Report form the conference "Summary of the 8th term of office of the European Parliament. Successes and failures"

On April 24, 2019, in the building of the Faculty of Law and Administration of the Jagiellonian University at Krupnicza Street 33a, a nationwide scientific conference entitled "Summary of the 8th term of office of the European Parliament. Successes and failures" took place. It was organized by the Chair of Studies on Integration Processes of the Jagiellonian University under the Jean Monnet Chair EUCRIS project, led by prof. dr hab. Janusz Węc. Its aim was to present the most important achievements, but also the failures of the European Parliament in 2014-2019, as well as to present the principles of its functioning and relations with other institutions of the European Union.

The conference was opened by prof. dr hab. Zdzisław Mach, Dean of the Faculty of International and Political Studies at the Jagiellonian University and Dr. Piotr Bajor, Deputy Director for General Affairs of the Institute of Political Sciences and International Relations of the Jagiellonian University. The conference consisted of three panels.

The first plenary panel presents the successes and failures of the European Parliament of the 8th term from various perspectives. Prof. dr hab. Katarzyna Głąbicka-Auleytner (Kazimierz Pułaski University of Technology and Humanities in Radom) presented the activities of the EP in 2014-2019 in the area of ​​protecting human rights on the example of promoting and protecting children's rights. The 8th-term Parliament considered 46 cases of violations of human rights, of which 8 were related to violations of children's rights. The EP's successes in 2014-2019 are i.a. joining the implementation of the Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2015-2019, which is to counteract child labor and their participation in armed conflicts. As prof. dr hab. Katarzyna Głąbicka-Auleytner noted in the summary, the weakness of the resolutions adopted by the EP were their non-binding character, but thanks to them in recent years many cases have been raised in the debates at international arena.

In the second speech in the plenary panel, prof. dr hab. Janusz Węc (Jagiellonian University) presented changes in the functioning of the European Parliament and national parliaments in 2018-2019 which were results of the work of the Task Force on subsidiarity and proportionality. The group was established on the initiative of the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker on 14 November 2017. The Task Force’s report adopted on 10 July 2018 contained nine recommendation, including new procedural solutions like “assessment grid”, which should be used by the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, the Committee of the Regions and national parliaments when analyzing the draft legal act and submitting amendments to them. The tool allows to assess the choice of legal basis, as well as the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality. Recommendations also included the proposal to exclude parliamentary holidays from the deadline of 8 weeks period dedicated for ex ante subsidiarity control.

In the third speech prof. dr hab. Bogdan Koszel (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań) discussed German activity in the European Parliament of the 8th term. According to prof. dr. hab. Bogdan Koszel, EP elections in Germany have always been in the shadow of events taking place either in the internal or external arena. Prof. dr hab. Bogdan Koszel also discussed the position and achievements of MEPs in the EP. The main areas of interest for German MEPs were the creation of a European Monetary Fund, copyrights in the digital single market, the abolition of roaming charges or the energy market. According to prof. dr. hab. Bogdan Koszel, when assessing the effectiveness of Germany in the 8th European Parliament, we should consider the so-called “the low national shift” that characterized this country. German MEPs were observed by representatives of other countries, whether they would try to push Germany’s interests, using their strong position in the EP.

The last speech in the plenary panel was delivered by prof. dr. hab. Jan W. Tkaczyński (Jagiellonian University). He presented the role of the European Parliament in the negotiations of the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027. In the proposal of the new multi-annual EU budget, the priorities were changed, which will allow shifting funds to areas such as migration, border management, security and defense. The budget proposal for 2021-2027 also introduces a new system of own resources. A significant novelty that is still under negotiation is the recognition of the rule of law as a condition for the distribution of funds under the new MFF. The most important proposals included in the EP position on the multiannual financial framework 2021-2027 are: increasing the current level of the MFF to 1.3% of GNI; increasing spending on the single market and digital economy as well as environmental protection; maintaining the financing level of existing programs or increasing them (eg. Horizon Europe); introduction new system of own resources based, among others on a tax on financial transactions and a carbon dioxide tax levied at the border.

The discussion was moderated by dr. Agnieszka Nitszke (Jagiellonian University). In the other panels 24 scholars and students from five different universities presented their research results on the EP’s activity in the years 2014-2019.

This was the third conference organized in the Jean Monnet Chair EUCRIS project. The first took place in December 2017 and concerned the assessment of the effectiveness of the provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon in the context of EU crises. The second one was organized in June 2018 and referred to the reform of the euro area.

fot. Katedra Studiów nad Procesami Integracyjnymi
Data publikacji: 02.06.2019
Osoba publikująca: Michał Dulak