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The European Parliament

Description: The 785-member, directly elected European Parliament (EP) is a key institution of the 27-member European Union (EU). Once limited to being a consultative assembly, the EP has accumulated more power over time. Currently, it plays a role in the EU's legislative and budgeting processes, and exercises general supervision over other EU bodies. Ties between the EP and the U.S. Congress are long-standing, and EPCongressional exchanges are expected to continue in the second session of the 110th Congress.
Date: July 3, 2008
Creator: Archick, Kristin

European Union Englargement

Description: The European Union (EU) views the enlargement process as a historic opportunity to promote stability and prosperity in Europe. Although the EU maintains that the enlargement door remains open, "enlargement fatigue" has become a serious issue in Europe and some experts believe that EU enlargement may be reaching its limits. The status of EU enlargement is one of many transatlantic issues likely to be of interest to the second session of the 110th Congress. This report lists the various nations admitted to the European Union within the past several years and analyzes the enlargement issue in general.
Date: July 3, 2008
Creator: Archick, Kristin

The European Union: Questions and Answers

Description: This report describes the European Union (EU), its evolution, governing institutions, trade policy, and efforts to forge common foreign and defense policies. The report also addresses the EU-U.S. and EU-NATO relationships, which may be of interest to the second session of the 110th Congress. It will be updated as events warrant. For more information, see CRS Report RS21344, European Union Enlargement, by Kristin Archick, and CRS Report RL34381, European Union-U.S. Trade and Investment Relations: Key Issues, coordinated by Raymond Ahearn.
Date: July 3, 2008
Creator: Archick, Kristin

The European Union's Reform Process: The Lisbon Treaty

Description: In December 2007, leaders of the European Union (EU) signed the Lisbon Treaty, which seeks to reform the EU's governing institutions and decisionmaking processes to enable a larger EU to operate more effectively. This new treaty represents the latest stage in a reform process begun in 2002 and essentially replaces the proposed EU "constitution" that foundered after French and Dutch voters rejected it in referendums in 2005. In June 2008, Irish voters rejected the Lisbon Treaty, and have thrown its future into doubt. This report provides background information on EU reform efforts and possible implications for U.S.-EU relations that may be of interest in the second session of the 110th Congress.
Date: July 3, 2008
Creator: Archick, Kristin

A Parliamentary-Style Question Period: Proposals and Issues for Congress

Description: This report surveys how question periods are conducted in Britain and other parliamentary democracies, examines previous proposals for question periods in the United States, considers potential advantages and disadvantages of a question period, and outlines some legislative considerations for policymakers considering a question period for Congress.
Date: July 29, 2008
Creator: Glassman, Matthew E.

The United Kingdom: Issues for the United States

Description: This report assesses the current state of U.S.-UK relations. It examines the pressures confronting London as it attempts to balance its interests between the United States and the EU, and the prospects for the future of the U.S.-UK partnership, especially in the unfolding Brown era. It also describes UK views on political, security, and economic issues of particular importance to the United States, and their implications for U.S. policy that may be of interest in the second session of the 110th Congress.
Date: February 28, 2008
Creator: Archick, Kristin