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Introduction to The European Union and The Council of Europe Legal and Policy Frameworks

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Title: Introduction to The European Union and The Council of Europe Legal and Policy Frameworks


1
Introduction to The European Union and The
Council of Europe Legal and Policy Frameworks
  • Stefaan G.Verhulst, Markle Foundation
  • August 2003

2
Outline
  • EU versus CoE
  • Institutions, Policy Tools and Processes of the
    European Union
  • Institutions, Policy Tools and Processes of the
    Council of Europe
  • EU and CoE

3
Distinguish the EU from the CoE
Brussels
Strasbourg
European Union 15 member states (14 pending)
Council of Europe 45 member states
4
The European flag represents both the Council of
Europe and the European Union to strengthen the
idea of solidarity between the different
organizations for a united and democratic
Europe .
5
The European Union
6
Creation of the European Union
European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) (Signed
by Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg,
the Netherlands)
Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Rome
Treaty of Maastricht
Treaty of Amsterdam
(Concluded formation of the ECSC)
(the EC Treaty) Determined the legal framework
of the European Community. Created the European
Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) and the
European Community (EEC)
Created the European Union
Further developed the EU Gave Parliament
co-decision powers in the ECs legislative
process
7
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8
The European Union
The European Communities
Common Foreign and Security Policy
Cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs
  • EC
  • Customs union and single market
  • Agricultural policy
  • Structural policy
  • New or amended provisions on
  • EU citizenship
  • Education and culture
  • Trans-European networks
  • Consumer protection
  • Health
  • Research and environment
  • Social policy
  • Asylum policy
  • External borders
  • Immigration policy
  • Euratom
  • ECSC
  • Foreign Policy
  • Cooperation, common positions and measures
  • Peacekeeping
  • Human rights
  • Democracy
  • Aid to non-member countries
  • Security policy
  • Drawing on the WEU questions concerning the
    security of the EU
  • Disarmament
  • Financial aspects of defence
  • Long-term Europes security framework
  • Cooperation between judicial authorities in civil
    and criminal law
  • Police cooperation
  • Combating racism and xenophobia
  • Fighting drugs and the arms trade
  • Fighting organised crime
  • Fighting terrorism
  • Criminal acts against children, trafficking in
    human beings

3 Pillars
9
The Institutions of the EU
European Council 15 Heads of State and the
President of the Commission
European Court of Justice 15 Judges
Council of the EU 15 Ministers
Committee of the Regions 222 Members
European Parliament 626 Members
Economic and Social Committee 222 Members
Court of Auditors 15 Members
European Commission 20 Members
European Central Bank
European Investment Bank
10
The Institutions of the EU
European Council 15 Heads of State and the
President of the Commission
  • Function is to establish policy guidelines for
    European integration.
  • Meet twice a year, accompanied by the Foreign
    Ministers and a Member of the Commission.
  • Makes basic policy decisions and issues
    instructions and guidelines to the Council or
    the Representatives of the Member States meeting
    in the Council.
  • Has directed work on economic and monetary
    union, the European Monetary System, direct
    elections to Parliament.

11
The Institutions of the EU
Council of the EU 15 Ministers
  • Tasks Include
  • Drawing up legislation
  • Coordination of economic policy
  • Budgetary control
  • Appointments
  • External relations

One representative of each Member State at
ministerial level, with composition varying
according to the subject discussed.
General Affairs Council
Economic and Financial Affairs
Transport Council
Agriculture Council
12
The Institutions of the EU
European Parliament 626 Representatives
  • Tasks Include
  • Decision-making functions
  • Advisory functions
  • Supervisory functions

Representatives directly elected by the peoples
of the Member States. 7 political parties
represented in assembly. 17 committees carry out
the preparatory work for the plenary sessions.
13
The Institutions of the EU
European Commission 20 Members
  • The driving force behind Community policy.
  • Has primary powers to initiate legislation in
    certain areas.
  • Is the guardian of the Community treaties,
    monitors implementation of legislation,
    institutes infringement proceedings in the event
    of any violation of Community law, and refers
    matters to the Court of Justice.
  • Represents no interests other than those of the
    Community.
  • Acts as a normal administrative authority.

Consists of 2 members from Germany, France, the
UK, Italy and Spain, and one from each of the
other Member States. Members are appointed by
Member States for a term of 5 years. Headed by a
President (Romano Prodi)
14
EU Commission Directorate-Generals
  • Policies
  • Agriculture
  • Competition
  • Economic and Financial Affairs
  • Education and Culture
  • Employment and Social Affairs
  • Energy and Transport
  • Enterprise
  • Environment
  • Fisheries
  • Health and Consumer Protection
  • Information Society
  • Internal Market
  • Joint Research Centre
  • Justice and Home Affairs
  • Regional Policy
  • Research
  • Taxation and Customs Union

15
The Institutions of the EU
European Court of Justice 15 Judges
  • Responsibilities encompass three main areas
  • Monitoring the application of Community law,
    both by the Community institutions when
    implementing the Treaties, and by the Member
    States and individuals in relation to their
    obligations under Community law.
  • Interpretation of Community law.
  • Further shaping of Community law.
  • Types of proceeding
  • Actions for failure to fulfill obligations under
    the Treaties.
  • Actions for annulment and actions on grounds of
    failure to act.
  • Cases referred from national courts for
    preliminary rulings.

