The Treaties

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					The European Union
Stages in the Development
of the European Union
   The European Coal and Steel
   European Economic Community
   European Community
   European Union

   1951, the European Coal and Steel Community
    (ECSC) was set up, with six members: Belgium,
    West Germany, Luxembourg, France, Italy and
    the Netherlands.

   The power to take decisions about the coal and
    steel industries in these countries was placed in
    the hands of an independent body called the
    "High Authority".
   In 1957 Belgium, Germany, France,
    Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands
    signed the Treaty of Rome to form the
    European Economic Community (EEC)

   The aim was to create a single common

In 1957 the European Atomic Energy
Community (EURATOM) was also
created by the six countries with the
aim of co-operating in atomic energy.
The European Community
   In 1967 the EEC, ECSC and EURATOM
    were merged together under the EEC

   In 1993 the European Economic
    Community became the European
    Community when the Treaty on
    European Union (the Maastricht Treaty)
    came into force.
             The European Union
   To complicate matters even further the
    Maastricht Treaty named the EEC the European
    Union when it is dealing with these foundations
    for greater political Union.

   So the EEC had two new names: the European
    Community (for when it deals with economic
    matters) and the European Union (when it
    deals with wider political issues).
To Complicate Matters Further…

    Technically when the European Union
     deals with some matters it should be
     known as the European Communities!
          European Union
   The European Union is the more widely
    used name.

   When dealing with European law, it is
    technically correct to refer to „European
    Community law‟ rather than „European
    Union law‟. However, many people just
    refer to European Union law.

   The United Kingdom joined in 1973

   There are currently 27 members of the
    European Union/European
    Community/European Communities
                   The Treaties
   There have been a number of important
    Treaties that set up the European Union

   The Treaties are sometimes referred to by the
    name of the city in which they were signed.

   The Treaties are often used together to form a
    type of constitution for the European Union.
            Main Founding Treaties

   The two main founding Treaties are:

       The Treaty of Rome 1957 (since 1993 this
        tends to be referred to as the European
        Community Treaty or EC Treaty)

       The Treaty on the European Union
        (Maastricht Treaty) 1993.
                       Other Treaties

   Other Treaties have also had far-reaching reforms
    and introduced major institutional changes

   Some of the most important ones are:
       The   Merger Treaty 1967
       The   Single European Act 1987
       The   Amsterdam Treaty 1997
       The   Treaty of Nice 2003.
Main Institutions
 The main institutions of the European
 Union are:

    The   European Parliament
    The   Council of the European Union
    The   European Commission
    The   Court of Justice
    The   Court of Auditors.
Important Institutions
 In addition there are number of other
 important institutions such as:

    The European Central Bank
    Economic and Social Committee
    The Committee of the Regions
    The European Investment Bank
         The European Parliament

   Since 2007 there have been 785 Members of
    the European Parliament (MEPs) who are
    elected by the voters in each Member State.

   MEPs are elected every five years by direct
    universal suffrage
      European Parliament
   The number of MEPs a Member State
    elects depends on the size of its

   For instance, Germany with the largest
    population has 99 MEPs while Malta
    with a small population has only 5.
              European Parliament

   The European Parliament works in France, Belgium
    and Luxembourg.

   Plenary sessions (where all MEPs attend) are held in
    Strasbourg, the Parliament's seat.

   Parliamentary committee meetings and any additional
    plenary sessions are held in Brussels, whilst the
    General Secretariat is in Luxembourg.
         Functions of the European

   It shares with the Council the power to legislate, i.e.
    to make European laws.

   It shares budgetary authority with the Council, and
    can therefore influence EU spending. It has the power
    to reject or adopt the budget.

   It exercises some limited supervision over the
               The Council
   The Council is the EU‟s main decision-
    making body.

   One minister from each member state
    attends depending on the agenda. For
    instance, if budgetary matters are being
    discussed then the finance minister
    from each Member State will sit.
    Functions of the Council
   It is the European Union's main
    legislative body;

   It coordinates the economic policies of
    the Member States;

   Makes international agreements on
    behalf of the EU;
    Functions of the Council
   It shares budgetary authority with the

   It takes most of the decisions involving
    the common foreign and security policy
    and coordinating member states‟ police
    and judicial cooperation in criminal
              The Council
   Each country takes it in turn to be
    President of the Council for 6 months.

   Periodically the presidents and/or prime
    ministers of the member states,
    together with the President of the
    European Commission, meet as the
    “European Council”.
          The Commission
   The European Commission is
    responsible for upholding the general
    interests of the Union.

   The President and Members of the
    Commission are appointed by the
    Member States after they have been
    approved by the European Parliament.
          The Commission
   The members of the Commission are
    known as Commissioners. There is one
    Commissioner appointed from each
    member state.

