The European Commission is an institution of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU. Commissioners swear an oath at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg City, pledging to respect the treaties and to be independent in carrying out their duties during their mandate. Unlike in the Council of the European Union, where members are directly and indirectly elected, the European Parliament, where members are directly elected, the Commissioners are proposed by the Council of the European Union, on the basis of suggestions made by the national governments, appointed by the European Council after the approval of the European Parliament; the Commission operates with 28 members of the Commission. There is one member per member state, but members are bound by their oath of office to represent the general interest of the EU as a whole rather than their home state. One of the 28 is the Commission President proposed by the European Council and elected by the European Parliament.
The Council of the European Union nominates the other 27 members of the Commission in agreement with the nominated President, the 28 members as a single body are subject to a vote of approval by the European Parliament. The current Commission is the Juncker Commission, which took office in late 2014, following the European Parliament elections in May of the same year; the term Commission is variously used, either in the narrow sense of the 28-member College of Commissioners or to include the administrative body of about 32,000 European civil servants who are split into departments called directorates-general and services. The procedural languages of the Commission are English and German; the Members of the Commission and their "cabinets" are based in the Berlaymont building in Brussels. The European Commission derives from one of the five key institutions created in the supranational European Community system, following the proposal of Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister, on 9 May 1950.
Originating in 1951 as the High Authority in the European Coal and Steel Community, the Commission has undergone numerous changes in power and composition under various presidents, involving three Communities. The first Commission originated in 1951 as the nine-member "High Authority" under President Jean Monnet; the High Authority was the supranational administrative executive of the new European Coal and Steel Community. It took office first on 10 August 1952 in Luxembourg City. In 1958, the Treaties of Rome had established two new communities alongside the ECSC: the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community; however their executives were called "Commissions" rather than "High Authorities". The reason for the change in name was the new relationship between the Council; some states, such as France, expressed reservations over the power of the High Authority, wished to limit it by giving more power to the Council rather than the new executives. Louis Armand led the first Commission of Euratom.
Walter Hallstein led the first Commission of the EEC, holding the first formal meeting on 16 January 1958 at the Château of Val-Duchesse. It achieved agreement on a contentious cereal price accord, as well as making a positive impression upon third countries when it made its international debut at the Kennedy Round of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade negotiations. Hallstein notably began the consolidation of European law and started to have a notable impact on national legislation. Little heed was taken of his administration at first but, with help from the European Court of Justice, his Commission stamped its authority solidly enough to allow future Commissions to be taken more seriously. In 1965, accumulating differences between the French government of Charles de Gaulle and the other member states on various subjects triggered the "empty chair" crisis, ostensibly over proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy. Although the institutional crisis was solved the following year, it cost Etienne Hirsch his presidency of Euratom and Walter Hallstein the EEC presidency, despite his otherwise being viewed as the most'dynamic' leader until Jacques Delors.
The three bodies, collectively named the European Executives, co-existed until 1 July 1967 when, under the Merger Treaty, they were combined into a single administration under President Jean Rey. Owing to the merger, the Rey Commission saw a temporary increase to 14 members—although subsequent Commissions were reduced back to nine, following the formula of one member for small states and two for larger states; the Rey Commission completed the Community's customs union in 1968, campaigned for a more powerful, European Parliament. Despite Rey being the first President of the combined communities, Hallstein is seen as the first President of the modern Commission; the Malfatti and Mansholt Commissions followed with work on monetary co-operation and the first enlargement to the north in 1973. With that enlargement, the Commission's membership increased to thirteen under the Ortoli Commission, which dealt with the enlarged community during economic and international instability at that time; the external representation of the Community took a step forward when President Roy Jenkins, recruited to the presidency in January 1977 from his role as Home Secretary of the United Kingdom's Labour government, became the first President to att
Foreign relations of the European Union
Although there has been a large degree of integration between European Union member states, foreign relations is still a intergovernmental matter, with the 28 members controlling their own relations to a large degree. However, with the Union holding more weight as a single bloc, there are at times attempts to speak with one voice, notably on trade and energy matters; the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy personifies this role. The EU's foreign relations are dealt with either through the Common Foreign and Security Policy decided by the European Council, or the economic trade negotiations handled by the European Commission; the leading EU diplomat in both areas is the High Representative Federica Mogherini. The Council can issue negotiating directives to the Commission giving parameters for trade negotiations. A limited amount of defence co-operation takes place within the Common Defence Policy. However, it is hoped that defence co-operation and integration between member states will be improved by establishing a Military Planning and Conduct Capabilities" unit focused on military operations.