Each Member State sends one judge. Members are
appointed by Member States for a term of 5 years.
16
Secondary Institutions of the EU
The Council is required to consult the Committee
on a number of areas including education
culture public health trans-European networks
transport telecommunications and energy
infrastructure.
Committee of the Regions 222 Members
Examines accounts of Community institutions.
Court of Auditors 15 Members
European Central Bank
The heart of the economic and monetary union. Its
task is to maintain the stability of the euro.
Economic and Social Committee 222 Members
An advisory board that represents the interests
of employers, trade unions, and consumers.
Promotes the development of less-developed
regions, to modernise or convert undertakings or
create new jobs and to assist projects of common
interest to several Member States.
European Investment Bank
17
Policy Tools of the European Union
18
Compare Legislative Processes Consultation v.
Co-decision Procedure
European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC)
Treaty of Amsterdam
Consultation Procedure
Co-decision Procedure
The earliest legislative process within the
Community. Member States in the Council played
the decisive role in expressing the will of the
EC. The Commission submits proposals and the
Council makes the decisions. Used now only in
limited instances
Treaty of Amsterdam created equality of arms
between the Council and Parliament. Denies the
Council the right to adopt its common position
if efforts to reach agreement with Parliament
fail. Used for most of the important
legislation.
19
The Legislative ProcessConsultation Procedure
Commission
Proposal
European Parliament
Opinion
Committee of the Regions
Economic and Social Committee
Adoption of decision by the Council after
consultation with Coreper
20
The Legislative ProcessCo-Decision Procedure
Commission
Proposal
Parliament (1st reading)
ESC
COR
Opinion
Council
No amendments by Parliament or approval of all
amendments by Council Instrument adopted
or
Rejection by absolute majority
approval/no action
COMMON POSITION
Parliament (2nd reading)
Council
End of legislative process
Amendment by absolute majority
Adoption of common position by qualified majority
Parliaments amendments accepted
Parliaments amendments not accepted
Commission
Adoption by qualified majority
Adoption only by unanimity
Council
No agreement
Amendments rejected
agreement
Conciliation Committee convened by Council and
Parliament
(3rd reading)
Instrument rejected
21
Power of the EU
The EC must act where the objectives to be
pursued can be better attained at Community
level, enhancing its powers
The Subsidiary Principle
The EC must not act where objectives can be
satisfactorily attained by the Member States
acting individually, constraining its powers.
According to the Subsidiary Principle, all
Community institutions, but especially the
Commission, must always demonstrate that there is
a real need for Community rules and common
action.
If the need for Community rules is
demonstrated...
Principle of Proportionality The need for the
specific legal instrument must be thoroughly
assessed to see whether there is a less
constraining means of achieving the same result.
Framework legislation, minimum standards and
mutual recognition of the Member States' existing
standards should always be preferred to
excessively detailed Community rules. The
subsidiary principle was codified in a Protocol
annexed to the Treaty of Amsterdam.
22
The Future of the Convention
  • To better prepare the Union for enlargement, the
    EU leaders have called for modifications to amend
    the Treaties of Amsterdam and Nice.
  • The declared aims of EU Treaty changes are
  • bringing the EU closer to its citizens,
  • strengthening the EU's democratic character,
  • facilitating the EU's capacity to make
    decisions, especially after its enlargement,
  • enhancing the EU's ability to act as a
    coherent and unified force in the international
    system,
  • effectively deal with the challenges
    globalisation and interdependence create.
  •  

23
Constitutional Treaty to be signed by the Member
States of the enlarged Union as soon as possible
after 1 May 2004, the envisaged date of
enlargement.
  • The EU has held five such conferences
  • The sixth IGC, starts in October 2003
  • Conducted by the Heads of State or Government,
    assisted by the members of the General Affairs
    and External Relations Council, representatives
    of the Commission, 10 future Member States, the
    European Parliament.

Draft Constitutional Treaty
Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) An IGC is the
only instrument that can modify an EU Founding
Treaty.
Convention After 16 months of discussions, the
Conventions adopted a draft proposal for an EU
Constitutional Treaty which will serve as a
starting point for the IGC.
  • Forum made up of elected representatives and
    officials from the 15 Member States, 13 candidate
    countries and EU institutions, representatives of
    non-governmental and academic organisations,
    industry federations and trade unions.
  • The first to precede a Founding Treaty
    modification.

24
Valéry Giscard d'Estaing presents the
Conventions report to the Italian presidency.
  • The Convention proposed critical modifications
  • Replace the six-month rotating presidency with
    a permanent president of the European Council.
  • Streamline the European Commission so that
    only 15 members would have voting rights.
  • Implement a new voting system for the
    Council, whereby qualified majority will consist
    of a majority of countries representing 60
    percent of Europe's population, will give the
    three biggest countries the right to block any
    decision supported by the other 22 Member States.
  • Expand the role of the European Parliament,
    with a doubling of the scope of legislation taken
    by co-decision, which becomes the normal
    legislative process of the Union.
  • Substantially simplifying the corresponding
    procedures.
  • Obligate institutions to adopt rules on
    transparency.