   The Commission is responsible for
    ensuring that the Union‟s policies are
    carried out.
         The Commission’s
           Main Duties
   It has the right to draft legislation and
    present legislative proposals to
    Parliament and the Council;

   It is responsible for implementing the
    European legislation, budget and
    policies that have been adopted by
    Parliament and the Council;
The Commission’s
Main Duties
   It guards the Treaties and, with the
    Court of Justice, ensures that
    Community law is properly applied;

   It represents the European Union
    internationally and negotiates
    international agreements, mainly in the
    field of trade and cooperation.
               The Court of Justice

   The Court of Justice ensures that European Law is
    correctly interpreted and upheld.

   It has 27 judges.

   The Court of Justice is assisted by the Court of First
    Instance whose main task is to deal with actions
    brought by individuals against decisions of the
    Community institutions.
Court of Justice: Advocates

   The Court is assisted by eight

   Their role is to present reasoned
    opinions on the cases brought before
    the Court.
         Court of Justice: Duties

    Two important duties of the Court of Justice

   Adjudicating in actions against member states
    for their failure to fulfil Treaty obligations;

   Giving preliminary rulings on European Law in
    cases sent to it by a domestic court in a
    member state
Actions for failure to fulfil
Treaty obligations.
   These actions are brought by the
    Commission against a Member State or by a
    Member State against another Member

   The grounds of the action are that one of
    the member states has failed to fulfil its
    obligations under the Treaties.
    Preliminary rulings on EC
   The Court can be asked by a national
    court to provide an interpretation of
    Community law.

   The Court will provide a ruling which
    the national court can use to decide a
      The Court of Auditors

   The Court of Auditors checks the financial
    management of the European Union

   The Court of Auditors regularly finds that
    the European Union‟s financial
    management is very poor.
  The European Central

This is responsible for framing and
implementing European monetary policy,
conducting foreign exchange operations
and ensuring the operation of payment
The European Economic and Social

    It represents the views of different social and
     economic groups in the European Union.

    It has to be consulted on matters relating to
     economic and social policy.

    It may issue opinions on its own initiative on other
     matters which it considers to be important.
      The Committee of the
   It ensures that regional and local
    identities and rights are respected.

   It has to be consulted on matters
    concerning regional policy, the
    environment and education.
      The Committee of the
   It is composed of representatives of
    regional and local authorities.

   For instance, Wales and Scotland are
    regions of the European Union and as
    such a representative from the Welsh
    Assembly and Scottish Parliament sit on
    the Committee of Regions.
The European Investment

This finances investment projects
important to the development of the
European Union.
    Making European Law
There are three main procedures which
govern the making of European law:

   Codecision procedure;

   Assent procedure;

   Consultation procedure.
     Making European Law
   The first stage begins with a proposal
    from the European Commission.

   The final stage in all procedures is
    ultimately with the Council of Ministers.

   No European law can be made without
    the approval of the Council.
The Codecision Procedure
   This provides for two successive
    readings, by Parliament and the Council,
    of a Commission proposal.

   If the Council and the Parliament
    cannot agree then a "conciliation
    committee" is established to reach an
The Codecision Procedure
   This agreement is then submitted to
    Parliament and the Council for a third
    reading with a view to its final adoption.

   The conciliation committee is composed
    of Council and Parliament
    representatives (plus a Commission
        Some Areas Covered by
       the Codecision Procedure
   The right to move and reside
   The free movement of workers
   Social security for migrant workers
   Transport
   The internal market
   Employment
   Equal opportunities and equal treatment
   Education
          The Assent Procedure
   The assent procedure was introduced by
    the Single European Act (1986).

   It means that the Council has to obtain the
    European Parliament's assent before
    certain very important decisions are taken.

   Parliament can accept or reject a proposal
    but cannot amend it.
        Some Areas Covered by
         the Assent Procedure

   Specific tasks of the European Central
   The electoral procedure for the European
   Certain international agreements
   The accession of new member states
                The Consultation

   The opinion of the European Parliament is
    sought by the Commission.

   When the Commission has received this opinion,
    it can amend its proposal accordingly.

   The proposal is then examined by the Council,
    which can adopt it as it is or amend it first.
Consultation Procedure

   However, if the Council decides to
    reject the Commission proposal, this
    must be a unanimous decision.
Some areas covered by the
Consultation Procedure
   Revision of the Treaties
   Discrimination on grounds of sex, race or
    ethnic origin, religion or political conviction,
    disability, age or sexual orientation
   EU citizenship
   Agriculture
   Visas, asylum, immigration and other policies
    associated with the free movement of
          Essay Question

(a) Outline the work of the main
    institutions of the European Union.
(b) Evaluate the legislative powers of
    the European Parliament.         [13]

Total 25 marks.