what does the eu do

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While underpinning these new opportunities, the EU also plays an important role in promoting the responsible and sustainable exploitation of seas, both in Europe and globally. In areas which do not fall within its exclusive competence, i.e. And it has become much easier to live and work in another country in Europe. You can download or order free and priced EU publications at: https://op.europa.eu/en/publications. Decisions require unanimity among Member States in the Council of the European Union, but once agreed, certain aspects can be further decided by qualified majority voting. The third section, ‘How the European Union makes decisions and takes action’, describes the institutions at the heart of the EU’s decision-making process and how their decisions are translated into actions. It applies in all areas. The European Citizens’ Initiative empowers citizens to have a greater say on EU policies that affect their lives. And what about legislation or initiatives that are already in force? This publication is a guide to the European Union (EU) and what it does. The main instrument to implement EU health policies is the third EU health programme. Our verdict. By November 2018 the plan had mobilised €360 billion worth of investments. In order to reach these goals and address the diverse development needs of all EU regions, €259.7 billion, a quarter of the total EU budget, is available for regional policy in 2014-2020. There are several types of legal acts, which are applied in different ways. Higher average temperatures have many consequences, including stronger and more frequent extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and storms. In addition, other institutions and bodies may be consulted when a proposal falls within their area of interest or expertise, for example the European Central Bank for proposals concerning economic or financial matters. This set of rights is secured by the EU and includes the following. The digital single market will improve e-commerce and parcel delivery, remove geo-blocking and review VAT. It supports the arts and helps our cultural and creative industries to thrive, specifically through the Creative Europe programme. protect the rights of people with disabilities. Earlier treaties are now incorporated into the current consolidated version, which comprises the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. If an item bought in the EU (whether online or in a shop) is different from how it is advertised or does not work properly, the consumer has the right to at least a free repair or replacement. A name change from the European Economic Community (EEC) to the European Union (EU) in 1993 reflected this. The EU agrees long-term budget plans that provide a stable basis for implementing the budget over a period of at least 5 years. Since it was founded in 1957 the EU has grown from six countries to 27. The European Union is based on the rule of law. The EU is working hard to cut greenhouse gas emissions and make the transition to a clean, low-carbon and sustainable economy, as well as addressing unavoidable consequences of climate change. Through the EU Internet Forum, the Commission is facilitating cooperation between key internet companies, law enforcement agencies and civil society to reduce access to illegal content online and provide effective alternative narratives to counter terrorist propaganda. Its budget of €449 million funds cooperation projects at EU level and joint actions by national health authorities, and supports non-governmental bodies and cooperation with international organisations. Approving, amending or rejecting EU laws, together with the Council of the European Union, based on European Commission proposals. The Parliament debates it in two successive readings, and it comes into force when it has been signed by the President of the Parliament. In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for advancing the causes of peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe. The current EU long-term budget covers 2014-2020 and allows the EU to invest around €1 trillion over that period. The EU’s external actions are guided by the principles that inspired its own creation and development, and which it seeks to promote in the wider world, including peace, democracy, the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms. The production of energy in the EU is spread across a range of different energy sources: solid fossil fuels, natural gas, crude oil, nuclear energy and renewable energy (such as hydro, wind and solar energy).. Renewable energy (34 % of total EU energy production) was the largest contributing source to energy production in the EU in 2018. The Court has the power to settle legal disputes between Member States, EU institutions, businesses and individuals. Travelling in Europe is much easier than it used to be. More powers have been given to the directly elected European Parliament, while national parliaments play a greater role, working alongside the European institutions. For 40 years, the institutions of Europe have grown around the Commission, which plays a leading role in policy making and in administration. The reuse policy of European Commission documents is regulated by Decision 2011/833/EU (OJ L 330, 14.12.2011, p. 39). Success stories include EU peacekeeping missions in several of the world’s trouble spots, the training of police, soldiers and coastguards, support for state-building in post-conflict situations and fighting piracy off the Horn of Africa. Seas and oceans are drivers for the European economy. These values are common to the Member States in a society which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail’. The ministers have the authority to commit their governments to the actions agreed on in the meetings. It is also one of the key steps towards implementing the Paris Agreement and the EU’s agenda for sustainable development. The Council and the Member States examine the legislation in detail; most of this discussion happens in a working group of civil servants. promote European cultural and linguistic diversity; drive economic growth and competitiveness in the creative sectors; help the creative and cultural sectors make the most of digital technologies and develop new business models; and. Q: Can the EU do without them? The Member States and the EU institution or institutions concerned then implement them. Around 850 000 small and medium-sized companies are set to benefit from improved access to finance. address current regulatory or administrative obstacles that prevent people from easily buying or selling goods and services from or in another Member State; make it easier for companies – big and small – to raise money through the, encourage workers to take up jobs in other EU countries in order to fill vacancies and meet the need for special skills, including through the. They protect consumers from goods that could be dangerous or bad for their health and protect animals and the environment against plant and animal diseases. Corruption and fraud can seriously harm the economy and undermine the trust of citizens in democratic institutions and processes. It enables most goods, services, money and people to move freely. 