Antici Group of high ranking diplomats from the permanent re presentations in Brussels who assist the ambassadors in Coreper II in the preparation of compromises on EU legislation between member states. Established in 1975 and named after the group's first Italian president, Paolo M Antici. A similar working group has been established to  help the substitute ambassadors in Coreper I and has been named the Mertens group after its first Belgian president, Vincent Mer tens de Wilmars. 
Charter of Fundamental Rights The Charter of Fundamental rights is now legally binding in the EU and national courts may refer to the Court of Justice of the EU in Luxembourg for preliminary rulings on such cases. The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights was adopted in Nice in December 2000 as a political declaration. From 1 December 2009 it has been made formally legally binding under Article 6 TEU of the Lisbon Treaty. A court case from 2013 gives the Charter primacy over national constitutions. It contains 54 articles mainly collected from the European Convention on Human Rights.  
College (as in College of Commissioners) The Commission is composed of the College of Commissioners of 28 members, including the President, Vice-Presidents and the High Representative. The Commissioners, one from each EU country, are the Commission's political leadership during a 5-year term. Each Commissioner is assigned responsibility for specific policy areas by the President.
Competence The powers of th e EU as defined by the Treaties. Divided into: 1) exclusive competences; 2) shared competences; 3) competence to support, coordinate or supplement actions of Member States; and 4) competence to provide arrangements within which EU member states must coordinate policy.
Configuration The Council of the EU is a single legal entity, but it meets in 10 different 'configurations', depending on the subject being discussed. There is no hierarchy among the Council configurations, although the General Affairs Council has a special coordination role and is responsible for institutional, administrative and horizontal matters. The Foreign Affairs Council also has a special remit. Any of the Council's 10 configurations can adopt an act that falls under the remit of another configuration. Therefore, with any legislative act the Council adopts no mention is made of the configuration.
Coreper (I & II) Coreper stands for the 'Committee of the Permanent Representatives of the Governments of the Member States to the European Union'. Coreper II consists of the Permanent Represenatives of each of the 28 Member States, and Coreper I of their deputies. All items to be included into the Council's agenda (except for some agricultural matters) must first be examined by Coreper, unless the Council decides otherwise. It is not an EU decision-making body, and any agreement it reaches can be called into question by the Council, which alone has the power to make decisions.
Council Conclusions After every summit the European Council President publishes the agreed conclusions of the summit. They are negotiated, often altered between the Prime Ministers, and then set the direction for further EU policy initiatives. Presidency conclusions are not legally binding but have been used by the EU Court as a form of soft law. 
Council of Europe The Council of Europe is an international organisation focused on promoting human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe. Founded in 1949, it has 47 member states, covers approximately 820 million people and operates with an annual budget of approximately half a billion euros. The best known body of the Council of Europe is the European Court of Human Rights, which enforces the European Convention on Human Rights. The Council of Europe promotes human rights through international conventions, such as the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence and the Convention on Cybercrime. It monitors member states' progress in these areas and makes recommendations through independent expert monitoring bodies. 

Council of the European Union (Council of Ministers)

