News from Parliaments

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Follow-up of the Riksdag’s application of the principle of subsidiarity in 2017 - statistics and observations

25/02/2019
According to Ch. 7, Art. 8 of the Riksdag Act, the Committee on the Constitution shall monitor the application of the principle of subsidiarity and report its observations to the Chamber once a year.

The other parliamentary committees have also had the opportunity to comment on certain observations made during the review. In this report, the Committee presents the results of its follow-up for the period 1 January–31 December 2017. The Riksdag debated the findings in the report on 23 January 2019.

In 2017, the Commission sent 90 proposals, which was fewer than in 2016, when 101 proposals were sent. All the 90 proposals sent by the commission were checked for subsidiarity by the Riksdag.

The Riksdag submitted a total of three reasoned opinions in 2017, which was a considerable decrease compared to 2016, when 13 reasoned opinions were submitted.

In 2017, no proposal managed to secure enough objections to achieve the threshold for a yellow card.

The following observations were made in the report:

- As previously, the Committee considers that there is potential for improvement regarding information that is entered into IPEX, and that it should be entered in a language that is accessible to other national parliaments.

- The Committee notes that since the Lisbon Treaty came into force, just three proposals have achieved the threshold for a yellow card. The Committee considers that there is reason to reflect on how the national parliaments can exchange information so as to improve the prospects of reaching the threshold.

- The Committee maintains that the Permanent Representative of the Riksdag to the EU institutions represents a possible channel for informally exchanging information.

- The Committee shares the opinion of the all-party committee of inquiry with the task of examining the Riksdag’s work with EU affairs that it should be up to the committees to draw up procedures for disseminating information at the political level.

- The Committee notes that the national parliaments’ planning of subsidiarity checks could be considerably facilitated if the Commission provided more detailed and reliable information about the planning of each individual initiative.

- The Committee further comments on the significance of authorisations to adopt delegated acts or implementing acts in draft legislative acts in connection with subsidiarity checks.

The follow up of the Riksdag’s application of the principle of subsidiarity in 2018 will be published in 2020.

Summary of the report and the position of the Committee on the Constitution.

Source: Swedish Riksdag

Italian Chamber of Deputies: Committee on EU Policies scrutinizes EC’s reports and communication

21/02/2019
On February 20, 2019, the Committee on EU Policies of the Italian Chamber of Deputies completed the scrutiny of the Communication from the European Commission on “The principles of subsidiarity and proportionality: strengthening their role in the EU’s policy making” (COM(2018)703). The Committee jointly examined the European commission annual reports (2017) on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality (COM(2018)490) and on relations between the European Commission and national parliaments (COM(2018)491). The Italian Committee issued a final document with a favorable opinion and some observations.

Source: The Italian Chamber of Deputies

Commissioner Navracsics in the Hungarian National Assembly

21/02/2019
Mr Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner responsible for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport attended the meeting of the Committee on European Affairs of the Hungarian National Assembly on 10 December 2018 where he exchanged views with the members of the Committee.

Commissioner Navracsics has already paid several visits to the Hungarian National Assembly and therefore had his seventh appearance on the meeting of the Committee on European Affairs since the taking up of his duties. He praised the intensity of dialogue between the Hungarian National Assembly and the European Commission. Mr Navracsics presented the actual issues belonging to his portfolio and also touched upon the Commission Work Programme 2019. The Commissioner added that all proposals that should be adopted prior to the European Parliament elections in May have already been put forward. He reminded that the two most important questions of 2019 are the Brexit and the new Multi-Annual Financial Framework. In terms of the Horizon2020 and the Erasmus+ programmes, he stressed that these domains would most probably have even better financial capacities from 2021, as for instance the latter’s budget is supposed to be raised to 30 billion euros. He also underlined that interconnectivity and cooperation between European universities is to be strengthened as well as the foreign language knowledge promoted. In addition, the Commissioner shared his reflections on the recent success of DiscoverEU and Creative Europe Programme initiatives.

Finally Mr Richárd Hörcsik, Chairman of the Committee expressed his thanks for the regular dialogue between the Hungarian National Assembly and Commissioner Navracsics.

