European Union jargon dictionary

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Note: This post is under construction.

Accession: Joining, gaining membership of, entering into the EU. The terms accession or acceeding actually mean “to agree to the terms of a treaty or agreement”.

Acquis (communautaire): EU law or rules.

Actors: This can refer to a lot of different kinds of people who are involved in a given matter and have a role of taking action. Stakeholders, groups, bodies, organizations, parties, participants, interests, interest gorups, players, operators.

Agreement, convention: A deal, an accord, a pact.

Apply, implement (about laws): To enforce them.

Biannual and biennial: Biannual means twice a year. Biennial means every two years.

Bi-weekly, bi-monthly: Twice a week, twice a month.

Calls for proposals: EU requests for project proposals, for example from researchers. It can also refer to an EU invitation for certain groups of people, such as researchers, to propose projects for the EU to fund.

Common agricultural policy (CAP): The EU farm policy. The support and subsidies given to European farmers by the EU.

Case law: Past legal rulings that lawyers and courts can refer to when they are working with a legal case.

Citizens’ Initiative: The EU’s petitioning system that people can use to make a petition to the European Commission. The requirements are for a minimum of a million people to have signed it. They must be spread across a certain minimum of countries (with a minimum limit that varies per country). And it must happen within a certain timeframe, from when the petition was made public. If the European Commission has the competencies to look into the thing the citizens are asking for, it will then consider the matter.

College: The total number of commissioners who are currently working in the European Commission.

Committee of the Regions: The EU’s body that represents local and regional authorities across the EU.

Common: In the EU, this generally refers to things that are EU-wide. Like the common agricultural policy, the EU-wide farm policy where EU farmers receive support and subsidies, or the Common Defense Policy, etc.

Compatible with the single market: This means that whatever is being talked about, such as a legal proposal, would not break the rules for the EU’s single market. Most typically, it means that it does not confer an unfair advantage and does not distort competition on the market.

Competence: Area of responsibility, juristiction, powers, authority, remit, portfolio, brief.

Competitiveness: Economic competitive advantage. When a business is competitive, it means more people are interested in buying from it than from its competitors.

Concordance (multilingual): Agreement between language versions.

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