Tag Archives: AFCO

Veel vähekene Euroopa Parlamendi valimisreformi raportist

 

Eesti Euroopa Liikumine palus mult kommentaari Andrew Duffi (ALDE, UK) “Ettepanek muuta Euroopa Parlamendi liikmete otsest ja üldist valimist käsitlevat 20. septembri 1976. aasta akti” (2009/2134(INI)) raporti kohta. 

 

 Küsimused:

1- Kas toetate raporti täismahus vastuvõtmist?
2- Kas see elavdab valimisosalust

 

Vastused said sellised:

1- Andrew Duffi raport on järjekordne verstapost pikal teel, mis algas otsekohe pärast EP rahva poolt otse valitavaks muutmist 1979. aastal. 33 aasta jooksul on korduvalt üritatud selgeks vaielda institutsionaalset tasakaalu liikmesriikide ja euroopa institutsioonide vahel, nagu ka riikide esindajate arvu, degresseeruva proportsionaalsuse ning meeste ja naiste tasakaalu. Duffi raport on vägagi põhjalikult olukorda kaardistav ning lahendusi pakkuv. ettepanekuid tuleviku muudatusteks on sisuliselt 11 ja neist lihtsamini teostatavate hulka liigituvad:

  1. Tuua valimised 3-lt päevalt 2-le ja toimumisaeg juunikuust maisse.
  2. Luua Euroopa Valimisamet
  3. Nõuda poolavatud nimekirjadega eelishääletussüsteem (Eestis on see probleem juba lahendatud)
  4. Lihtsustada kandideerimis- ja hääletustingimusi välisriigis elavale EL kodanikule.

Edasised ettepanekud on raskemini teostatavad, sest valimis- ja kandideerimisõiguse vanuselisi piiranguid ei õnnestu ühtlustada ei Austria suunas ega Suurbritannia suunas. Ja need riigid keskmise suunas ka ei soostu liikuma. Samuti ei ole kõik riigid (eriti Kreeka ja Küpros, aga ka Holland) eriti vaimustunud elektroonilise hääletuse kasutuselevõtmisest, mida raport soovitab. Aga kuna Eesti seda kasutab, siis sellest aspektist lähtudes võiks poolt olla.

Põhiseaduskomisjonis oli raporti hääletusel saadikukohtade jagamiseks ka paar matemaatilist valemit sisaldavat muudatusettepanekut, milledest ühe (nn Cambridge`i valemi) järgi oleks Eesti võinud saada juurde ühe lisakoha. Paraku hääletati kõik matemaatilised valemid hääletati komisjoni hääletusel maha, jättes meid sellest boonusest seega ilma.

Kõige problemaatilisem on Euroopa Parteide nimekirjade toomine valimistele, sest seda peljatakse väikeriikides üsna põhjendatult. Ometigi on see pikaajalise Euroopa idee arengu seisukoha pooldajatele pea ainuke loogiline jätk.. Nii et föderalismi pooldajad peaksid hääletama raporti poolt. Ja seda teeksin ka mina kui ei oleks justnimelt nende üleeuroopaliste nimekirjade puhul kinniseid nimekirju eelistatud. Ning seda argumendiga, et väikerahvaste esindajad muidu kukuksid lihtsalt kesisema häältesaagiga välja… Mis on väga tõenäoline, sest mõnes riigis antakse oma kodanikule parimal juhul paarsada tuhat häält, teises paar miljonit.

Minu jaoks on aga kinnine nimekiri vastunäidustatud, seega on raske otsustada kuidas raportit kui tervikut hääletada. See on nagu tilgake tõrva meepotis…

Kuna raport ise veel ei muuda ühtegi valimiskorda, vaid on aluseks Ülemkogule ja Komisjonile edasisteks läbirääkimisteks, siis kaldun toetama raporti vastuvõtmist. Riskid, mis kaasnevad on maandatud eelpool lausutuga ning kindlustundega, et üleeuroopaliste nimekirjade kehtestamiseni läheb veel kaua ja enne elatakse läbi veel mõni kriis kui sinnamaani jõutakse. Kuid argumente raporti kui terviku pooltolemiseks on ka küllaga ja ei pea kapselduma väiksusest põhjustet eksistentsiaalsetesse hirmudesse, vaid mõtlema peab Euroopast.

