BETA


Events

2019/01/17
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2019/01/17
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2019/01/17
   EP - Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
Details

The European Parliament adopted by 446 votes to 138, with 19 abstentions, a resolution on differentiated integration.

The concept of differentiated integration refers to a range of different mechanisms each of which can have a very different impact on European integration; whereas one can distinguish between time differentiation, or a multispeed Europe, where the goals are the same but the speed required to achieve them varies, manners differentiation, or Europe à la carte, and space differentiation, often referred to as ‘variable geometry’.

A secondary option and not a strategic priority

Members recalled that differentiation is a stable feature of European integration, not only in areas falling within the Union's competence, but also in other areas, and that it has sometimes allowed the deepening and enlargement of the EU to take place simultaneously. However, they refused to consider differentiation as an innovative way forward for the future of the Union.

Parliament insisted that the debate surrounding differentiated integration should not be about pro-differentiation versus anti-differentiation, but the best way to operationalise differentiated integration – which is already a political reality – within the EU’s institutional framework in the best interests of the Union and its citizens.

Members argued that any form of differentiated integration should reflect the idea that Europe does not work to a one-size-fits-all approach and should adapt to the needs and wishes of its citizen. This differentiation:

- may sometimes be required for the purposes of embarking on new European projects and overcoming the deadlock arising from national political circumstances unrelated to the common project;

- should be used pragmatically as a constitutional tool to ensure flexibility without undermining the general interest of the Union and the equal rights and opportunities of its citizens;

- should only be conceived of as a temporary step on the path towards more effective and integrated policymaking.

Members confirmed that any form of differentiation initiative that leads to the creation of first- and second-class Member States of the Union, or to a perception thereof, would be a major political failure with detrimental consequences for the EU project.

Differentiated integration should not be seen as a means of promoting tailor-made solutions that could compromise the Union's method and its institutional system. Also, it should always:

- remain open to all Member States and continue to serve as an example of deepening European integration;

- be considered in such a way as to fully encourage and support Member States wishing to participate in their economic development and reform efforts with a view to meeting the necessary criteria within a reasonable period of time;

- be done within the framework of the provisions of the Treaties and preserve the unity of the Union's institutions without leading to more complex decision-making processes that would reduce the democratic accountability of the Union's institutions.

In order to meet the need for flexibility tools, Members called for the Council's voting procedures to continue to move from unanimity to qualified majority voting, using the 'passerelle clause' provided for in Article 48(7) of the EU Treaty.

Revision of the Treaties

According to Parliament, the next revision of the Treaties should bring order to the current process of differentiation by ending the practice of permanent opt-outs and exceptions from primary EU law for individual Member States.

Brexit could be an opportunity to move away from models of ‘opting out’ towards non-discriminatory and supportive models of ‘opting in’; stresses that these ‘opting in’ models would not limit progress towards ‘ever closer union’ to the lowest common denominator of a one-size-fits-all solution.

Parliament insisted on the following points:

- accession to the Union should imply an obligation for Member States to respect the primary EU law in all policy areas;

- countries that wish to have a close relationship with the EU without committing themselves to full compliance with primary law and that will not or cannot join the EU should be offered some form of partnership;

- differentiation should not be allowed (i) when it comes to respect for existing fundamental values and rights enshrined in Article 2 of the EU Treaty; (ii) in policy areas where non-participating Member States could create negative externalities such as economic and social dumping.

In order to ensure that differentiation does not lead to political fragmentation, Parliament considered that a future European institutional framework should include ineluctable European Pillars on political, economic, social and environmental rights.

Documents
2019/01/17
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2018/11/27
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
Details

The Committee on Constitutional Affairs adopted the own-initiative report by Pascal DURAND (Greens/EFA, FR) on differentiated integration.

The Committee recalled its conclusions that intergovernmental decision-making structures and processes increase complexity of institutional responsibility, reduce transparency and democratic accountability and that the Community method is best for the functioning of the Union. It considered that differentiated integration should reflect the idea that Europe does not work to a one-size-fits-all approach and should adapt to the needs and wishes of its citizens. Members believed that differentiation:

may sometimes be required for the purposes of embarking on new European projects and overcoming the deadlock arising from national political circumstances unrelated to the common project; should be used pragmatically as a constitutional tool to ensure flexibility without undermining the general interest of the EU and the equal rights and opportunities of its citizens; should only be conceived of as a temporary step on the path towards more effective and integrated policymaking.

The committee reiterated its conviction that differentiated integration must remain, as provided for under Articles 20 and 46 TEU , open to all Member States and must continue to serve as an example of deeper European integration where no Member State remains excluded from a policy in the long run, and should not be seen as a means to facilitate à la carte solutions that threaten to undermine the Union method and the EU’s institutional system.