The High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community, the EU's predecessor, opened its first mission in London in 1955, three years after non-EU countries began to accredit their missions in Brussels to the Community. The US had been a fervent supporter of the ECSC's efforts from the beginning, Secretary of State Dean Acheson sent Jean Monnet a dispatch in the name of President Truman confirming full US diplomatic recognition of the ECSC. A US ambassador to the ECSC was accredited soon thereafter, he headed the second overseas mission to establish diplomatic relations with the Community institutions; the number of delegates began to rise in the 1960s following the merging of the executive institutions of the three European Communities into a single Commission. Until some states had reservations accepting that EU delegations held the full status of a diplomatic mission. Article 20 of the Maastricht Treaty requires the Delegations and the Member States’ diplomatic missions to "co-operate in ensuring that the common positions and joint actions adopted by the Council are complied with and implemented".
As part of the process of establishment of the European External Action Service envisioned in the Lisbon Treaty, on 1 January 2010 all former European Commission delegations were renamed European Union delegations and till the end of the month 54 of the missions were transformed into embassy-type missions that employ greater powers than the regular delegations. These upgraded delegations have taken on the role carried out by the national embassies of the member state holding the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union and merged with the independent Council delegations around the world. Through this the EU delegations take on the role of co-ordinating national embassies and speaking for the EU as a whole, not just the Commission; the first delegation to be upgraded was the one in Washington D. C. the new joint ambassador was Joao Vale de Almeida who outlined his new powers as speaking for both the Commission and Council presidents, member states. He would be in charge where there was a common position but otherwise, on bilateral matters, he would not take over from national ambassadors.
All delegations are expected to be converted by the end of 2010. Some states may choose to operate through the new EU delegations and close down some of their smaller national embassies, however France has indicated that it will maintain its own network around the world for now; the EU sends its delegates only to the capitals of states outside the European Union and cities hosting multilateral bodies. The EU missions work separately from the work of the missions of its member states, however in some circumstances it may share resources and facilities. In Abuja is shares its premises with a number of member states. Additionally to the third-state delegations and offices the European Commission maintains representation in each of the member states. Prior to the establishment of the European External Action Service by the Treaty of Lisbon there were separate delegations of the Council of the European Union to the United Nations in New York, to the African Union and to Afghanistan - in addition to the European Commission delegations there.
In the course of 2010 these would be transformed into integrated European Union delegations. The EU member states have their own diplomatic missions, in addition to the common EU delegations. On the other hand, additionally to the third-state delegations and offices the European Commission maintains representation in each of the member states. Where the EU delegations have not taken on their full Lisbon Treaty responsibilities, the national embassy of the country holding the rotating EU presidency has the role of representing the CFSP while the EU delegation speaks only for the Commission. Member state missions have certain responsibilities to national of fellow states. Consulates are obliged to support EU citizens of other states abroad if they do not have a consulate of their own state in the country. If another EU state makes a request to help their citizens in an emergency they are obliged to assist. An example would be evacuations. No EU member state has embassy in the countries of Bahamas, Dominica, Kiribati, Liechtenstein, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Somalia, Tonga, the sovereign entity Sovereign
Minister of Foreign Affairs (Norway)
The Minister of Foreign Affairs is a councilor of state and chief of the Norway's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since 20 October 2017, the position has been held by Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide of the Conservative Party; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, based at Victoria Terrasse, Oslo, is responsible for Norway's relation with foreign countries, including diplomacy and diplomatic missions, foreign aid and cooperation with international organisations. Except during the four in which a Deputy of the Prime Minister of Norway was appointed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs ranks second in the cabinet after the Prime Minister and is his deputy; the position was created on 7 June 1905, the day Norway declared independence from Sweden, with the Liberal Party's Jørgen Løvland as the inaugural. Forty people from five parties have held all men excepting the current officeholder. From 1983 to 2013 the Minister of International Development, responsible for issues related to foreign aid, was attached to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Halvard Lange is the longest-serving, having held the position for more than eighteen years in four cabinets. The shortest-serving is the fellow party member, Edvard Bull, Sr. who held the position for the sixteen days that Hornsrud's Cabinet lasted. Johan Ludwig Mowinckel was appointed four times as minister. Three people have sat concurrently as Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs: Løvland and Ivar Lykke. Three officeholders would become Prime Minister: Løvland and Kjell Magne Bondevik. Two former Prime Ministers have held the office: John Lyng and Thorbjørn Jagland. Trygve Lie resigned from the office to become the inaugural Secretary-General of the United Nations. Two people have died while in office: Johan Jørgen Holst; the following lists the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, their party, date of assuming and leaving office, their tenure in years and days, the cabinet they served in. Legend Centre Party Christian Democratic Party Conservative Party Labour Party Liberal Party Media related to Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Norway at Wikimedia Commons
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Norway)
The Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the foreign ministry of the Kingdom of Norway. It was established on June 7, 1905, the same day the Parliament of Norway decided to dissolve the personal union with Sweden; the ministry is headed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide, minister in the Solberg's Cabinet that has governed since 16 October 2013. Between 1983 and October 2013, the ministry had a Minister of International Development but this position was abolished by the Solberg's Cabinet and the foreign minister became the sole head of the ministry; the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is organised with 110 foreign missions and three subordinate organisations: Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, FK Norway and the development country investment fund Norfund. The Ministry and foreign missions have a total staff of approx. 2,400. Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide State Secretaries Bård Glad Pedersen, Hans Brattskar, Ingvild Næss Stub.
