Politics and Institutions
This unit follows horizontally institutional and political developments in the European Union.
The Politics and Institutions unit aims to monitor development of the EU institutions and to contribute to the general debate about the future of the EU. It also provides legal expertise to the work of other policy units within CEPS.
In 2010 the main research priority was on the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty as a whole. Kaczyński and ó Broin participated in a joint project with the two other Brussels think tanks, which resulted with a book “Treaty of Lisbon: A Second Look at the Institutional Innovations”. Researchers gave many presentations on the subject to various groups from most EU member countries and beyond. Kaczyński and Incerti presented the study in nine EU member states. Numerous other publications were published on the implementation of the treaty by CEPS and other institutes within the EPIN network.
The second block of research activity was focused on specific elements of the Lisbon institutional set up. In 2010 the focus was on the confusion in EU external representation in international negotiations; the European Citizens’ Initiative; the role of national parliaments in the decision making process and the procedures of further treaty changes. On each of those topics researchers have prepared papers or books.
The unit’s researchers covered also two other areas: i) the new role of the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union and ii) the changed position of the European Parliament in the system.
Through EPIN – the European Policy Institutes Network, which consists of 32 think tanks from 25 countries, including 24 EU member states – the unit actively promotes interaction among citizens and researchers. Since its establishment in 2002, EPIN has proven to be a very useful forum for the exchange of different national views on issues of common European interest, thus bringing together the ideas and concerns from the enlarged European Union. In 2010 there were three EPIN events: in Brussels, Istanbul and Nicosia. In 2011 three other are organised in Brussels, Rome and Bucharest. EPIN also published working papers and commentaries.
Under the rules of the Lisbon Treaty, the unit’s research programme is essentially dictated by the set-up of new institutions. The following issues suggest themselves as the main research focus in the upcoming years:
Implementation and Application of the Treaty of Lisbon
Functioning of the European Commission in the new institutional set-up
Functioning of the Council and its rotating presidency;
Functioning of the European Council
Functioning of the European Parliament
Other institutional innovations in the Lisbon Treaty, especially the role of national parliaments; the European Citizens Initiative; the passarelle clause; enhanced cooperation and the new simplified treaty revision procedure.
The research focus in 2011 is threefold. First, CEPS researchers continue to monitor the direct implementation (phasing-out) and application of the Lisbon Treaty rules. Second, they look into further treaty changes. Third, the changing nature of the European politics (beyond the EU formal institutions) will be researched.
This unit also provides extensive visibility to CEPS through the researchers’ media outreach and external speaking engagements.
EPIN and other networks
European Policy Institutes Network (EPIN) is a CEPS-led network of 32 research institutes from almost all EU member states and candidate countries. It is guided by a ‘steering committee’ composed of six member institutes. EPIN provides a platform for researchers and policy analysts to establish personal links, exchange knowledge and collaborate on EU-related issues and consists of. Members bring their national perspectives to bear on the issues tackled and through collaboration, they contribute to establish a 'European added-value' (e.g. on EU communication, flexible integration). For more on the network activities, please see www.epin.org.
CEPS participation in two Ph.D. programs is also coordinated by the unit.