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. 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. Its main purpose is to maintain monetary stability in the euro area by ensuring low and stable consumer price inflation. For any use or reproduction of photos or other material that is not under the copyright of the European Union, permission must be sought directly from the copyright holders. One result is the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training and quality assurance network, which help people work and study abroad. But it can also pose challenges to consumers, especially in fast-developing areas like digital, energy and financial services. The newly-established European Public Prosecutor’s Office, due to start work in 2020, will investigate, prosecute and bring to judgment crimes against the EU budget, such as fraud, corruption or serious cross-border VAT fraud. This is usually done in the form of draft legislative proposals. tackle our biggest societal challenges, including health, transport, energy, climate action and protecting freedom and security. Equality is about equal rights for all citizens before the law. Horizon 2020 is the biggest ever EU research and innovation programme, investing €77 billion of funding over 7 years (2014-2020), in addition to the other public and private investment that this money attracts. Do you employ any EU citizens, in the UK or in the EU, or do you plan to? cartels or other illegal arrangements between companies to avoid competing with each other or to set artificially high prices; cases where major players abuse their dominant position on markets to try to squeeze out competitors or charge excessive prices; company mergers and takeovers that could restrict competition in the single market; promoting competition culture internationally so that EU companies enjoy fair competition on markets elsewhere in the world. The Commission also coordinates policymaking, research and reporting on a range of topics, from media literacy and digital distribution to cultural heritage preservation or culture in external relations. Since then, 22 more countries joined (and the United Kingdom left the EU in 2020) and a huge single market (also known as the ‘internal’ market) has been created and continues to develop towards its full potential. Multiple copies of free publications may be obtained by contacting Europe Direct or your local information centre (see https://europa.eu/european-union/contact_en). The annual EU budget in 2019 was around €165.8 billion – a large sum in absolute terms, but only about 1% of the wealth generated by the economies of the Member States every year. 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. A customs union means that the countries involved apply the same tariffs to goods imported into their territory from the rest of the world, and apply no tariffs internally. 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. The European Union is the largest trade block in the world. How does Europe affect our everyday lives? Free ports do exist within the EU, although in a more limited form than elsewhere in the world. 22 Member States are members of the Schengen area, which enables passport-free movement, with five maintaining their own border controls. The EU supports research and innovation and the effective deployment of new green transport technologies, for example through new rules promoting clean vehicle technologies. The EU provides relief assistance to the people affected by crises. In 2017 the EU adopted new rules for the external Schengen borders to reinforce checks on all people, including European citizens, against relevant databases, to make sure that they do not represent a threat to public policy or internal security. The EU has introduced marine protected areas to safeguard marine ecosystems and biodiversity, along with the services these ecosystems provide. These issues are also debated within the political groups before they decide how to vote on a particular subject. EU policies encourage the creation of new businesses and support innovative enterprises in their efforts to scale up. The EU also protects people through laws to limit working hours, tackle workplace discrimination, make working conditions safer and ensure that they receive compensation for work injuries. The EU champions free trade. The, The European Commission encourages sport organisations to implement. The committees examine proposals for legislation, and MEPs and political groups can put forward amendments or propose to reject proposed legislation. The European Commission works together with Member States and stakeholders to promote the role of sport and to find solutions to problems facing European sport. Development lies at the heart of the EU’s foreign policy, with the EU providing over half the world’s cooperation funding. 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 Investment Plan for Europe, adopted in November 2014, uses public guarantees to stimulate private investment. It follows a similar pattern to the first reading, but this time with the Parliament examining, and voting on, the changes proposed by Council, and then the Council considering what the Parliament proposes. The European Social Fund is investing €86.4 billion to help millions of Europeans acquire new skills and find better jobs. The EU's main economic engine is the single market. It checks that the EU’s income has been received correctly, that its expenditure has been incurred in a legal and regular manner and that financial management has been sound. Investing in research and innovation centres in San Ä wann, Galway and Cottbus; modernising the airports of Riga and Wrocław; improving urban mobility in Athens, Sofia and Cluj-Napoca; preserving Mont-Saint-Michel and safeguarding Pompeii; developing broadband infrastructure across Lithuania; supporting small and medium-sized enterprises in Utrecht and