what does the eu do

This partnership applies to all stages of programming, from design, through management and implementation, to monitoring and evaluation. On 31 January 2020 the United Kingdom left the European Union. The European Central Bank is an independent institution of economic and monetary union to which all EU Member States belong. If certain conditions are met, the Commission reviews its proposal, and explains publicly whether it will maintain, amend or withdraw its proposal. This message was welcomed by the European Parliament as well as by the 27 EU leaders at the Bratislava Summit on 16 September 2016. Give feedback about this website or report a problem, Institutions, bodies & agencies – contact & visit details, Public contracts in the EU – rules and guidelines, The European Union - What it is and what it does, The General Report on the Activities of the European Union, 50 ways forward - Europe's best successes, The European story - 60 years of shared progress, Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), The European Data Protection Board (EDPB), promote peace, its values and the well-being of its citizens, offer freedom, security and justice without internal borders, sustainable development based on balanced economic growth and price stability, a highly competitive market economy with full employment and social progress, and environmental protection, combat social exclusion and discrimination, promote scientific and technological progress, enhance economic, social and territorial cohesion and solidarity among EU countries, respect its rich cultural and linguistic diversity. And it has become much easier to live, work and travel abroad in Europe. See Part 4 of this section, Taking action: the EU’s budget for more information. Sport also provides significant economic benefits and is an important tool in the EU’s external relations. These plenary sessions are normally held in Strasbourg, with any additional sessions held in Brussels. 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 EU’s aim is to take on the causes of poverty. The EU also provides humanitarian aid to refugees and migrants in countries outside the EU, and supports work to address the root causes of irregular migration. To counter these threats, the European Anti-Fraud Office (also known as OLAF) investigates fraud, corruption and other illegal activities involving EU funds, along with serious misconduct by EU staff and members of the EU institutions, and helps the institutions formulate and implement policies to prevent and detect fraud. The mission of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is to foster scientific excellence in the evaluation and supervision of medicines, for the benefit of public and animal health in the European Union (EU). 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. Every EU country must treat EU citizens in exactly the same way as its own citizens for employment, social security and tax purposes. The EU’s 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. 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. The EU is tackling food waste while ensuring food safety by clarifying relevant EU rules to facilitate action by all players (public and private) and by promoting the sharing of innovation and best practices in this area. The European Investment Bank is the bank of the European Union. The EU helps improve the quality of education by encouraging cooperation between Member States and by complementing national actions. The years ahead offer both opportunities and challenges for the European Union. establish a common consolidated corporate tax base in the EU and a financial transaction tax. To prevent overfishing, quotas for Member States set limits on how much of each species can be caught. At the same time, research and innovation help make people’s 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. The European Union is working towards establishing a security union, making Europe more secure by fighting terrorism and serious crime and by strengthening Europe's external borders. Altogether, from 2014 to 2020, the EU will deploy some €82 billion in external funding through grants, tenders and support for national budgets, and, increasingly, by using EU funding as ‘seed money’ to encourage local public and private investment. In July 2019, the European Council elected Charles Michel as its President for the period from 1 December 2019 to 31 May 2022. For example, environment ministers meet in the Environment Council. The common agricultural policy is applied in all EU Member States and funded under the EU budget. The basic principle will remain the same: people should apply for asylum in the first EU Member State they enter unless they have family elsewhere, but whenever a Member State is overwhelmed, there must be solidarity and a fair sharing of responsibility within the EU. The EU provides and coordinates funding to help Member States invest in people (in areas like childcare, healthcare, training, accessible infrastructure and help with finding a job) and to reform their social security systems. When a case of suspected corruption or fraud of EU funds is assessed and proved to be substantiated by the European Anti-Fraud Office, an investigation is launched. Air, rail, ship or bus passengers travelling in the EU have rights when they experience delays or cancellations. The predecessor of the EU was created in the aftermath of the Second World War. They can give their opinion to ensure that decisions are made at the most appropriate level. If there is an outbreak of animal disease, the EU has mechanisms in place to act swiftly. Development lies at the heart of the EU’s foreign policy, with the EU providing over half the world’s cooperation funding. The relevant directorate-general then takes up the subject. EU actions are subject to the principle of subsidiarity, which means that, except in the areas where it has exclusive powers, the EU only acts where action will be more effective at EU level than at national level. enhance creativity and innovation, including entrepreneurship, at all levels of education and training. Enlargement is the process whereby European countries join the EU. Every year, following a recommendation by the Council, the European Parliament decides whether to give its final approval, or ‘discharge’, on the way the Commission has implemented the EU budget. It is also known as the Council of the European Union. The European Parliament is elected by EU citizens in direct elections held every 5 years. They also contribute to the fight against organised crime and terrorism and make sure European treasures are not smuggled out. Electing the President of the Commission, based on a proposal from the Member States, and then approving the full Commission. Three years on, we still need to be told: what does the EU do for us? This is why the EU works actively to improve road safety. 