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English Composition Of The European Commission

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European law - The European Commission consists of 28 members, one from each EU country. Article 17(5) of the Treaty on European Union stipulates that as from 1 November 2014, the Commission is to be made up of a number of members corresponding to two-thirds of the number of EU countries. However, it also provides for some flexibility, in that it allows the European Council to decide unanimously to change that number. In 2009, before the second Irish referendum to ratify the Lisbon Treaty, the European Council reaffirmed its commitment (made previously in December 2008), to adopt a decision ensuring that the number of members of the Commission would correspond to the number of EU countries so that each one of them would continue to be entitled to nominate a member of the Commission. That decision was adopted by the European Council on 22 May 2013 (Decision 2013/272/EU).
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English Confirmation Of The European Commission

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European law - The confirmation procedure comprises 2 stages: Appointment of the President of the European Commission (President-elect): Under Article 17(7) of the Treaty on European Union, the appointment of the President of the European Commission should take into account the results of the elections to the European Parliament. The President of the European Council consults with the President of the European Parliament on a possible candidate. This candidate is then proposed to the European Council which votes by qualified majority. Afterwards, the European Parliament elects the candidate by a majority of its component members. Adopting the list of commissioners: The Commission's President-elect prepares a list of the commissioners-designate, based on proposals from EU countries. This list is adopted by the European Council by qualified majority. Each commissioner is given a specific portfolio. The European Parliament then organises hearings to assess the suitability of each commissioner-designate. Lastly, the European Parliament decides, by a majority of votes cast, whether to appoint the new College of Commissioners.
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English Connecting Europe Facility (cef)

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European law - Trans-European Networks (TENs) projects serve fill the missing links in the EU's energy, transport and digital backbone. Title XVI of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU provides the legal basis for trans-European Networks. TENs projects are partly funded by the EU and partly by the EU countries involved. Starting in 2014, TENs projects will be funded by the Connecting Europe Facility - a new EU mechanism for the period up to 2020 - which groups together the EU finance for the 3 sets of TEN infrastructures into one fund. In line with the Europe 2020 strategy, the facility aims to by promote cleaner, more sustainable transport modes, more rapid broadband connections and facilitate the use of renewable energy and reduce the EU's dependence on imported energy. The overall CEF budget for 2014-2020 is over €33 billion.
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English Council Of The European Union

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European law - The Council of the European Union (‘Council’) is one of the EU's main decision-making bodies. Its meetings are attended by ministers from the 28 EU countries, and it is the institution where these countries adopt laws and coordinate policies. The Council's headquarters are in Brussels, but some of its meetings are held in Luxembourg. Sessions of the Council (except for Foreign Affairs Council) are convened by the rotating presidency, which sets the agenda. The Council meets in 10 configurations, bringing together the relevant ministers from EU countries: General Affairs; Foreign Affairs; Economic and Financial Affairs; Justice and Internal Affairs; Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs; Competitiveness; Transport, Telecommunications and Energy; Agriculture and Fisheries; Environment; Education, Youth and Culture. The ‘General Affairs’ Council coordinates the work of the different Council formations, with the Commission’s help. Decisions are prepared by the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the EU countries (Coreper), assisted by working groups of national government officials. The Council, with the European Parliament, acts in a legislative and budgetary capacity. It is also the lead institution for decision-making on the common foreign and security policy (CFSP), and on the coordination of economic policies (intergovernmental approach), as well as being the holder of executive power, which it generally delegates to the Commission. In most cases, the Council's decisions, based on proposals from the Commission, are taken jointly with the European Parliament under the ordinary legislative procedure. Depending on the subject, the Council takes decisions by simple majority, qualified majority or unanimity, although qualified majority is more widely used (agriculture, single market, environment, transport, employment, health, etc.).
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English Court Of Justice Of The European Union

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European law - The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) was first created in 1952. The Treaty of Lisbon added to its jurisdictional scope. The CJEU comprises the following 2 branches. The Court of Justice: this court continues to give preliminary rulings, hear some actions against EU institutions brought by EU countries and take appeals from the General Court. It now also gives rulings in the area of freedom, security and justice and makes decisions on police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters and issues arising from the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The General Court: this court has jurisdiction to hear actions against EU institutions brought by citizens and, in some instances, by EU countries. It also gives rulings in cases on employment relations between the EU institutions and their civil servants.
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English Eures - European Employment Services

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European law - EURES - European Employment Services - is the European Job Mobility Portal and part of the EU programme for employment and social innovation (EaSI) for the period 2014-2020. EURES is a cooperation network involving the European Commission, the public employment services and other partner organisations, such as trade union and employers' organisations of the countries in the European Economic Area (EEA - comprising the EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein & Norway) and Switzerland. Its main objectives are to: inform, guide and provide advice to potentially mobile workers on job opportunities, as well as living and working conditions in the EEA & Switzerland; assist employers wishing to recruit workers from other countries; provide advice and guidance to workers and employers in cross-border regions. EURES comprises a network of more than 900 advisers who are in regular contact with jobseekers and employers across Europe.
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English Euro Area

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European law - The euro area comprises the EU countries that have adopted the euro as their currency. Because these countries share the same currency, they need to coordinate their economic policies very closely to ensure its stability. This is done on an ongoing basis and by means of monthly meetings of the Eurogroup where issues of common concern for the euro area's management are discussed and acted upon.
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English Eurogroup