2- Kuid kas sellised muudatused toovad kaasa valimisaktiivsuse tõusu? Mingisugust kasvu võiks eeldada e-hääletuse lubamisest ja valimiste maikuusse toomisest. Aga Euroopa Parlamendi rolli suurenemine Euroopa otsustusmehhanismis oleks siiski valimisaktiivsuse kasvu suhtes olulisem. Kui üleeuroopalised nimekirjad oleksid juhitud nende poliitikute poolt, kes kandideerivad ka vaikimisi Komisjoni presidendiks, siis ka ehk inimeste huvi tõuseks. Kui Euroopa Parlament saaks traditsioonilise parlamendi kombel esile kutsuda umbusalduse Komisjoni vastu ja uue komisjoni moodustamise, siis kasvaks ka aktiivsus. Kuid siis peaks taas Aluslepinguid muutma, milleks praegusel kriitilisel ajahetkel puudub igasugune poliitiline tahe.

Viited:
Raport ise leitav siit
Minu ja teiste EE eurosaadikute ning sotsiaalteadlase Mihkel Solvaku arvamust saate lugeda Eesti Euroopa Liikumise leheküljelt

AFCO


The Constitutional Affaires Committee, aka AFCO (Affaires Constitutionnelles) is responsible in the EP first and foremost for dealing with inevitable and essential EU issues. Among other things, the committee is also responsible for the implementation of the EU Treaty and the assessment of its operations, for the institutional aspects regarding the enlargement negotiations of the Union, for legal aspects regarding the creation and administration of new institutions, and for the inter-institutional relations.

Currently, the new common electoral law is being discussed in the committee, with discussions dating back to 1976. The committee also executes institutional supervision of the existence of serious and persistent breaches by any Member State.

At first glance, these might not be the most interesting subjects, but yet they are of great significance.

For instance, the framework and principles for the newly established European External Action Service (EEAS), introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, were set also in the Parliament’s AFCO committee in the first half of 2010 (with the so-called Brok-Verhofstadt report).

It was made possible by the new co-decision procedure, also introduced by the new Lisbon Treaty, meaning that the EP had the same legislative role to play together with the European Commission and the Council.

For more information, please read:

European Parliament committees.

About my activities


The European Parliament is directly elected institution, which represents about 500 million citizens and their interests which are of course very differing. The EP is in close co-operation with the European Commission and European Council; together they produce legislation on issues affecting our daily lives, for example environment protection, consumer rights, equality, transport and the free movement of people, capital and services. Not to mention human rights.

The subjects or topics I am engaged in are mainly connected to the committees and delegations I sit at, although these are rather close to my heart as well.

Among them is, for instance, Iceland, the country that 1st recognised the restoration of the independence of Estonia in 1991. Currently the negotiations on Iceland’s possible accession to the EU are being held. But does the small island-state itself event want to join? Recent polls have showed that people are rather sceptical, even the political groups in Althingi have been said to debate on the issue quite seriously. If Iceland were a Member State, its economic prospects might look better than they do currently in view of the so-called Icesave case, although the latter will not be tied to the negotiations. The EU on the other hand may have a stronger voice in the Arctic region. And this is a region that will attract very much attention in the years to come…

As former Chancellor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Estonia, I was appointed the Green shadow rapporteur in AFCO regarding the European External Action Service report. Guy Verhofstadt (Belgium, EPP) and Elmar Brok (Germany, S&D) were jointly writing the report on how the new “Ministry of Foreign Affairs EU” must be constructed. This involved months of work on when and where to emphasise Human Rights, how to set up crisis prevention and management, who should be in charge of the delegations, how to deploy development aid, how much and in what areas should the EP have control over their budget and so on.

Of course having such an institution as the EEAS is vital if the EU will want to speak with one voice on a global level – or with its neighbours, for that matter. The issue of energy security is the first practical challenge that comes to mind…

This autumn the European Parliament adopted the Alejo Vidal-Quadras (Spain, EPP) resolution on security of gas supply, which calls for the EU to introduce a regulation in order to further secure gas and energy supply in Europe. The document contains several methods and ideas on how to prevent future gas conflicts as seen in the case of the Russian-Ukrainian problems in recent years. This regulation would provide preventive safety measures to ensure that nobody would be left in to the cold.