It affirmed that any form of differentiation initiative that leads to the creation of first- and second-class Member States of the Union, or to a perception thereof, would be a major political failure with detrimental consequences for the EU project. Any future model of differentiated integration should be designed to provide incentives for and fully support Member States aspiring to ‘opt in’ in their efforts of economic development and conversion aimed at meeting the necessary criteria in a reasonable timeframe.

Members considered that one appropriate answer to the need for flexible tools is to tackle one of the roots of the problem. They called therefore, for a further shift in Council voting procedures away from unanimity and towards qualified majority voting, by making use of the “passerelle clause” ( Article 48(7) TEU ).

The committee believed that differentiated integration should always take place within the Treaty provisions, should maintain the unity of EU institutions and should not lead to the creation of parallel institutional arrangements or arrangements that indirectly contravene the spirit and the fundamental principles of EU law, but should instead enable specific bodies to be established where appropriate , without prejudice to the competences and role of the EU institutions.

It emphasised that differentiated integration should not lead to more complex decision-making processes that would undermine the democratic accountability of the EU institutions.

It considered Brexit an opportunity to move away from models of “opting out” towards non-discriminatory and supportive models of “opting in”. Members stressed that these “opting in” models would not limit progress towards “ever closer union” to the lowest common denominator of a one-size-fits-all solution but would allow the necessary flexibility to progress while leaving the door open to Member States that are both willing and able to fulfil the necessary criteria.

The committee calls for the next revision of the Treaties to bring order to the current process of differentiation by ending the practice of permanent opt-outs and exceptions from primary EU law for individual Member States, as they lead to negative differentiation in primary EU law, distort the homogeneity of EU law in general and endanger the social cohesion of the EU.

It acknowledged, however, that some transitional periods may be necessary for new members on a strictly exceptional, temporary and case-by-case basis but insisted that certain clear and enforceable legal provisions be introduced to prevent the perpetuation of these periods.

EU membership would therefore require full compliance with primary EU law in all policy areas, while those countries desiring a close relationship with the EU without being willing to commit to full compliance with primary law and which either will not or cannot join the EU should be offered some form of partnership . Members considered that this relationship should be accompanied by obligations corresponding to the respective rights , such as a contribution to the EU budget, and should be contingent on adherence with the EU’s fundamental values, the rule of law and, when it comes to internal market participation, the four freedoms .

The committee stressed that differentiation should not be possible in policy areas where non-participating Member States could create negative externalities , such as economic and social dumping. It demanded that the Commission carefully examine the potential centrifugal effects, including in the long term, when it submits its proposal for enhanced cooperation.

It suggested the establishment of a special procedure that would allow, after a certain number of years, when enhanced cooperation is launched by a number of states representing a qualified majority in the Council and after Parliament’s consent has been obtained, the integration of the provisions of enhanced cooperation into the EU acquis .

Lastly, it underlined the fact that flexibility and differentiation should go hand in hand with reinforcing common rules in core areas to ensure that differentiation does not lead to political fragmentation; considers, therefore, that a future European institutional framework should include ineluctable European Pillars on political, economic, social and environmental rights.

Documents
2018/11/21
   EP - Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
2018/11/15
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2018/11/07
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2018/09/17
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2018/08/02
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2018/06/14
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
2018/06/14
   EP - Referral to associated committees announced in Parliament
2018/05/31
   EP - FRUNZULICĂ Doru-Claudian (S&D) appointed as rapporteur in ECON
2018/04/23
   EP - GOERENS Charles (ALDE) appointed as rapporteur in BUDG
2018/03/21
   EP - DURAND Pascal (Verts/ALE) appointed as rapporteur in AFCO

Documents

Votes

A8-0402/2018 - Pascal Durand - Résolution

2019/01/17 Outcome: +: 446, -: 138, 0: 19
DE IT ES FR RO PT HU BG BE CZ AT HR SI FI SK NL LU MT LV EE LT PL EL DK IE SE GB
Total
79
49
46
66
21
13
13
15
18
19
17
10
8
9
13
20
6
6
7
5
9
45
13
10
8
19
57
icon: PPE PPE
176

Finland PPE

For (1)

1

Netherlands PPE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg PPE

3

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1

Ireland PPE

For (1)

Abstain (2)

3

United Kingdom PPE

2
icon: S&D S&D
149
3

Bulgaria S&D

Abstain (1)

3

Czechia S&D

3

Croatia S&D

2

Slovenia S&D

For (1)

1

Netherlands S&D

3

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1

Malta S&D

3

Latvia S&D

1

Estonia S&D

For (1)

