Monthly Archives: January 2017

Who’s who in the European Parliament bureau

whoswhoepWant to know who’s in charge of  the European Parliament? Here’s a useful infographic with the names of the 14 vice presidents and the 5 quaestors who along with the president make up the bureau’s 20 members:

Following the election of Antonio Tajani as president of the European Parliament, MEPs also selected 14 vice-presidents, who chair debates when the president is not in the chamber and who each have a specific portfolio. In addition, the Parliament has five quaestors, officials responsible for administrative and financial matters. The president, 14 vice-presidents and five quaestors – collectively known as the bureau – are all elected for a period of two-and-a-half years.

Also, if you’d like to know more about what the President of the European Parliament does, have a look at the short explanatory video below:

EU Publications Office newsletter: Spotlight on the Data Economy

po-newsletter-jan17The January edition of the European Commission Publications Office Newsletter puts a spotlight on the Data economy:

A thriving data-driven economy is essential for innovation, growth, jobs and European competitiveness, as well as for a functional digital single market.
This month the European Commission published a Communication on Building a European data economy in which it sets out the policy context and a first analysis of the problem drivers in this area. At the same time it has also published two legislative proposals and a communication concerning personal data protection.
As background information, in its latest newsletter the EU Publications Office presents a selection of recent publications and products related to this subject.

Other publications featured in the issue include:

The EU and Jobs, Growth and Investment

and

PANORAMA – An Urban Agenda for the EU

both of which are also available on paper in the European Documentation Centre within the Taylor Library.

UPDATE Can the UK government launch the process to leave the EU without an Act of Parliament?

 

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© Jay Gavin Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The government’s appeal was dismissed in the Supreme Court yesterday.  This means that Parliament has to give its approval before the formal process of leaving the EU can begin. The judgement and summary documents are available here.

The original case was about prerogative powers, defined by the High Court in the original case as “the residue of legal authority left in the hands of the Crown” however as the UK has a sovereign parliament it is argued that prerogative powers cannot be used to overrule legislation. The government argued, however, that it did have the prerogative power to “make and unmake treaties” allowing it to launch the process without requiring an Act of Parliament.

The Scottish Government was also involved in this case. The Lord Advocate’s intervention proposed that triggering article 50 required an Act of the UK Parliament and as a result also required a Legislative Consent Motion of the Scottish Parliament, under the Sewel Convention, given the effect it would have on matters devolved to the Scottish Parliament.  However, in regards to the Sewel Convention the Supreme Court has ruled that the policing of its scope and the manner of its operation does not lie within the constitutional remit of the judiciary. This means the Scottish Parliament, as with the other devolved administrations, cannot veto the triggering of Article 50.

 

Public Meeting-Brexit: What Next for the UK and Scotland?

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On Thursday 9th February there will be a public meeting in Aberdeen Central Library to discuss what is at stake and what the options are for Scotland.

The event is jointly organised by the Centre on Constitutional Change and Europe Direct Information Centre Aberdeen

University of Aberdeen Vice-Principle Margaret Ross will chair the event and the speakers and their specific topics will be as follows:

Professor Paul Beaumont, University of Aberdeen – What Are the Options for Brexit?
Professor Claire Wallace, University of Aberdeen – Migration and Freedom of Movement
Professor Michael Keating  – Options for Scotland
James Bream, Grampian Chamber of Commerce  – What Does Brexit Mean for Business in North East Scotland

The event itself will run from 6pm – 8pm and coffee and tea will be available from 5:30pm.

For more information and to register for this free event, go to the Eventbrite page.

New European Commission interactive infographic: cleaner air for all

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Infographic detail © European Commission

The European Commission have released a new infographic highlighting the causes and consequences of air pollution and the steps the Commission proposes to take in order to tackle the issue. See the explanatory text from the Commission below and click here to view and interact with the infographic.

Every year, more than 400,000 people in the EU die prematurely due to the consequences of air pollution: this is more than 10 times the toll of road traffic accidents. Another 6.5 million people fall sick as air pollution causes diseases such as strokes, asthma and bronchitis. Air pollution also harms our natural environment, impacting both vegetation and wildlife: almost two-thirds of Europe’s ecosystems are threatened by the effects of air pollution. This interactive infographic explains how the European Commission proposes to address air pollution in Europe. Among others, the infographic explains what the main air pollutants and their effects are, where air pollution comes from, what action needs to be taken and what the benefits would be. All the graphics included in the infographic can be downloaded as image files.

Special EU Publications Office newsletter on human rights

human-rights-special-issueThe EU Publications office has produced a special edition of their regular newsletter, focusing on human rights. Publications highlighted include The 2016 edition of The Book of Sakharov Prize Laureates, EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2015-2019 and The Frozen Conflicts of the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood and Their Impact on the Respect of Human Rights. Look at the full newsletter here (or click on the image to the right) from where you can link through to each publication page on the EU Bookshop.

 

Traineeships with the European Commission

traineeships_0Applications are now open for paid traineeships of five months’ duration starting on 1 October with the European Commission and some executive bodies and agencies of the European Institutions such as the European External Action Service or Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation. Successful applicants will receive a monthly grant of around €1,120 and reimbursement of travel expenses. Accident and health insurance can also be provided. Every year, there are about 1,300 places available, which provide selected candidates with hands-on experience in an international and multicultural environment, thus enriching their career prospects. Applications must be submitted online by noon (Brussels time), 31 January 2017.

Malta takes over the EU Council presidency

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© Patrick S. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Malta will hold the rotating EU Council presidency from January to July 2017.  This is the first time Malta has held the presidency. More information on what the role involves is available here. The six priorities identified by the Maltese government for its presidency are:

  • Migration
  • Single market
  • Security
  • Social inclusion
  • Europe’s neighbourhood
  • Maritime security

A briefing note from the European Parliament Think Tanks looks at these priorities and at other ongoing issues the European Parliament will need to address during this time.

You can follow the Maltese presidency on Facebook.

 

Handbook on European law relating to access to justice

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FRA, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, has published a handbook on access to justice which is now available in 22 EU languages. The handbook summarises key European legal principles in the area of access to justice, focusing on civil and criminal law. It is designed to serve as a practical guide for lawyers, judges and other legal practitioners involved in litigation in the EU, as well as for individuals who work for non-governmental organisations and other entities that deal with the administration of justice.

Read the pdf version here or find our copy on the shelves in Taylor Library.