Political Advisor Ingrid Skjøtskift Secretariat of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Communication Unit Legal Adviser The top public servant is the Secretary General with an Assistant Secretary General as substitute. The Ministry has eleven departments, each headed by a Director General: Department for European Affairs Department for Security Policy and the High North Department for Regional Affairs Department for UN and Humanitarian Affairs Department for Economic Relations and Development Department for Culture and Protocol Legal Affairs Department Promotion and Protocol Department Human and Financial Resources Department Internal and External Services Department Services Department Norfund Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation Fredskorpset In 2009, the ministry permitted the sale of military communications equipment to Libya, from a Norwegian company through General Dynamics. Foreign relations of Norway List of diplomatic missions in Norway List of diplomatic missions of Norway Official website of the Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Council of the European Union
The Council of the European Union, referred to in the treaties and other official documents as the Council is the third of the seven Institutions of the European Union as listed in the Treaty on European Union. It is part of the bicameral EU legislature and represents the executive governments of the EU's member states, it is based in the Europa building in Brussels. The Council of the European Union and the European Council are the only EU institutions that are explicitly intergovernmental, forums whose attendees express and represent the position of their member state's executive, be they ambassadors, ministers or heads of state/government; the Council meets in 10 different configurations of 28 national ministers. The precise membership of these configurations varies according to the topic under consideration; the Presidency of the Council rotates every six months among the governments of EU member states, with the relevant ministers of the respective country holding the Presidency at any given time ensuring the smooth running of the meetings and setting the daily agenda.
The continuity between presidencies is provided by an arrangement under which three successive presidencies, known as Presidency trios, share common political programmes. The Foreign Affairs Council is however chaired by the Union's High Representative, its decisions are made by qualified majority voting in most areas, unanimity in others, or just simple majority for procedural issues. Where it operates unanimously, it only needs to consult the Parliament. However, in most areas the ordinary legislative procedure applies meaning both Council and Parliament share legislative and budgetary powers meaning both have to agree for a proposal to pass. In a few limited areas the Council may initiate new EU law itself; the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union known as Council Secretariat, assists the Council of the European Union, the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the European Council and the President of the European Council. The Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union.
The Secretariat is divided into seven directorates-general, each administered by a director-general. The Council first appeared in the European Coal and Steel Community as the "Special Council of Ministers", set up to counterbalance the High Authority; the original Council had limited powers: issues relating only to coal and steel were in the Authority's domain, the Council's consent was only required on decisions outside coal and steel. As a whole, the Council only scrutinised the High Authority. In 1957, the Treaties of Rome established two new communities, with them two new Councils: the Council of the European Atomic Energy Community and the Council of the European Economic Community. However, due to objections over the supranational power of the Authority, their Councils had more powers. In 1965 the Council was hit by the "empty chair crisis". Due to disagreements between French President Charles de Gaulle and the Commission's agriculture proposals, among other things, France boycotted all meetings of the Council.
This halted the Council's work until the impasse was resolved the following year by the Luxembourg compromise. Although initiated by a gamble of the President of the Commission, Walter Hallstein, who on lost the Presidency, the crisis exposed flaws in the Council's workings. Under the Merger Treaty of 1967, the ECSC's Special Council of Ministers and the Council of the EAEC were merged into the Council of the EEC, which would act as a single Council of the European Communities. In 1993, the Council adopted the name'Council of the European Union', following the establishment of the European Union by the Maastricht Treaty; that treaty strengthened the Council, with the addition of more intergovernmental elements in the three pillars system. However, at the same time the Parliament and Commission had been strengthened inside the Community pillar, curtailing the ability of the Council to act independently; the Treaty of Lisbon gave further powers to Parliament. It merged the Council's High Representative with the Commission's foreign policy head, with this new figure chairing the foreign affairs Council rather than the rotating presidency.
