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Tag: Uncategorized

THE EUROPEAN CITIZENS’ INITIATIVE (ECI) AND THE PROMISE OF PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY – 16 June 2015

  • June 2015
  • Panagiotis Loules

The ECI Campaign, the Latvian presidency of the Council and the General Secretariat of the Council organized jointly on Tuesday 16 June, a conference on the ECI and the promise of participatory democracy.

The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) is the world’s first tool for transnational participatory and digital democracy. A major innovation of the Treaty of Lisbon (Article 11.4), it allows one million EU citizens to invite the Commission to submit a proposal for a legal act to implement the Treaties. The ECI aims to both increase citizen participation in the EU and make the EU more responsive to citizens’ needs. Since April 2012, 51 ECIs were officially submitted and 31 were registered by the Commission, including five which were submitted twice. Over six million citizens have signed an ECI. Three ECIs have succeeded in collecting one million signatures. Three ECIs are currently ongoing. Regulation 211/2011 on the citizens’ initiative is currently up for review. The Commission has presented a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of the ECI Regulation. Both institutions are now preparing their response.

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THE GLOBAL IMPACT OF TTIP: GEOPOLITICS AND TRADE POLITICS – 1st ALDE CONFERENCE: Why a smart TTIP makes Europe stronger – Guy Verhofstadt, Cecilia Malmstrom & Anthony Gardner – 3 June 2015

  • June 2015
  • Panagiotis Loules

ALDE Group in the European Parliament held on 3 June 2015 a conference on the geopolitics and trade politics of TTIP in the frame of the globalization era and explored why a smart TTIP would make Europe stronger. Accordingly, the geostrategic aspect of TTIP was covered by the distinguished speakers: Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE Group leader), Cecilia Malmstrom (EU Trade Commissioner) and Anthony Gardner (U.S. Ambassador to the EU).

The EU and the US together make up almost 50 per cent of global GDP and account for a third of global trade. But the impact of closer cooperation can go beyond just economic gains. A smart Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) should have crucial geopolitical effect. TTIP could set global standards before other, soon larger, economies do so. To strengthen rules-based trade and our quality-of-life values on issues like health, food safety, labour laws and environment, we must act now. Diversifying our exports and globally strengthening rules-based trade is important for the EU, which is heavily dependent on exports. Additionally, an energy chapter will help the EU become independent of imports from countries such as Russia and Saudi Arabia.
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European Policy Centre- First Vice-President of the Commission Frans Timmermans – Policy Briefing on EU Better Regulation Strategy– 21 May 2015

  • May 2015
  • Panagiotis Loules

On 19 May, The European Commission adopted its Better Regulation Agenda. This comprehensive package of reforms covering the entire policy cycle will boost openness and transparency in the EU decision-making process, improve the quality of new laws through better impact assessments of draft legislation and amendments, and promote constant and consistent review of existing EU laws, so that EU policies achieve their objectives in the most effective and efficient way.

In that respect, on the 21st of May, European Policy Centre invited Vice-President Timmermans to speak out on the New Better Regulation package of the European Commission, its necessity, key areas, and how it will be implemented in practice. According to Mr. Timmermans the new Better Regulation consists of: more transparency and consultation, involvement of stakeholders, clarity in responsibilities, keeping existing laws under review, better impact assessments and quality control.
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Martens Centre – European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen – It’s Our Job: Reforming Europe’s Labour Markets

  • May 2015
  • Panagiotis Loules

The Martens Centre hosted an event on the 5th of May 2015, on Europe’s Labour Markets Reforms with special guest the EC Vice-President, Jyrki Katainen. This event coincided with the launch of the research: It’s Our Job: Reforming Europe’s Labour Markets by Eoin Drea and Siegfried Muresan MEP. They discussed how labour market reform could return growth and competitiveness to the European economy.

The creation of jobs across Europe remains a key economic and social challenge for the EU. Given the negative impact of the financial crisis on European citizens, the EU’s ability to promote effective job creation policies will be viewed as a major success of the wider integration process. In this context, a new approach is required to provide a growth-based strategy for creating employment across Europe. What is required is an achievable strategy based on the realities of modern EU labour markets.
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