Falalіeіeva L. G. The European Parliament: legal status and role in ensuring the rights of citizens of the European Union
The article analyzes the legal status, functions and powers of the European Parliament, including the area of ensuring the rights of citizens of the EU. It is concluded that the European Parliament is a supranational collegiate election institution of the EU that ensures the representation of EU citizens and functions in a sessional manner primarily realizing legislative, budgetary, control, advisory functions and powers for the benefit of EU citizens, taking into account the common goals and values established by the founding treaties. Doctrinal views from the above issues are highlighted.
The author emphasizes that each institution of the EU acts within the powers given it by founding treaties in accordance with their procedures, conditions and objectives, supporting between each other sincere cooperation, that is, cooperation in a spirit of mutual respect and mutual assistance in achieving the objectives of the EU. It is noted that over the past decades there has been an expansion of the functions and powers of the European Parliament, this trend has been consistently maintained.
It is stated that the functioning of the EU is based on the principles of representative democracy. The European Parliament is the only representative institution of the citizens of the EU. It is emphasized that every citizen of the EU, regardless of his residence within the territory of the member states, has the right to exercise both active and passive electoral rights under the same conditions as citizens of the host state during the formation of a new composition of the European Parliament. This is about one of the political rights of the citizens of the EU.
The peculiarities of legal status of the European Ombudsman who is elected after each election to the European Parliament for the term of his legislative authority with the possibility of re-election are revealed. The European Ombudsman considers complaints about maladministration in the EU (the activities of institutions, with the exception of the EU Court under realization its jurisdictional competence; bodies; agencies of the EU), exercising its functions and powers completely independently. Wherein, he is accountable and politically responsible to the European Parliament. It is noted that the post of the European Ombudsman is incompatible with any other occupation, whether paid or not.
The article examines a significant role in the process of democratization of the integration association of the Lisbon Treaty 2007, which in particular introduced the institution of “civic initiative”, strengthened the position of the European Parliament and national parliaments of the member states, reformed the decision-making process, creating conditions for more active cooperation of the European Parliament with other institutions of EU.
It is stressed that every citizen of the EU, as well as any physical or legal entity residing or having its registered office in a member state, may submit, individually or jointly with other citizens or persons, a petition to the European Parliament on issues related to the field of activity of the EU and directly affects the author / authors of the petition. In addition, it is noted that, as far as possible, the decision-making process in the EU should be opened and as close as possible to its citizens, each of which has the right to participate in the democratic life of the EU. In the European Parliament, all 24 official EU languages are working, which is the best way to guarantee the transparency of this institution’s activity and ensure access to its decisions by all citizens of the EU.
Key words: European Union, Lisbon Treaty, European Parliament, EU citizens, integration.