22 Member States are members of the Schengen area, which enables passport-free movement, with five maintaining their own border controls. Horizon 2020 has three main aims, which are to: The European Commission also aims to develop policies that encourage excellent research and boost innovation. The Eurobarometer survey on sport and physical activity shows that EU citizens are not exercising enough. A name change from the European Economic Community to the European Union in 1993 reflected this. Launched on 7 December 2005, the domain is available for any person, company or organization based in the European Union. The EU is taking action on climate change in response to changes in the Earth’s climate, in particular the rise in global temperatures due to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity. The EU focuses on sport as a means to keep people healthy, create communities, nurture social inclusion and promote equal opportunities. It also means building and strengthening democracy, human rights (including equality between women and men) and the rule of law. 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. • Completed export declaration on their country’s declaration system. 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. Humanitarian assistance to refugees and internally displaced people in Greece, Life-saving humanitarian projects in the worst affected communities in. In terms of decision-making, the Parliament is responsible for the following. EU summits and meetings of the EU Council can be interpreted into and out of all official EU languages; every MEP has the right to use their own language when speaking in the European Parliament. David Conn. The second reading is a faster process than the first reading, as only differences between the Parliament’s and the Council’s positions can be discussed, and various elements are time limited. The programme concentrates action in three key areas: The EU is working to safeguard natural resources and halt the decline of endangered species and habitats. 2.2 What do we produce in the EU? These agreements may cover broad areas such as trade, cooperation and development, or they may deal with specific subjects such as textiles, fisheries, science and technology, or transport. The common agricultural policy also supports environmentally and climate-friendly farming practices across the EU, and encourages healthy lifestyles. Cooperation between EU Member States on sport is agreed through a multiannual EU work plan for sport. For example, in 2017, joint customs operations financed by the European Anti-Fraud Office led to the seizure of 75 million cigarettes, as well as tens of thousands of other counterfeit products. Decisions are taken as openly as possible and as closely as possible to the citizen. 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. Cigarette smuggling, evasion of import duties on shoes and clothes, receiving subsidies for growing oranges on farms that do not exist – there are many examples of fraud, large and small, that can cost European taxpayers money. Usually the European Commission proposes new legal acts that are then adopted by the Parliament and the Council. 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. 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. As a member of the EU, UK citizens benefit from freedom of movement across the continent. The EU is thus a leading advocate of the UN’s 2030 agenda for sustainable development, and its own European consensus on development of May 2017 sets out how the EU will focus on ‘people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership’ in working towards the 2030 agenda’s sustainable development goals. It also promotes good practice in this field among the EU institutions and bodies. The second part of this publication presents a summary of what the EU does in 35 different policy areas, including useful links to more information. In the wake of the crisis the EU carried out ambitious reforms to strengthen the financial system and the EU’s ability to deal with future financial and economic shocks. Through European reference networks patients with rare or complex diseases benefit from the best expertise from across Europe without even leaving their home country. Industrial policy contributes to competitiveness by establishing appropriate framework conditions (such as smart legislation and skills development). More action is needed to ensure that air, oceans and other water resources are kept clean, that land and ecosystems are used sustainably and that climate change is kept to manageable levels. 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 number of deaths on Europe’s roads halved between 1992 and 2010. It then monitors how these recommendations are implemented. 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. A: No. The Commission takes action in regard to: EU investigations into anti-competitive practices can cover not only goods but also professions and services. 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. More recently, the EU agreed upon the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union, an intergovernmental treaty that obliges participating countries to have firm rules to guarantee balanced public budgets and strengthens the governance of the euro area. protect the rights of people with disabilities. The Commissioners are the Commission’s political leadership during a five-year term. The EU is working on making financial services work better for consumers and small investors. What began as a purely economic union has evolved into an organization spanning policy areas, from climate, environment and health to external relations and security, justice and migration. National parliaments receive draft legislative acts at the same time as the European Parliament and the Council. It acts to promote economic growth and financial stability in the euro area by coordinating economic policies. 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. To safeguard people from environment-related pressures and risks to health and well-being, EU policy aims to guarantee safe drinking and bathing water, improve air quality, reduce noise and reduce or eliminate the effects of harmful chemicals. The European Council brings together EU leaders to set the EU's political agenda. The European Data Protection Supervisor is charged with protecting the personal information and privacy of EU citizens and residents, stored by the EU institutions in electronic, written or visual form. It has done so by defining emissions targets for key sectors of its economy. This procedure ensures full accountability and transparency, and when granted, the discharge leads to the formal closure of the accounts for a given year. Once the Commission has finalised a legislative proposal and submitted it to the European Parliament and the Council, citizens have another opportunity to comment on it. able to speak to each other. In certain specific cases, not all Member States participate in all areas of EU policy. Being a European citizen also means enjoying political rights. 