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European law - An informal gathering of the ministers of economics and finance of the euro area member countries, at which they discuss issues connected with their shared responsibilities in respect of the single currency. The European Commission and the ECB are invited to take part in the meetings. The Eurogroup usually meets immediately before an Ecofin Council meeting.
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English Eurojust

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European law - Set up in 2002, Eurojust is an EU agency entrusted with reinforcing the fight against serious crime through closer judicial cooperation within the EU. Its seat is in The Hague. It is composed of a college of 28 national members, who are experienced judges, prosecutors, or police officers of equivalent competence from each EU country. Article 85 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU provided a basis for the further development of Eurojust, extending its scope to include serious crime not only affecting 2 or more countries but also requiring a prosecution on common bases. Using the ordinary legislative procedure, the Parliament and the Council determine Eurojust’s structure, operation, and tasks, which may include initiating criminal investigations or proposing the initiation of prosecutions. Eurojust also co-operates with non-EU countries and other EU bodies such as the European Judicial Network, Europol and the European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF).
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English Europe's Banking Union

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European law - Banking union was created to ensure that banks are stronger and better supervised and, should problems arise within the financial sector, to resolve, i.e. restructure, the banks more efficiently. It consists of: a Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), which is a system for European banking supervision comprising the European Central Bank and the national supervisors of the euro area and other participating countries; a Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM), which is to ensure the efficient resolution of failing banks in the countries participating in the SSM at minimal costs to taxpayers and to the real economy. The SRM is supported by a single resolution fund which is to be used in resolution procedures where necessary to ensure the effective application of the resolution tools. The SSM and SRM apply a single rulebook, a set of uniform rules to regulate, supervise and govern the financial sector in all countries more efficiently. It is complementary to the banking union and also ensures a uniform level of protection for savers by guaranteeing their bank deposits up to €100,000. Banking union ensures that these rules are implemented consistently across the euro area and in other participating countries.
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English European Arrest Warrant

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European law - The European arrest warrant is a judicial decision issued by an EU country with a view to the arrest and surrender by another EU country of a person being sought for a criminal prosecution or a custodial sentence. It is a tool designed to strengthen cooperation between EU countries' judicial authorities based on the principle of mutual recognition of decisions in criminal matters. The European arrest warrant is based on a Framework Decision adopted by the Council on 13 June 2002 and amended in 2009. Three EU directives on procedural rights adopted since 2010 will ensure that persons who are the subject of a European arrest warrant are entitled to the services of a lawyer and an interpreter and must receive information on their rights.
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English European Bank For Reconstruction And Development

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European law - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was set up in 1991 and has its headquarters in London. It was set up to provide support for the transition to a market economy of countries in central and eastern Europe following the end of the Cold War. Its geographical scope was later extended to the countries of the former Soviet Union and then to those in the southern and eastern Mediterranean. It is currently active in more than 30 countries. The EBRD’s shareholders include 65 countries as well as the European Union and the European Investment Bank. The EBRD’s political mandate is to assist only those countries that are committed to applying the principles of multiparty democracy and pluralism. While much of the EBRD’s financing has been to businesses in the private sector, it has also been very active in supporting financial institutions. Support for the latter has been both through direct investment and through credit to them for on-lending to businesses. A further important focus of EBRD funding has been on transport, energy, water and sanitation infrastructure.
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English European Banking Authority (eba)

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European law - Following the 2008 global financial crisis, a High Level Group chaired by Jacques de Larosière, examined how the EU's supervisory arrangements could be strengthened both to better protect its citizens and to rebuild trust in the financial system. It concluded that supervisory arrangements should focus both on individual firms (e.g. banks & insurance companies), and on the stability of the financial system as a whole. As a result, the European System of Financial Supervision (ESFS) was established. It comprises 3 European supervisory authorities, the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB), the Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities and the national supervisory authorities. The European Banking Authority (EBA) is one of the 3 European supervisory authorities established in January 2011. It is an independent EU authority based in London. It works to ensure effective and consistent prudential regulation and supervision across the European banking sector. Its activities include carrying out EU-wide stress tests on banks to assess their resilience to adverse economic developments. The purpose is to identify vulnerabilities so as to repair the banking sector and increase confidence in it. The other European supervisory authorities are: the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA); and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).
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English European Central Bank (ecb)

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European law - The European Central Bank (ECB) is the central bank of the euro area and an EU institution located in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Together with the euro area national central banks, it forms the Eurosystem, which conducts monetary policy in the euro area. Its primary objective is to maintain price stability, i.e. to safeguard the value of the euro. In addition, the ECB, in cooperation with the national supervisors, carries out banking supervision in the euro area and in other participating Member States within the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM).
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English European Commission

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European law - Established in 1957, the European Commission now comprises 28 Commissioners including its President. It acts in the EU's general interest with complete independence from national governments and is accountable to the European Parliament. It has the right of initiative to propose laws in a wide range of policy areas. In the fields of justice and home affairs, it shares a right of initiative with EU countries. Like the European Parliament and the Council, EU citizens may also call on the Commission to propose laws by means of the European Citizens' Initiative. The Commission has the right to adopt non-legislative acts, in particular delegated and implementing acts, and has important powers to ensure fair conditions of competition between EU businesses. The Commission oversees the implementation of EU law. It executes the EU's budget and manages funding programmes. It also exercises coordinating, executive and management functions, as laid down in the Treaties. It represents the EU around the world in areas not covered by the common foreign and security policy, for example in trade policy and humanitarian aid. The Commission comprises Directorates-General (departments) and Services which are mainly located in Brussels and Luxembourg.
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