The Council of Ministers, typically referred to as just 'the Council', is the EU's main decision-making and legislative body. In conjunction with the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers approves new EU's legislature. The Council of Ministers should not be confused either with the European Council or the Council of Europe. The former is a distinct EU institution that is discussed under below. The latter is an international body, completely separate from the EU, set up in 1949 with the aim of promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law within its 47 member states.
Court of Justice of the European Union The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), seated in Brussels, encompasses the the whole judiciary. It is the chief judicial authority of the EU and ensure that EU law is applied in the same way in all EU countries,  It also settles legal disputes between national governments and EU institutions.
Directive A directive is a legal act embodying EU decision-making. Directives must first be transferred into national law through the member states' parliaments and governments within, for example, a specified period, such as 18 months. If a country refuses to adopt a directive, it may become law in that particular country in any case. If the rules are sufficiently precise, they may be looked upon as directly applicable. Over the years the EU Court has proclaimed many directives to be directly applicable and even declared that countries are liable to pay compensation if they have not implemented a directive in time. 
EESC The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is an EU advisory body comprising representatives of workers' and employers' organisations, and other interest groups. It issues opinions on EU issues to the European Commission, the Council of the EU and the European Parliament, thus acting as a bridge between the EU's decision-making institutions and EU citizens.
EFTA The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is an intergovernmental organisation set up for the promotion of free trade and economic integration to the benefit of its four Member States: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Norway. The Association is responsible for the management of the EFTA Convention, which forms the legal basis of the organisation and governs free trade relations between the EFTA States; EFTA’s worldwide network of free trade and partnership agreements; and the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement, which enables three of the four EFTA Member States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) to participate in the EU’s Internal Market.
Enlargement European Union (EU) enlargement describes the process of admitting new member states to join the EU. Since 'the six' (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) signed the Treaty of Paris in 1951, creating the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the EU has successfully enlarged on six occasions: 1973, when the UK, Ireland and Denmark joined; 1981, when Greece became the tenth member nation; five years later when Spain and Portugal joined in 1986; 1995, when Austria, Sweden and Finland came aboard; and in 2004 when the EU admitted Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic, and Slovenia - the "biggest enlargement ever in terms of scope and diversity". Bulgaria and Romania were admitted in 2007. The newest member of the club, Croatia, joined in 2013.
EU Council The European Council is composed of the Heads of States or Governments of all the EU Member States and the Presidents of the European Council and Commission.  It can take action on current international issues via the 'Common Foreign and Security Policy'.  It can take decisions on thorny issues the Council of the Ministers was unable to agree on.
European Commission The European Commission represents and upholds the interests of the EU as a whole.  It is politically independent and answers to the European Parliament.  It also puts forward legislative proposals to the tabled by the Council and Parliament.
European Convention on Human Rights The European Convention on Human Rights is the first Council of Europe convention and the cornerstone of all its activities. It was adopted in 1950 and entered into force in 1953. Its ratification is a prerequisite for joining the Organisation.The European Court of Human Rights oversees the implementation of the Convention in the 47 Council of Europe member states. Individuals can bring complaints of human rights violations to the Strasbourg Court once all possibilities of appeal have been exhausted in the member state concerned. The European Union is preparing to sign the European Convention on Human Rights, creating a common European legal space for over 820 million citizens.
European Council The regular meeting of the Heads of State and Government of the EU member states. These Presidents and Prime Ministers, together with the President of the EU Commission, meet at least four times, a year to fix the general political guidelines for the EU. Foreign Affairs and other ministers may attend by invitation. The meetings are now led by a permanent president. The Lisbon Treaty established the European Council as an official EU institution. Donald Tusk, as European Council President, chairs its meetings.
European Court of Human Rights Some of the rights protected by the European Court of Human Rights include the right to life, prohibition of torture, prohibition of slavery and forced labour, right to liberty and security, right to a fair trial, no punishment without law, right to respect for private and family life, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, right to marry, right to an effective remedy, prohibition of discrimination
European Court of Justice Based in Luxembourg and ensures compliance with the law in the interpretation and application of the European Treaties of the European Union
European Parliament The parliamentary body of the European Union which comprises 766 European Members of Parliament of the 28 European Union countries, elected by universal suffrage. Its members form 8 distinct political party groupings (and some unattached members), and its main function is, in conjunction with the Council of the EU, to pass EU law.
European Union The European Union is a unique economic and political union between 28 European states.  It is based on the rule of law, that is: everything is founded on treates and democratically agreed by its members countries.
Five Presidents These are the President of the European Parliament, the President of the European Council, the President of the Eurogroup, the President of the European Commission, and the President of the European Central Bank.
Four Freedoms The right of EU citizens to live, work and buy and sell goods and services wherever they want in the Union. Although many of these freedoms are a reality within the EU there are still plenty of examples where the freedoms are incomplete.
General Agreement The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, GATT, is UN body set up in 1948 to increase trade and encourage free trade and tariff reductions. GATT had 110 members when it was renamed the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 1995. The General Agreement on Trade in Services, GATS is an International agreement of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on the introduction of a market economy and free trade in, for example, social services.
Mertens Group of high ranking diplomats from the permanent representations in Brussels assisting Coreper in the preparation of compromises between member states. Established in 1993 and named after the first Belgian president, Vincent Mertens de Wilmars. 
Nicolaidis Group The Nicolaidis Group prepares the meetings of the Political and Security Committee (PSC). It is an equivalent to the Antici and Mertens groups, which undertake preparations for the Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper). The Nicolaidis Group meets twice a week, always on the day before a PSC meeting.
Parliamentary Assembly (of the Council of Europe) The deliberative body of the Council of Europe (not EU), composed of 318 representatives (and the same number of substitutes) appointed by the 47 member states' national parliaments.
Roadmap Roadmaps give a first description of planned Commission initiatives. They describe the problem that the initiative aims to address and possible policy options. They also provide an overview of the different planned stages in the development of the initiative, including consultation of stakeholders and impact assessment work. If an impact assessment will not be carried out, the Roadmap explains why.
Trilogue (or trialogue) Informal tripartite meetings attended by representatives of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission. The content and purpose of trilogues may vary from very technical discussions to very political discussions (involving Ministers and Commissioners). They may address issues of planning and timetable or go into detail on any particular substantial issue.
TTIP The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a proposed trade agreement between the EU and the US whose aim is to boost trade and economic growth in three main areas: market access; specific regulation; and broader rules and principles and modes of co-operation. Talks were originally scheduled to end in 2014 but are still in progress.


 

 
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