This reminds that one has to think beyond (but not excluding) its national borders in Europe. Internet freedom and intellectual property rights are issues that affect us all, especially when EU will introduce reforms in this field in the near future regardless whether you are a consumer or a provider of Internet content, be it written articles, music or videos. How should the EU respond to illegal file sharing? We are living in the 21st century and we all download a variety of things from the net. But what about the people that provide the content? If we chose to restrict downloading in today’s form, what measures can be taken? To what extent can we monitor peoples’ activities online? As anyone may guess, these questions affect us all.

Should there be introduced any directives or regulations on a EU level that the citizens will regard unsuitable, lacking or simply bad and they wish to change it – or even call for creating an entirely new EU policy – they have the chance to do so with the European Citizen Initiative. This is a project going to be launched next year, with the aim of giving EU’s citizens the right to introduce an idea for new legislation by the Commission; the latter has to respond and justify its answer and action that will or will not follow.

This is undoubtedly a big step in the development of the citizen society, moreover that all people from all Member States can have a say. This all will have to follow strict rules that are currently in the making. For example, according to the latest state of play, at least 1 million signatures have to be collected from at least 1/3 of the Member States, plus the number of signatures has to be proportionate to the population of that state. This opens up an even greater window of opportunity for small countries. As for now, the setting up of the system continues.

Affaires Constitutionnelles (AFCO)


La Commission des affaires constitutionnelles (AFCO) est nécessaire pour le bon fonctionnement de l’Union européenne. Elle est compétente pour les questions ayant trait à la mise en œuvre du traité UE et à l’évaluation de son fonctionnement, aux conséquences institutionnelles des négociations d’élargissement de l’Union européenne, aux relations interinstitutionnelles, et aux questions légales concernant la création et gestion de nouvelles institutions. Elle s’occupe aussi de la procédure électorale uniforme depuis 1976.

L’AFCO est donc plus directement liée au processus législatif que d’autres commissions du Parlement européen. Elle est aussi compétente pour les questions ayant trait à la constatation de l’existence d’une violation grave et persistante par un État membre des principes communs aux États membres.

La structure et les principes de fonctionnement du Service européen pour l’action extérieure(SEAE) ont étés rédigés par l’AFCO eu début de 2010 avec l’aide du rapport Brok-Verhofstadt. Il s’agit de la procédure législative ordinaire (auparavant procédure de codécision) accordé au Parlement européen par le Traité de Lisbonne.

Plus d’informations sur :

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/activities/committees/homeCom.do?language=FR&body=AFCO

European Citizen's Initiative (ECI)

The Lisbon Treaty introduces a new form of public participation in European Union policy shaping, the European citizens’ initiative (ECI). It is widening up the sphere of public debate, allowing citizens to participate more intensively in the democratic life of the Union.

Since  the December  2009, when the treaty entered into force, the European Commission, whilst retaining its initiative and therefore not being bound to make a proposal following a citizens’ initiative, it is committed to carefully examine all initiatives that fall within the framework of its powers in order to consider whether a new policy proposal would be appropriate.  Through this new “participatory democracy” tool, the citizens shall have more opportunity take part of the EU debates, bringing Europe closer to its citizens.

According to the new treaty, the initiative must have the support of at least one million citizens from at least one third of the member states (i.e. at the moment from 9 MS ) for the Commission to consider it.

The European Commission has now adopted a proposal for a Regulation on the citizen’s initiative, which states in greater detail which regulations the Europeans should follow when proposing an initiative. According to the proposal, the fixed threshold of signatures in each MS must be degressively proportional to the population of each Member State. It means that in the four smaller MS the amount of signatures to be gathered is 4 500, and in the biggest MS, Germany, 72 000 citizen’s signatures. This proportionality principle has awoken a lot of dissatisfaction and disputes among the MEPs (similarily to the EEAS discussion), since collecting 72 000 signatures is far more complicated than to get the support of only 4 500 citizens.

Once at least 300 000 signatures have been gathered from three Member States, the initiative will be presented to the Commission. The Commission  then has to check the admissibility of it, and decide whether the initiative falls within its powers and is in an area where legislation is possible. The Commission would have four months to examine the initiative itself. It would then have to decide whether to make a legislative proposal, to follow up the issue for example with a study, or not to take any further action.