1

Greece S&D

2

Denmark S&D

2

Ireland S&D

For (1)

1
icon: ALDE ALDE
57

Germany ALDE

3

Romania ALDE

For (1)

1

Portugal ALDE

1

Austria ALDE

For (1)

1

Croatia ALDE

2

Slovenia ALDE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg ALDE

For (1)

1

Latvia ALDE

1

Estonia ALDE

2

Lithuania ALDE

1
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
44

Belgium Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Croatia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Slovenia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Finland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Netherlands Verts/ALE

2

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

Estonia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Lithuania Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Denmark Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Sweden Verts/ALE

3

United Kingdom Verts/ALE

4
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
36

Italy GUE/NGL

2

France GUE/NGL

3

Portugal GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Czechia GUE/NGL

2

Finland GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Netherlands GUE/NGL

3

Denmark GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1
4

Sweden GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

United Kingdom GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1
icon: NI NI
13

Germany NI

2

France NI

2

United Kingdom NI

Against (2)

2
icon: EFDD EFDD
33

Germany EFDD

Against (1)

1

Czechia EFDD

Against (1)

1

Lithuania EFDD

Against (1)

1

Poland EFDD

1
icon: ENF ENF
33

Germany ENF

Against (1)

1

Belgium ENF

Against (1)

1

Netherlands ENF

3

Poland ENF

2

United Kingdom ENF

4
icon: ECR ECR
60

Italy ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Romania ECR

For (1)

1

Bulgaria ECR

Against (1)

1

Czechia ECR

2

Croatia ECR

Against (1)

1

Finland ECR

1

Netherlands ECR

Against (1)

1

Latvia ECR

Against (1)

1

Lithuania ECR

Against (1)

1

Greece ECR

Against (1)

1

Sweden ECR

2
AmendmentsDossier
120 2018/2093(INI)
2018/09/17 AFCO 91 amendments...
source: 627.843
2018/10/09 ECON 21 amendments...
source: 628.626
2018/10/11 BUDG 8 amendments...
source: 628.623

