesting improvements to existing laws and policies. In terms of decision-making, the Parliament is responsible for the following. The EU promotes the health benefits and positive values associated with sport, supports cooperation between policymakers and dialogue with sports organisations and tackles problems such as doping, match-fixing and violence. For every Syrian returned to Turkey from the Greek islands after an irregular crossing, the EU will take in a Syrian from Turkey who has not sought to make this journey in an irregular way. The reuse policy of European Commission documents is regulated by Decision 2011/833/EU (OJ L 330, 14.12.2011, p. 39). For any use or reproduction of photos or other material that is not under the copyright of the European Union, permission must be sought directly from the copyright holders. Regional policy underpins European solidarity, boosting economic growth and improving quality of life through strategic investment. In 2016 and 2017 the Commission fined the members of a truck producersâ cartel of six leading companies that produce more than 90% of medium-sized and heavy trucks sold in Europe: Scania, Daimler, DAF, Iveco, MAN and Volvo/Renault. The relevant directorate-general then takes up the subject. protect and ensure the future of children caught up in man-made or natural disasters. The last amending treaty, the Lisbon Treaty, came into force on 1 December 2009. Through the Interreg programmes, regional policy pays particular attention to the needs and potential of border regions. The single rulebook created common rules for supervising bank capital requirements, improved protection of depositors and managing failing banks. At the same time, the EU works to ensure that these greater freedoms do not undermine fairness, consumer protection or environmental sustainability. The EUâs 140 diplomatic missions (âdelegationsâ) work with partner countries around the world to design long-term programmes. This is particularly relevant as youth unemployment is still significantly high. Free ports do exist within the EU, although in a more limited form than elsewhere in the world. The ministers meet several times a year to make decisions relating to the EU, though government officials have meetings all year round to discuss the policy details. The EU has some of the worldâs highest environmental standards, which protect nature and peopleâs quality of life, green the economy and achieve careful and rational use of natural resources. This will be done by expanding and modernising existing programmes with a proven track record, and by creating new tailor-made programmes in areas where a fresh approach is needed to help the EU deliver on its ambitions. The EU offers its citizens an area of freedom, security and justice without internal borders. The Parliament, the Council and the Commission must consult the European Committee of the Regions (of which Karl-Heinz Lambertz is the President) on matters of relevance to the regions. The EU has the exclusive power to legislate and conclude international trade agreements under areas covered by its common commercial policy, based on World Trade Organization rules, on behalf of its Member States. The European Commission is the politically independent executive body of the European Union. The Council will come to a political agreement on the legislation â this may happen before or after the Parliament votes. The European Council generally decides issues by unanimity, or by qualified majority in some cases. If certain conditions are met, the Commission reviews its proposal, and explains publicly whether it will maintain, amend or withdraw its proposal. Safe and easy travel in the EU. EU competition rules aim to ensure that all companies compete fairly and equally in the single market to the benefit of consumers, businesses and the European economy as a whole. It uses trade defence and market access measures to defend its companies and citizens against unfair competition and unfair trade practices. In order to reach these goals and address the diverse development needs of all EU regions, â¬259.7 billion, a quarter of the total EU budget, is available for regional policy in 2014-2020. The EU champions free trade. To keep the European project on course, the 2016 State of the Union address by Jean-Claude Juncker, then President of the European Commission, presented a positive agenda for a Europe that protects, empowers and defends. These include the promotion of democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights, as well as enhancing economic development, the investment climate and social cohesion. To ensure that EU action meets its objectives in the most efficient way, the European Commission assesses the expected and actual impacts of policies, legislation, and other important measures. EU food-labelling rules also provide consumers with information important to their health. Following the White Paper, the Commission contributed to the debate with a series of thematic reflection papers offering different options for the EU in certain policy areas: the social dimension of Europe; harnessing globalisation; the deepening of economic and monetary union; the future of European defence; and the future of EU finances. What is the European Parliament? The EU's national governments unanimously decided in 1992 to lay down in the EU treaty where the EU institutions are officially seated.. Stringent safety standards apply to toys, electrical appliances, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, and strict rules ensure that unsafe products are recalled from the market. The Commission is also responsible for sectors with geostrategic implications and a high degree of public intervention, such as defence, security and space. making sure all Member States work together effectively and efficiently within the customs union; proposing legislation and procedures to ensure better security and safety for citizens as well as to facilitate legitimate trade; helping EU countries to exchange information that could be useful for customs agencies; and. The first section explains in brief what the EU is. The EU is working on making financial services