Source: The Hungarian National Assembly

Romanian Chamber of Deputies: Visit of the Ambassador of the Republic of Northern Macedonia

20/02/2019
The Chairman of the European Affairs Committee of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies, Mr Angel Tîlvăr received the visit of the Ambassador of the Republic of Northern Macedonia in Romania, H.E. Gabriel Atanasov, on 19th February 2019 at the Palace of the Parliament.

At the beginning of the meeting, Mr Angel Tîlvăr submitted congratulations to the Macedonian diplomat for the ratification of the Prespa Agreement, which puts the European course of the Republic of Northern Macedonia in a new, favourable context, Romania expressing its willingness to provide technical expertise in the accession process of the Republic of Northern Macedonia to the EU.

At the same time, in the context of the priority given by the Presidency of the Council of the European Union to the enlargement policy, had been expressed the hope that these recent developments will serve as a model for the whole region, contributing to the stability and the future of the European Western Balkans.

At the end of the discussion, the Romanian official stressed the need to enhance the interparliamentary cooperation in the field of European affairs, as well as to identify ways of cooperation in the field of education and culture, in the context of the situation of minorities, which constitutes a European link between the two states and play a valuable role in bilateral relations.

Source: Romanian Chamber of Deputies

French Senat political opinion on Siemens/Alstom merger

07/02/2019
The European affairs committee of the French Senat has published a political opinion to support the proposed merger between Alstom and Siemens.

The opinion can be read here

Source: French Senat

Mixed reaction to the 2019 European Commission Work Programme

07/02/2019
On 1 February 2019, the German Bundestag discussed the 2019 European Commission Work Programme at its plenary sitting. The Chairman of the Committee on European Union Affairs, Gunther Krichbaum, described the Commission’s actions as remarkable. He praised Commission President Jean- Claude Juncker for allowing the organisation to become more political, and for providing it with more structure. In reaction to calls for less Europe, he emphasised: “Crises don’t occur because we have too much Europe. We have had crisis situations because we have not had enough Europe.” Several Members pointed out that progress cannot be made quickly enough on EU initiatives, particularly in the fields of migration, protection of the EU’s external borders and tax policy, due to national interests. Others maintained that bolstering Europe’s social pillars, sustainability and tax justice have not been pursued by the Commission with sufficient urgency. Referring to the Investment Plan for Europe, a Member of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) parliamentary group spoke of “fantasies of omnipotence from a free-floating political caste”. The planned reduction in the size of the Commission as laid out in the Lisbon Treaty was the subject of as much controversy as the issue of structuring the future Multiannual Financial Framework. In reference to the report from the Task Force on Subsidiarity, Proportionality and Doing Less More Efficiently established by Commission President Juncker, it was suggested that the Bundestag may wish to deliberate whether the model assessment grid for subsidiarity and proportionality put forward in the report could be useful in achieving mutual understanding between the national parliaments.

Source: German Bundestag

The Belgian Federal Parliament receives a delegation from the Swedish Riksdag

06/02/2019
On February 5th, 2019, the Belgian Federal Parliament received a delegation from the Swedish Riksdag, led by its Speaker, Mr. Andreas Norlén. During a meeting, views were exchanged between members of the delegation and members of the Belgian Federal Advisory Committee on European Affairs on the future of the European Union and the role of the national parliaments therein.

Source: the Belgian House of Representatives and the Belgian Senate

Italian Chamber of Deputies newsletter on EU affairs

01/02/2019
The February issue of Camer@UE, the Italian Chamber of Deputies newsletter on EU affairs, is online.

Source: The Italian Chamber of Deputies


Dutch House of Representatives presents priorities

23/01/2019
The priorities of the Dutch House of Representatives in accordance with the Commission Work Programme 2019 (COM (2018) 800) are available. The list was approved on 22 January 2019. Interested parties can find the list with priorities here.

Source: The Dutch House of Representatives

Michel Barnier at the Assembleia da República

17/01/2019
The Portuguese parliament Assembleia da República will hold a hearing about the Brexit with the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier tomorrow, 17th January, at 8:30 am (Lisbon time). This hearing can be followed live at this link

Source: The Portuguese Assembleia da República
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