25
Council of Europe
26
Creation of the Council of Europe
Treaty of London
Signature in Rome of the Council's Convention for
the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental
Freedoms - the first international legal
instrument safeguarding human rights. Signature
of the European Cultural Convention, forming the
framework for the Council's work in education,
culture, youth and sport.
Established the Standing Conference of Local and
Regional Authorities of Europe (now the Congress
of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe) to
bring together local and regional authority
representatives.
Established the European Court of Human Rights,
under the European Convention on Human Rights,
to ensure observance of the obligations
undertaken by contracting states.
Single permanent European Court of Human Rights
to be established in Strasbourg under Protocol
No. 11 to the Council's European Convention on
Human Rights, replacing the existing system.
Established the Council of Europe. Signed by ten
states Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland,
Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway,
Sweden and the United Kingdom.
27
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28
Council of EuropeThe Principles
  • The Council of Europe is an intergovernmental
    organisation which aims
  • to protect human rights, pluralist democracy
    and the rule of law
  • to promote awareness and encourage the
    development of Europe's cultural identity and
    diversity
  • to seek solutions to problems facing European
    society (discrimination against minorities,
    xenophobia, intolerance, environmental
    protection, human cloning, Aids, drugs, organised
    crime, etc.)
  • to help consolidate democratic stability in
    Europe by backing political, legislative and
    constitutional reform.

29
The Institutions of the Council of Europe
Committee of Ministers 45 Ministers
European Court of Human Rights 43 Judges
Parliamentary Assembly 313 Members
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and
Fundamental Freedoms
Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of
Europe
30
The Institutions of the Council of Europe
Committee of Ministers 45 Ministers
  • Decision-making body comprised of ministers of
    the 45 member states.
  • Decides on the action to be taken on
    recommendations of the Parliamentary Assembly
    and the Congress of Local and Regional
    Authorities of Europe, and on the proposals from
    various intergovernmental committees and
    conferences of specialized ministers.

31
The Institutions of the Council of Europe
Parliamentary Assembly 313 Members
  • One of 2 main statutory organs.
  • 313 members elected or appointed by national
    parliaments.
  • Each country has between 2 and 18 members,
    depending on size of population.
  • The Assembly has 5 political groups Socialist
    Group (SOC), Group of the European Peoples
    Party (EPP/CD), European Democratic Group (EDG),
    liberal, Democratic and Reformers Group (LDR),
    and Group of the Unified European Left (UEL).
  • Some members of the Assembly choose not to
    belong to any political group.

Compare the Parliamentary Assembly, which is
comprised of representatives elected or appointed
by national parliaments of all the Council of
Europes Member States, with the EUs European
Parliament, comprised of the directly elected
representatives of the 15 member countries of the
EU.
32
The Institutions of the Council of Europe
European Court of Human Rights 43 Judges
  • Based in Strasbourg, this is the only truly
    judicial organ established by the European
    Convention on Human Rights.
  • It is composed of 43 judges and ensures, in the
    last instance, that contracting states observe
    their obligations under the Convention.
  • Since November 1998, the Court has operated on a
    full-time basis.

Compare with Court of Justice of the European
CommunitiesMeets in Luxembourg and ensures
compliance with the law in the interpretation and
application of the European Treaties of the
European Union.International Court of Justice
Judicial body of the United Nations which meets
in The Hague.
33
Policy Tools of the Council of Europe
34
Policy Process of the Council of Europe
  • European Conventions and Agreements are prepared
    and negotiated within the institutional
    framework of the Council of Europe.
  • Negotiation culminates in a decision of the
    Committee of Ministers Monitoring systems have
    been set up for the main treaties.
  • It is then agreed to open the treaty for
    signature by member States of the Council.
  • European Conventions and Agreements, however,
    are not statutory acts of the Organisation they
    owe their legal existence simply to the
    expression of the will of those States that may
    become Parties thereto, as manifested inter alia
    by the signature and ratification of the treaty.

35
Collaboration between the EU and the Council of
Europe
  • The Treaty on the European Communities recommends
    that the European Community establish all
    appropriate forms of co-operation with the
    Council of Europe and more specifically that
    co-operation with the Council of Europe should be
    fostered in the fields of education and culture.
  • To further these aims, there are
  • Quadripartite meetings at which the leaders
    of the two institutions meet
  • Joint Council of Europe/European Commission
    technical assistance programmes.
  • The Joint Declaration on Co-operation and
    Partnership between the Council of Europe and the
    European Commission (2001), aimed at giving
    fresh impetus to efforts to strengthen
    co-operation between the Council of Europe and
    the European Community.

One example of cooperation between the two
is The European Commission adaptation of a draft
decision to sign Convention 180 of the Council of
Europe on behalf of the EU. Convention 180
establishes an international mechanism for the
prior notification of national rules on online
services, based on the EU system of legislative
transparency in this area.
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