work better for consumers and small investors. negotiates and adopts EU laws, together with the European Parliament, based on proposals from the European Commission; develops the EUâs foreign and security policy, based on European Council guidelines; concludes agreements between the EU and other countries or international organisations; adopts the annual EU budget jointly with the European Parliament. The Commission handles trade negotiations transparently, systematically publishing negotiating texts, reports of negotiating rounds and explanatory documents, and reports regularly to the European Parliament and the Member States. The overall objective of a security union is to make this area a safer place. The EUâs transport policy helps keep the European economy moving by developing a modern infrastructure network that makes journeys quicker and safer, all while promoting sustainable and digital solutions. These values are common to the Member States in a society which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevailâ. It then monitors how these recommendations are implemented. Responsibility for employment policies and social affairs is shared between the EU and its Member States. investing in innovation and the digital economy; creating training and employment opportunities for young people; continuing the EUâs work on a comprehensive approach to migration and border management; building up the EUâs capacity in security and defence; strengthening the EUâs external action and investing in climate action and environmental protection; strengthening the economic and monetary union. To announce new legislative initiatives or planned evaluations of existing legislation, the European Commission publishes inception impact assessments or roadmaps. The General Food Law also created procedures and tools to manage emergencies and crises. The European Citizensâ Initiative empowers citizens to have a greater say on EU policies that affect their lives. The EU has developed a common migration and asylum policy to manage the many challenges generated by migration into the EU, including of people seeking international protection. Further information on the European Structural and Investment Funds can be found at http://europa.eu/!RG44xN. These are guaranteed by the European Union where EU law is at stake. The EU has set ambitious measures and goals to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Free ports exist within the EU. Challenges like climate change, violent extremism, trafficking and irregular migration are no respecters of borders, and only by working with partner countries in the developing world can we tackle extreme poverty. The EU has delivered more than half a century of peace, stability and prosperity, helped raise living standards and launched a single European currency: the euro. Each programme is drawn up through a collective process involving stakeholders at the European, national, regional and local levels, social partners and civil society. The digital single market will improve e-commerce and parcel delivery, remove geo-blocking and review VAT. Through the Clean Energy for All Europeans initiative, the EU is currently updating our common rules in a way that will facilitate and encourage future investment and thereby accelerate the clean energy transition and help deliver on the EUâs Paris Agreement commitments. The euro, in circulation since 2002 and used by more than 340 million people in 19 Member States, is the worldâs second most important currency after the US dollar. These issues are also debated within the political groups before they decide how to vote on a particular subject. The Commission monitors the assistance Member State governments give to businesses to ensure that it does not give certain companies an unfair advantage over their competitors. EU transport policy also helps and protects people in other ways when they travel. Tomic is a deputy in Slovenia's National Assembly, best known as a TV presenter and actress. The EU, together with its Member States, is the worldâs leading humanitarian aid donor, providing and coordinating relief assistance to people in areas hit by disasters in Europe and around the globe. Enlargement policy is therefore instrumental in encouraging and helping countries to achieve three key criteria: During the enlargement process the Commission helps countries wishing to join the EU to meet the necessary criteria for membership, and supports them in implementing the related economic and democratic reforms. Representatives of the Parliament and the Council often meet informally to try to agree between themselves before formalising their positions. The second reading is a faster process than the first reading, as only differences between the Parliamentâs and the Councilâs positions can be discussed, and various elements are time limited. It also needs to become more energy efficient, embrace innovation and new technologies, improve cross-border energy connections and reduce dependence on energy imports. tackle our biggest societal challenges, including health, transport, energy, climate action and protecting freedom and security. The annual budget is decided democratically. The European Commission has offices (representations) in all the Member States of the European Union: https://ec.europa.eu/info/about-european-commission/contact/local-offices-eu-member-countries_en, The European Parliament has a liaison office in every Member State of the European Union: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/at-your-service/en/stay-informed/liaison-offices-in-your-country, The European Union also has delegations in other parts of the world: https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/area/geo_en, European CommissionDirectorate-General for CommunicationEditorial Service & Targeted Outreach1049 BrusselsBELGIUM. This includes strengthening the rules to protect deposits in case of bank failure. This money goes into the EU budget, thereby reducing taxpayersâ contribution. In May 2018 the Commission presented its proposals for a modern, long-term budget for the 2021-2027 period. 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