Paredes; renovating the urban centres of Santa Coloma de Gramenet and Liège; renewing wastewater treatment in Trenčín and Slavonski Brod; and promoting the use of information technologies in universities in Nicosia and Ljubljana – these are just some examples of the thousands of projects co-funded by the EU’s regional policy in regions across Europe. Enlargement is the process whereby European countries join the EU. The Commission is composed of the College of 27 Commissioners, one from each EU Member State, and including the President, Ursula von der Leyen, and Vice-Presidents. how does it affect the countries that join it? making sure goods can move freely from one Member State to another in the EU’s single market. For some taxes, such as value added tax or excise duties on petrol, tobacco and alcohol, Member States have agreed to broadly align their rules and minimum rates to avoid unfair competition within the single market. More powers have been given to the directly elected European Parliament, while national parliaments play a greater role, working alongside the European institutions. Restoring ecosystems dependent on agriculture and forestry and promoting resource efficiency and the shift towards a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy are also high priorities, accounting for 51.7% (about €51 billion) of the total rural development budget for 2014-2020. protecting, conserving and enhancing the EU’s natural capital; turning the EU into a resource-efficient, green and competitive low-carbon economy; and. The migration crisis and the changing security landscape in recent years have demonstrated that the Schengen area needs strong external borders. Europe needs efficient transport connections to drive trade, growth, and employment. The EU is also steering the transition towards connected and automated driving. 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. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control assesses emerging threats so the EU and national health authorities can respond rapidly. Environmental concerns do not stop at the EU’s borders. It will improve the business environment by reforming telecoms and media policy, reviewing the rules on how online platforms behave and ensuring that the online world is safe and secure. In certain specific cases, not all Member States participate in all areas of EU policy. Financial institutions and markets play a vital role in the stability and growth of the EU economy. boost excellent science, including through the, promote industrial leadership in areas such as nanotechnologies, biotechnology and information and communications technology, and through support for companies and entrepreneurs; and. Environmental challenges know no boundaries. The New European Agenda for Culture contains concrete actions to harness the full potential of culture. Human rights are protected by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Protecting the environment and promoting sustainable growth go hand in hand. establish a common consolidated corporate tax base in the EU and a financial transaction tax. Safe and easy travel in the EU. It does things like proposing new laws for the European Parliament to vote on, … These plenary sessions are normally held in Strasbourg, with any additional sessions held in Brussels. Following the White Paper, the Commission contributed to the debate with a series of thematic reflection papers offering different options for the EU in certain policy areas: the social dimension of Europe; harnessing globalisation; the deepening of economic and monetary union; the future of European defence; and the future of EU finances. EU competition rules aim to ensure that all companies compete fairly and equally in the single market to the benefit of consumers, businesses and the European economy as a whole. This helps to reduce prices and improve quality, encourages innovation and efficiency and creates a wider choice for consumers. Trade deals are not an end in themselves; they also project European values and principles around the world, which is why all new trade agreements negotiated by the EU include provisions on sustainable development, notably environmental protection and labour conditions. They have been amended each time new Member States have joined the EU. Economic and monetary union and the euro provide the common foundations for greater stability, growth and prosperity across Europe. Its focus is on increasing the EU’s jobs and growth potential and on supporting climate action and the EU’s policies beyond its borders. The EU also makes life easier for Europeans who study, work or get married in other EU countries by building bridges between the different national legal systems across the EU. The potential economic, social and environmental consequences of proposed measures are analysed and reported in impact assessments that accompany legislative proposals. The EU’s relationships with the rest of the world are based on solidarity and cooperation. Ensure that the declarant (EU Exporter) of your goods has done everything that they need to do to make sure they successfully pass through EU customs: • Have an EU EORI number from the relevant EU authority • Got any relevant Export/specialist goods licences/certificates. During the economic and financial crisis, the EU budget proved to be a powerful instrument to support investment. OLAF also contributes to the development, monitoring and implementation of the EU’s anti-fraud policies, working closely with the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. While social security remains the responsibility of each Member State, the EU creates bridges between national systems for citizens moving across borders. A name change from the European Economic Community to the European Union in 1993 reflected this. Please click here for the latest information from the European Commission on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, including travel advice. EU food-labelling rules also provide consumers with information important to their health. coordinating and co-financing the transport costs of firefighting operations in Europe during a particularly intense summer. Worth of investments ( by October 2019 ), exceeding expectations initiatives are evaluated check... Period from 1 December 2019 to 31 may 2022 respond rapidly found at first reading, EU... Also working to ensure that decisions are taken as openly as possible to the affected. The highest level of political cooperation between Member States of the second world War of... 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