The General Affairs Council of the European Union meets in Brussels on 23 May 2022 to prepare for the Extraordinary European Council on 30-31 May, but also to hold a hearing on Hungary and to brief the Council on the Conference on the Future of Europe, writes the Council’s website.

European unionPhoto: Amer Ghazzal / Shutterstock Editorial / Profimedia

The Council will hold an exchange of views on the draft conclusions to be adopted at the extraordinary meeting of the European Council on 30-31 May 2022. The annotated draft agenda for the European Council meeting on 23 will also be finalized. -24 June 2022.

The Council will hold a hearing on Hungary in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 7 (1) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). According to art. Article 7 of the TEU, on a reasoned proposal from one third of the Member States, the European Parliament or the European Commission and with the consent of the European Parliament, the Council may find that there is a clear risk that a freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, respect for human rights, pluralism, non-discrimination, etc., writes Agerpres.

The Council shall hear the Member State concerned and may make recommendations to it. It then checks regularly whether the reasons which led to this finding remain valid. In the event of a breach of the EU values ​​listed above, the Council may decide to suspend certain rights of the Member State concerned following the application of the Treaties, including the right to vote in the Council of the representative of the government of that Member State.

The European Parliament adopted on 5 May 2022 the Resolution on the ongoing hearings under Article 7 (1) TEU in respect of Poland and Hungary, in which it considers that the hearings should be held with appropriate frequency and welcomes the resumption by the French Presidency of hearings on both proceedings. The resolution notes with concern, however, that despite repeated requests from Parliament, hearings have not been held regularly and urges future Presidencies to hold hearings at least once for each presidency.

Another topic discussed on 23 May is information on the Conference on the Future of Europe. The debates at the Conference lasted a year and aimed at collecting from the European institutions proposals from citizens on how the Union should look in the future.

At a closing ceremony on 9 May 2022 in Strasbourg, the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, the French President, Emmanuel Macron, on behalf of the Presidency of the Council, and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, received part of the co-chairs of the Executive Committee of the conference the final report on the results of the conference. The report focuses on 49 proposals that include concrete objectives and more than 320 measures for the EU institutions to follow.

The General Affairs Council (CAG) is one of the ten formations of the EU Council, which prepares European Council meetings and monitors their results, but is also responsible for a number of cross-sectoral policy areas. The CAG’s cross-sectoral policies are EU enlargement and accession negotiations, the adoption of the multiannual financial framework (the EU’s seven-year budget plan), cohesion policy, and the EU’s institutional organization. The CAG shall also deal with any other matters entrusted to it by the European Council. The General Affairs Council is made up mainly of the European Affairs Ministers of all EU Member States. The EC is also represented at meetings by the Commissioner responsible for interinstitutional relations, depending on the topic under discussion.

The EU Council exercises, together with the EP, the legislative and budgetary functions, being composed of one representative at ministerial level of each member state, according to art. 16 of the Treaty on European Union.

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