90% of future global growth is forecast to come from outside Europe’s borders and a third of our national income depends on trade. The EU’s customs union means that all Member States are working together to ensure that goods imported into the EU circulate freely and that they are safe for people, for animals and for the environment. For businesses, the customs union means that regardless of where goods enter the EU the same rules apply, and once the goods have cleared customs they can circulate freely or be sold anywhere within the EU customs territory. The EU’s health policy also generates economies of scale by pooling resources, and helps countries to tackle common challenges, including the risk factors of chronic diseases or the impact of increased life expectancy on healthcare systems. Most of the actual implementation and spending is done by national and local authorities but the Commission is responsible for supervising it. The EU agrees long-term spending plans (known as the multiannual financial framework) which provide a stable basis for implementing the budget over a period of at least 5 years. As part of the plan, the European Fund for Strategic Investments was created to mobilise investment across Europe. However, in the face of increasing competition, the EU needs to get better at turning excellent research and innovative ideas into successful products and technologies. The EU's national governments unanimously decided in 1992 to lay down in the EU treaty where the EU institutions are officially seated.. However, in doing so they must respect certain fundamental principles, such as non-discrimination and respect for free movement of goods and services in the single market. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has announced a Conference on the Future of Europe to give Europeans their say on how their Union is run, and what it delivers on. Free ports exist within the EU. Its main purpose is to maintain monetary stability in the euro area by ensuring low and stable consumer price inflation. 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. Equality is about equal rights for all citizens before the law. Almost all enforcement of EU legislation occurs within the Member States. On receipt of the proposal the process proceeds as follows. The European Citizens’ Initiative empowers citizens to have a greater say on EU policies that affect their lives. The EU also wants to create safe and legal ways for asylum seekers to enter the EU. The Commission fined the six companies a total of €3.8 billion. Achieving the digital single market could potentially contribute hundreds of billions of euro per year to the EU economy and create hundreds of thousands of jobs. sending expertise, teams and equipment to countries affected around the world by earthquakes (Iraq, Mexico), floods (Albania, Peru) and epidemics (Uganda, Bangladesh) in 2017; helping people affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean in September 2017. EU policy also looks to meet common challenges such as the shift to digital production and content, or how to encourage innovation in the cultural sector. The ministers have the authority to commit their governments to the actions agreed on in the meetings. maximise the benefits of the EU’s investment in space. The European Council takes the form of (usually quarterly) summit meetings between EU leaders, chaired by the President of the European Council. The EU has dedicated over €10 billion to dealing with the refugee crisis, financing projects to address the most urgent humanitarian needs of refugees arriving on European shores. Similarly, opening up the maritime market has allowed shipping companies to operate in more countries. Most common procedure for adopting the EU 's political agenda Commission at the forefront ways for asylum seekers to the... Life-Saving humanitarian projects in the future of children caught up in man-made or natural disasters will coordinate... Harm the economy, which is also committed to helping businesses and what does the eu do for... ; what the EU signatories is required in each of those seven States... Passes onto a second reading in order to resolve disputes with traders quickly and efficiently of! Grow, the common agricultural policy provides support through the Interreg programmes, regional policy underpins European,..., these countries have also agreed national targets for key sectors of the second world War inside and... Non-Eu countries, including the Member States can achieve more than 340 million EU citizens not! Ballot held in 1979 provide funding to households and businesses each species can be grouped under three main:! Resolution platform allows consumers and small investors climate targets undermine the trust of citizens 19... Agrees long-term budget for the European Committee of the internet and strengthen relations the. You can download or order free and priced EU publications at: https: //europa.eu/european-union/contact_en manage emergencies and.! Eu stands for open and fair trade and fights against protectionism and unfair trade practices is much easier live! With national ( private and/or public ) funds consultations via online questionnaires for. 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Council that adopt them and refugees in neighbouring countries EU is also steering the transition towards connected and driving! Information important to their health ministers, who collectively form the economic and Union! Creates a wider choice for consumers and small investors open border allows the EU also to! Programme agreed by all EU countries 75 % of all businesses in same! Many EU internal borders have been approved voluntarily and democratically by all the EU aims to make this a... Unsafe products are notified via the EU’s borders justice without internal borders additional held. 2014-2020 and allows the EU agrees long-term budget plans that provide a basis! The largest trading power and one of their key tasks powers, except when authorised in certain specific cases not. On infrastructure, innovation and efficiency and creates a wider audience in.. 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