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The European Union The Political System

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The political executive - the College of Commissioners ... Eg changes to electoral system for EP. Policy Areas. Common Agricultural Policy ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The European Union The Political System


1
The European UnionThe Political System
2
Lecture Plan
  • The political system
  • Institutions
  • Policy-making

3
The Pillar Structure
EU
1st Pillar EC
2nd Pillar CFSP
3rd Pillar JHA
supranational
intergovernmental
4
Institutions
  • The European Commission
  • The Council of the European Union
  • The European Parliament
  • The European Council
  • The European Court of Justice and Court of First
    Instance
  • Other institutions, agencies and bodies
  • And the Presidency
  • Dont get confused (!)
  • Council of the EU, European Council, Council of
    Europe

5
The Commission
  • 2 aspects of the Commission
  • The political executive - the College of
    Commissioners
  • The bureaucracy - the Commission Services
  • The College of Commissioners
  • The President
  • The 19 other Commissioners
  • The Services
  • The Directorates-General
  • Other services
  • Size

6
(No Transcript)
7
The Council of Ministers
  • Powerful and central institution
  • represents interests of member states
  • primary decision-making body, though increasingly
    sharing this with EP
  • consists of a representative of each member state
    at ministerial level
  • Many different councils, depending on policy area
    (eg GAC Ecofin Agriculture)
  • Voting increasingly by QMV
  • Coreper and Secretariat

8
The European Parliament
  • The only directly elected EU institution (1979)
  • Voice of the people, or expensive talking shop?
  • Weak compared to member state parliaments
  • But with each treaty its powers have increased
  • 625 MEPs sit in party groups - ideologies divided
    along left/right and pro/anti-integration axes
  • Situated in Brussels and Strasbourg, with
    secretariat in Luxembourg

9
The European Council
  • Summit meetings of heads of state and government
  • 3 or 4 times a year - major media events
  • normally hosted by country holding the Presidency
  • top of decision-making hierarchy, and an
    important agenda-setter
  • Major treaty reforms agreed here after IGCs
  • Problems resolved here that cannot be resolved in
    Council of Ministers

10
The Courts of Justice
  • ECJ has pushed the integration process forward,
    especially in early 1960s
  • direct effect (1963) and supremacy of EC law
    (1964)
  • Two courts - ECJ and Court of 1st Instance
  • 15 judges in both
  • Cumulative decisions of ECJ along with the
    treaties have created a Constitution for Europe?
  • (Not to be confused with ECHR)

11
Other bodies
  • European Central Bank
  • The Court of Auditors
  • The EU Ombudsman
  • The Committee of the Regions (CoR)
  • The Economic and Social Committee
  • Various European agencies

12
Policy-Making
  • General overview of political process
  • How the EU policy-making process fits into this
    scheme
  • Decision-making in the EU
  • What outputs there are

13
Eastons input-output model
14
The policy-making process
initiation
formulation
decision-making
implementation
review
15
How do the EU institutions work together?
Commission policy proposal
Decision-making
Council
European Parliament
Member states implementation
16
Policy-making in the EU
  • The Community Method
  • Commission formulates and proposes policy
  • Complex decision-making process between Council
    and EP (with opinions from other bodies)
  • Final decision by Council of Ministers
  • Commission oversees implementation by Member
    States
  • The Court of Justice adjudicates on conflicts
  • Other policy-making styles developing

17
Decision-making in the EU
  • 4 different procedures
  • Consultation (Council dominant EP only gives
    opinion)
  • Eg some agricultural issues, immigration
  • Co-operation (Parliament more involved, but
    virtually abolished since Treaty of Amsterdam)
  • Eg Single market legislation pre-TEU
  • Co-decision (greater equality between Council and
    EP)
  • Most 1st pillar legislation
  • Assent (EP can veto Commission proposal)
  • Eg changes to electoral system for EP

18
Policy Areas
  • Common Agricultural Policy
  • Cohesion and Structural Funds (inc. Regional
    Policy)
  • Single Market
  • Economic and Monetary Union
  • Competition
  • Trade
  • Budget
  • Common Fisheries Policy
  • Social Policy
  • Education, Training and Youth
  • Environmental Policy
  • Biotechnology Policy
  • External relations
  • And others see Europa
  • Common Foreign and Security Policy
  • Justice and Home Affairs

19
Outputs
  • Primary laws the treaties
  • Secondary laws
  • Regulations (direct effect)
  • Directives (transposed into member state law)
  • Plus, at present, many other different types
    simplified in Draft Constitutional Treaty
  • General Principles elaborated from ECJ case law

20
Resumé of both lectures
  • Why integration?
  • Historical development
  • Future
  • Nature of the EU
  • Institutional structure
  • Complex and evolving political system
  • Policy-making, decision-making outputs
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