In case of the green light, i.e. a positive answer by the Commission, the initiative organiser has one year to collect the necessary  signatures.

It is important that this new feature of the democratic process should be credible, should fully assure data protection and should not be open to abuse or fraud. To avoid fraud, the citizens have to provide their home address, date of birth, nationality and personal identity number (national ID card, passport or social security number. This point might become an obstacle when collecting signatures because only few would agree giving such detailed personal data.

The organisers must also provide the information about funding. Transparency is the key word of this new democratic instrument. But as citizen’s rights and data protection are constantly very important issues, there are ongoing disputes and discussions about how detailed personal data the citizens should provide.

The Commission hopes that the Council and Parliament will reach final agreement on the ECI before the end of this year, to allow the first initiatives to be brought forward in 2011.

For more information on ECI, please read:

http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/secretariat_general/citizens_initiative/index_en.htm
http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/10/116&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

AFCO

Põhiseaduskomisjon ehk AFCO (Affaires Constitutionelles) vastutab Euroopa Parlamendis eeskätt Euroopa Liidu enda seisukohalt möödapääsmatute ja hädavajalike küsimuste eest. Teiste seas on komisjoni ülesandeks tegeleda  Euroopa Liidu aluslepingu rakendamise ja hindamisega, laienemisega seotud institutsionaalsete aspektidega, uute asutuste loomise ja haldamisega kaasnevate seaduslike küsimustega ning Euroopa institutsioonidevaheliste suhetega. Teostatakse ka institutsionaalset järelevalvet liikmesriigi poolt toime pandud ühiste põhimõtete tõsise ja järjekindla rikkumise osas. Ühtlasi käib töö ELi ühtset valimisseaduse loomisel. Ja seda juba 1976.aastast alates.

Esialgsel vaatamisel ei tundu tegemist olevat maailma kõige põnevamate teemadega, ent olulised ja päevakohased on nad sellest hoolimata.

Näiteks pandi Euroopa Parlamendi Põhiseaduskomisjoni koostöös Euroopa Komisjoni ja liikmesriikidega 2010.a esimesel poolel paika Lissaboni lepingu raames loodud Välisteenistuse struktuuri ja toimimisprintsiipide aluse (nn Broki-Verhofstadti raport).

Tegemist oli kaasotsustusmenetlusega, mis tähendas, et parlamendil oli koos Euroopa Komisjoniga ja Euroopa Nõukoguga Välisteenistuse loomisel samasugune seadustandev roll täita.

Lisainfo:

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/activities/committees/homeCom.do?language=ET&body=AFCO

Põhiseaduskomisjon

Põhiseaduskomisjon ehk AFCO (Affairs Constitutionelles) vastutab Euroopa Parlamendis eeskätt Euroopa Liidu enda seisukohalt möödapääsmatute ja hädavajalike küsimuste eest. Teiste seas on komisjoni ülesandeks tegeleda  Euroopa Liidu aluslepingu rakendamise ja hindamisega, laienemisega seotud institutsionaalsete aspektidega, uute asutuste loomise ja haldamisega kaasnevate seaduslike küsimustega ning Euroopa institutsioonidevaheliste suhetega. Ühtlasi käib töö ELi ühtset valimisseaduse loomisel. Ja seda juba 1976.aastast alates.

Põhiseaduskomisjon on seega seadusloomega ehk otsesemalt seotud kui nii mõnedki teised EP komisjonid. Lisaks teostatakse ka institutsionaalset järelevalvet liikmesriigi poolt toime pandud ühiste põhimõtete tõsise ja järjekindla rikkumise osas.

Esialgsel vaatamisel ei tundu tegemist olevat maailma kõige põnevamate teemadega, ent olulised ja päevakohased on nad sellest hoolimata. Näiteks pandi Lissaboni lepingu raames loodud Välisteenistuse struktuuri ja toimimisprintsiipide alus pandi paika just nimelt Põhiseaduskomisjonis 2010.a esimesel poolel (nn Broki-Verhofstadti raport). Tegemist oli kaasaotsustusmenetlusega, mis tähendas, et parlamendil oli koos Euroopa Komisjoniga Välisteenistuse loomisel samasugune seadustandev roll täita.

Lisainfo:

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/activities/committees/homeCom.do?language=ET&body=AFCO