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

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  • date: 2019-01-14T00:00:00 body: EP type: Indicative plenary sitting date, 1st reading/single reading
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docs
  • date: 2018-08-02T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE626.719 title: PE626.719 type: Committee draft report body: EP
  • date: 2018-09-17T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE627.843 title: PE627.843 type: Amendments tabled in committee body: EP
  • date: 2018-11-07T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE625.420&secondRef=02 title: PE625.420 committee: BUDG type: Committee opinion body: EP
  • date: 2018-11-15T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE627.770&secondRef=03 title: PE627.770 committee: ECON type: Committee opinion body: EP
events
  • date: 2018-06-14T00:00:00 type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2018-06-14T00:00:00 type: Referral to associated committees announced in Parliament body: EP
  • date: 2018-11-21T00:00:00 type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2018-11-27T00:00:00 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A8-2018-0402&language=EN title: A8-0402/2018 summary: The Committee on Constitutional Affairs adopted the own-initiative report by Pascal DURAND (Greens/EFA, FR) on differentiated integration. The Committee recalled its conclusions that intergovernmental decision-making structures and processes increase complexity of institutional responsibility, reduce transparency and democratic accountability and that the Community method is best for the functioning of the Union. It considered that differentiated integration should reflect the idea that Europe does not work to a one-size-fits-all approach and should adapt to the needs and wishes of its citizens. Members believed that differentiation: may sometimes be required for the purposes of embarking on new European projects and overcoming the deadlock arising from national political circumstances unrelated to the common project; should be used pragmatically as a constitutional tool to ensure flexibility without undermining the general interest of the EU and the equal rights and opportunities of its citizens; should only be conceived of as a temporary step on the path towards more effective and integrated policymaking. The committee reiterated its conviction that differentiated integration must remain, as provided for under Articles 20 and 46 TEU , open to all Member States and must continue to serve as an example of deeper European integration where no Member State remains excluded from a policy in the long run, and should not be seen as a means to facilitate à la carte solutions that threaten to undermine the Union method and the EU’s institutional system. It affirmed that any form of differentiation initiative that leads to the creation of first- and second-class Member States of the Union, or to a perception thereof, would be a major political failure with detrimental consequences for the EU project. Any future model of differentiated integration should be designed to provide incentives for and fully support Member States aspiring to ‘opt in’ in their efforts of economic development and conversion aimed at meeting the necessary criteria in a reasonable timeframe. Members considered that one appropriate answer to the need for flexible tools is to tackle one of the roots of the problem. They called therefore, for a further shift in Council voting procedures away from unanimity and towards qualified majority voting, by making use of the “passerelle clause” ( Article 48(7) TEU ). The committee believed that differentiated integration should always take place within the Treaty provisions, should maintain the unity of EU institutions and should not lead to the creation of parallel institutional arrangements or arrangements that indirectly contravene the spirit and the fundamental principles of EU law, but should instead enable specific bodies to be established where appropriate , without prejudice to the competences and role of the EU institutions. It emphasised that differentiated integration should not lead to more complex decision-making processes that would undermine the democratic accountability of the EU institutions. It considered Brexit an opportunity to move away from models of “opting out” towards non-discriminatory and supportive models of “opting in”. Members stressed that these “opting in” models would not limit progress towards “ever closer union” to the lowest common denominator of a one-size-fits-all solution but would allow the necessary flexibility to progress while leaving the door open to Member States that are both willing and able to fulfil the necessary criteria. The committee calls for the next revision of the Treaties to bring order to the current process of differentiation by ending the practice of permanent opt-outs and exceptions from primary EU law for individual Member States, as they lead to negative differentiation in primary EU law, distort the homogeneity of EU law in general and endanger the social cohesion of the EU. It acknowledged, however, that some transitional periods may be necessary for new members on a strictly exceptional, temporary and case-by-case basis but insisted that certain clear and enforceable legal provisions be introduced to prevent the perpetuation of these periods. EU membership would therefore require full compliance with primary EU law in all policy areas, while those countries desiring a close relationship with the EU without being willing to commit to full compliance with primary law and which either will not or cannot join the EU should be offered some form of partnership . Members considered that this relationship should be accompanied by obligations corresponding to the respective rights , such as a contribution to the EU budget, and should be contingent on adherence with the EU’s fundamental values, the rule of law and, when it comes to internal market participation, the four freedoms . The committee stressed that differentiation should not be possible in policy areas where non-participating Member States could create negative externalities , such as economic and social dumping. It demanded that the Commission carefully examine the potential centrifugal effects, including in the long term, when it submits its proposal for enhanced cooperation. It suggested the establishment of a special procedure that would allow, after a certain number of years, when enhanced cooperation is launched by a number of states representing a qualified majority in the Council and after Parliament’s consent has been obtained, the integration of the provisions of enhanced cooperation into the EU acquis . Lastly, it underlined the fact that flexibility and differentiation should go hand in hand with reinforcing common rules in core areas to ensure that differentiation does not lead to political fragmentation; considers, therefore, that a future European institutional framework should include ineluctable European Pillars on political, economic, social and environmental rights.
  • date: 2019-01-17T00:00:00 type: Debate in Parliament body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20190117&type=CRE title: Debate in Parliament