The European Council was declared a separate institution from the Council chaired by a permanent president, the different Council configurations were mentioned in the treaties for the first time. The development of the Council has been characterised by the rise in power of the Parliament, with which the Council has had to share its legislative powers; the Parliament has provided opposition to the Council's wishes. This has in some cases led to clashes between both bodies with the Council's system of intergovernmentalism contradicting the developing parliamentary system and supranational principles; the primary purpose of the Council is to act as one of the two chambers of the EU's legislative branch, the other chamber being the European Parliament. It holds, jointly with the Parliament, the budgetary power of the Union and has greater control than the Parliament over the more intergovernmental areas of the EU, such as foreign policy and macroeconomic co-ordination. Before the entry into force of the Treat
A value-added tax, known in some countries as a goods and services tax, is a type of tax, assessed incrementally, based on the increase in value of a product or service at each stage of production or distribution. VAT compensates for the shared services and infrastructure provided in a certain locality by a state and funded by its taxpayers that were used in the elaboration of that product or service. Not all localities require VAT to be charged and goods and services for export may be exempted. VAT is implemented as a destination-based tax, where the tax rate is based on the location of the consumer and applied to the sales price. Confusingly, the terms VAT, GST, consumption tax and sales tax are sometimes used interchangeably. VAT raises about a fifth of total tax revenues both worldwide and among the members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; as of 2018, 166 of the 193 countries with full UN membership employ a VAT, including all OECD members except the United States, which uses a sales tax system instead.
There are two main methods of calculating VAT: the credit-invoice or invoice-based method, the subtraction or accounts-based method. Using the credit-invoice method, sales transactions are taxed, with the customer informed of the VAT on the transaction, businesses may receive a credit for VAT paid on input materials and services; the credit-invoice method is the most employed method, used by all national VATs except for Japan. Using the subtraction method, at the end of a reporting period, a business calculates the value of all taxable sales subtracts the sum of all taxable purchases and the VAT rate is applied to the difference; the subtraction method VAT is only used by Japan, although subtraction method VATs using the name "flat tax", have been part of many recent tax reform proposals by US politicians. With both methods, there are exceptions in the calculation method for certain goods and transactions, created for either pragmatic collection reasons or to counter tax fraud and evasion. Germany and France were the first countries to implement VAT, doing so in the form of a general consumption tax during World War I.
The modern variation of VAT was first implemented by France in 1954 in Ivory Coast colony. Recognizing the experiment as successful, the French introduced it in 1958. Maurice Lauré, Joint Director of the France Tax Authority, the Direction Générale des Impôts implemented the VAT on 10 April 1954, although German industrialist Dr. Wilhelm von Siemens proposed the concept in 1918. Directed at large businesses, it was extended over time to include all business sectors. In France, it is the most important source of state finance, accounting for nearly 50% of state revenues. A 2017 study found that the adoption of VAT is linked to countries with corporatist institutions; the amount of VAT is decided by the state as percentage of the end-market price. As its name suggests, value-added tax is designed to tax only the value added by a business on top of the services and goods it can purchase from the market. To understand what this means, consider a production process where products get successively more valuable at each stage of the process.
When an end-consumer makes a purchase, they are not only paying for the VAT for the product at hand, but in effect, the VAT for the entire production process, since VAT is always included in the prices. The value-added effect is achieved by prohibiting end-consumers from recovering VAT on purchases, but permitting businesses to do so; the VAT collected by the state is computed as the difference between the VAT of sales earnings and the VAT of those goods and services upon which the product depends. The difference is the tax due to the value added by the business. In this way, the total tax levied at each stage in the economic chain of supply is a constant fraction; the standard way to implement a value-added tax involves assuming a business owes some fraction on the price of the product minus all taxes paid on the good. By the method of collection, VAT can be invoice-based. Under the invoice method of collection, each seller charges VAT rate on his output and passes the buyer a special invoice that indicates the amount of tax charged.
Buyers who are subject to VAT on their own sales consider the tax on the purchase invoices as input tax and can deduct the sum from their own VAT liability. The difference between output tax and input tax is paid to the government. Under the accounts based method, no such specific invoices are used. Instead, the tax is calculated on the value added, measured as a difference between revenues and allowable purchases. Most countries today use the invoice method, the only exception being Japan, which uses the accounts method. By the timing of collection, VAT can be either cash based. Cash basis accounting is a simple form of accounting; when a payment is received for the sale of goods or services, a deposit is made, the revenue is recorded as of the date of the receipt of funds—no matter when the sale had been made. Cheques are written when funds are available to pay bills, the expense is recorded as of the cheque date—regardless of when the expense had been incurred; the primary focus is on the amount of cash in the bank, the secondary focus is on making sure all bills are paid.
Little effort is made to match revenues to the time period in which they are earned, or to match expenses to the time period in which they are incurr