  • date: 2019-01-17T00:00:00 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P8-TA-2019-0044 title: T8-0044/2019 summary: The European Parliament adopted by 446 votes to 138, with 19 abstentions, a resolution on differentiated integration. The concept of differentiated integration refers to a range of different mechanisms each of which can have a very different impact on European integration; whereas one can distinguish between time differentiation, or a multispeed Europe, where the goals are the same but the speed required to achieve them varies, manners differentiation, or Europe à la carte, and space differentiation, often referred to as ‘variable geometry’. A secondary option and not a strategic priority Members recalled that differentiation is a stable feature of European integration, not only in areas falling within the Union's competence, but also in other areas, and that it has sometimes allowed the deepening and enlargement of the EU to take place simultaneously. However, they refused to consider differentiation as an innovative way forward for the future of the Union. Parliament insisted that the debate surrounding differentiated integration should not be about pro-differentiation versus anti-differentiation, but the best way to operationalise differentiated integration – which is already a political reality – within the EU’s institutional framework in the best interests of the Union and its citizens. Members argued that any form of differentiated integration should reflect the idea that Europe does not work to a one-size-fits-all approach and should adapt to the needs and wishes of its citizen. This differentiation: - may sometimes be required for the purposes of embarking on new European projects and overcoming the deadlock arising from national political circumstances unrelated to the common project; - should be used pragmatically as a constitutional tool to ensure flexibility without undermining the general interest of the Union and the equal rights and opportunities of its citizens; - should only be conceived of as a temporary step on the path towards more effective and integrated policymaking. Members confirmed that any form of differentiation initiative that leads to the creation of first- and second-class Member States of the Union, or to a perception thereof, would be a major political failure with detrimental consequences for the EU project. Differentiated integration should not be seen as a means of promoting tailor-made solutions that could compromise the Union's method and its institutional system. Also, it should always: - remain open to all Member States and continue to serve as an example of deepening European integration; - be considered in such a way as to fully encourage and support Member States wishing to participate in their economic development and reform efforts with a view to meeting the necessary criteria within a reasonable period of time; - be done within the framework of the provisions of the Treaties and preserve the unity of the Union's institutions without leading to more complex decision-making processes that would reduce the democratic accountability of the Union's institutions. In order to meet the need for flexibility tools, Members called for the Council's voting procedures to continue to move from unanimity to qualified majority voting, using the 'passerelle clause' provided for in Article 48(7) of the EU Treaty. Revision of the Treaties According to Parliament, the next revision of the Treaties should bring order to the current process of differentiation by ending the practice of permanent opt-outs and exceptions from primary EU law for individual Member States. Brexit could be an opportunity to move away from models of ‘opting out’ towards non-discriminatory and supportive models of ‘opting in’; stresses that these ‘opting in’ models would not limit progress towards ‘ever closer union’ to the lowest common denominator of a one-size-fits-all solution. Parliament insisted on the following points: - accession to the Union should imply an obligation for Member States to respect the primary EU law in all policy areas; - countries that wish to have a close relationship with the EU without committing themselves to full compliance with primary law and that will not or cannot join the EU should be offered some form of partnership; - differentiation should not be allowed (i) when it comes to respect for existing fundamental values and rights enshrined in Article 2 of the EU Treaty; (ii) in policy areas where non-participating Member States could create negative externalities such as economic and social dumping. In order to ensure that differentiation does not lead to political fragmentation, Parliament considered that a future European institutional framework should include ineluctable European Pillars on political, economic, social and environmental rights.
  • date: 2019-01-17T00:00:00 type: End of procedure in Parliament body: EP
links
other
  • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/info/departments/migration-and-home-affairs_en title: Migration and Home Affairs commissioner: AVRAMOPOULOS Dimitris
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Rules of Procedure EP 159
procedure/dossier_of_the_committee
Old
AFCO/8/13345
New
  • AFCO/8/13345
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Rules of Procedure EP 54
procedure/legal_basis/0
Rules of Procedure EP 52
procedure/stage_reached
Old
Awaiting committee decision
New
Procedure completed
procedure/subject
Old
  • 5.20.01 Coordination of monetary policies, European Monetary Institute (EMI), Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)
  • 7.90 Justice and home affairs
  • 8 State and evolution of the Union
New
5.20.01
Coordination of monetary policies, European Monetary Institute (EMI), Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)
7.90
Justice and home affairs
8
State and evolution of the Union
activities/0/committees/0/shadows/2
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ALDE
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SELIMOVIC Jasenko
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2019-01-14T00:00:00
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Indicative plenary sitting date, 1st reading/single reading
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ALDE
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SELIMOVIC Jasenko
procedure/legal_basis/0
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Rules of Procedure EP 052
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Rules of Procedure EP 52
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2018-05-31T00:00:00
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  • group: S&D name: FRUNZULICĂ Doru-Claudian
committees/2/date
2018-05-31T00:00:00
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  • group: S&D name: FRUNZULICĂ Doru-Claudian
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EC
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AVRAMOPOULOS Dimitris
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  • date: 2018-06-14T00:00:00 body: EP type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP shadows: group: EPP name: PREDA Cristian Dan group: S&D name: BRESSO Mercedes group: GUE/NGL name: SCHOLZ Helmut responsible: True committee: AFCO date: 2018-03-21T00:00:00 committee_full: Constitutional Affairs (Associated committee) rapporteur: group: Verts/ALE name: DURAND Pascal body: EP responsible: False committee: BUDG date: 2018-04-23T00:00:00 committee_full: Budgets rapporteur: group: ALDE name: GOERENS Charles body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Economic and Monetary Affairs (Associated committee) committee: ECON
committees
  • body: EP shadows: group: EPP name: PREDA Cristian Dan group: S&D name: BRESSO Mercedes group: GUE/NGL name: SCHOLZ Helmut responsible: True committee: AFCO date: 2018-03-21T00:00:00 committee_full: Constitutional Affairs (Associated committee) rapporteur: group: Verts/ALE name: DURAND Pascal
  • body: EP responsible: False committee: BUDG date: 2018-04-23T00:00:00 committee_full: Budgets rapporteur: group: ALDE name: GOERENS Charles
  • body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Economic and Monetary Affairs (Associated committee) committee: ECON
links
other
    procedure
    dossier_of_the_committee
    AFCO/8/13345
    reference
    2018/2093(INI)
    title
    Differentiated integration
    legal_basis
    Rules of Procedure EP 052
    stage_reached
    Awaiting committee decision
    subtype
    Initiative
    type
    INI - Own-initiative procedure
    subject