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The European Union


Title: Structures and Functions of the European Union Author: Daniel Lazar Last modified by: Daniel Lazar Created Date: 4/21/2008 8:59:06 PM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The European Union

The European Union
  1. History Evolution
  2. Structures-Functions
  3. Contemporary Challenges
  4. Discussion

Evolution of the European Union

The Best Intentions
  • Revitalize Europe after World War II
  • Strength in Unity vs. Warsaw Pact
  • Fix broken economies
  • Promote Dialogue
  • Integrate Cooperate
  • To this end
  • Council of Europe, 1949
  • European Coal Steel Community, 1951 (Treaty of
  • Basis for Euro Community

Evolution European Community (EC)
  • Established by Treaty of Rome, 1957
  • Benelux Fr, Ge, Italy
  • 3 Pillars
  • European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) (aka
    Common Market)
  • European Economic Community (EEC)
  • European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or
    Euratom). The only remaining structure.

Evolution European Communities
  • Main Concerns of Euro Community
  • Peace
  • Trade elimination of tariffs
  • Travel
  • National sovereignty
  • Expansion
  • Transitions from communism to capitalism

Evolution EC ? EU
  • Maastricht Treaty, 1993. Absorbed the EC.
  • Authority in new areas monetary policy, foreign
    affairs, national security, transportation, the
    environment, justice, and tourism
  • Established a 3-pillars of authority
  • Trade and other economic matters (one currency
    creation of European Central Bank). 17 members
    use Euro. So does Vatican, Monaco and 3 others.
  • Justice home affairs (policy governing asylum,
    border crossing, immigration, judicial
    cooperation on crime and terrorism)
  • Common foreign and security policy (common
    defense policy, joint positions and actions)

Evolution Membership History
  • Began w/ 6 Benelux France, Germany, Italy
  • Denmark, UK, and Ireland joined in early 1970s
  • Greece in 1981
  • Portugal and Spain in 1986
  • Austria, Finland, Sweden in 1995
  • 10 Countries joined in 2004 Cyprus, Czech
    Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania,
    Malta, Poland, Slovenia, and Slovakia
  • Bulgaria and Romania in 2006
  • The combined population of all 27 members is
  • Organization and diversity makes consensus hard

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Structures and Functions of the European Union
5 Main Bodies
  • European Commission (EC)EXEC
  • Council of MinistersLEG
  • European ParliamentLEG
  • Court of JusticeJUD
  • Court of AuditorsFinancial Evaluator

The European Commission (EC)
  • Executive Body
  • Initiates all legislation and enforces decisions
  • Ensures proper implementation of laws
  • Administers EU budget
  • Represents EU in trade negotiations
  • Scrutinize the implementation of the treaties and
  • Act solely in the interest of the EU as a whole,
    as opposed to the Council which consists of
    leaders of member states who reflect national
    interests. The only body paid to think European
  • Implements, monitors, and controls enforcement of
    EU law and policy
  • Can bring a Member State before the Court of
    Justice for failure to enforce EU law
  • Based in Brussels
  • 27 Commissioners. 1 is President (Barroso until
  • Commissioners appointed for 5 years
  • 25,000 Euro civil servants

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Council of Ministers
  • Meets in Brussels
  • Legislative Branch I
  • Legislative authority is divided between Council
    and EP
  • Council and EP required to vote to pass law
  • Budgetary power (w/EP). 116 bil. euro/year
  • Consists of one Minister from each Member State
  • Responsible for making the major policy decisions
    of EU
  • Power to adopt legislation proposed by Commission
  • Each Member State acts as President of Council
    for 6 month rotation
  • Meetings attended by different Ministers
  • to agenda
  • Develop political cooperation

The European Parliament
  • Legislative II
  • 736 seats. Proportionate Rep.
  • Directly Elected. 5 year terms.
  • Second largest democratic electorate in the world
  • Cant initiate leg
  • CAN amend and reject legislation
  • CAN request leg
  • CAN Veto Commission
  • CAN censure EC w/ 2/3 majority resignation of
    the entire EC
  • Equal legislative and budgetary powers with
  • Appoint Court of Auditors and the president and
    executive board of the European Central Bank
  • Sit in political groups. For a group to be
    recognized, it needs 25 MEPs from 7 different
  • Consensual. Peoples Party-Socialist Coalition
  • President Martin Schulz of Germany. 30 month term
    began in Jan 2012.

   EPP (265)     SD (186)     ALDE (84)    
ECR (55)     Greens  EFA (55)    
EUL-NGL (35)     EFD (30)     
Non-Affiliated (27)
96/13 Germany 74/10 France 73/10 Italy 73/10
UK 54/7 Spain 51/7 Poland
The European Council
  • Comprises the heads of government of Member
    States and President of Commission assisted by
    Foreign Ministers of the Member States and a
    member of Commission
  • Defines the EU's policy agendathe motor of EU
  • No direct legislative power but "supreme
    political authority"
  • Meets 4 times/year
  • Sorts out disputes between member states and the
  • President of the European Council
  • Once-renewable term of 30 months
  • Primus inter pares
  • Herman Van Rompuy (Belgium). Dec 2009-Present.
    2nd term
  • The President must report to the European
    Parliament after each European Council meeting

The European Council
  • All members of Council are members of a political
    party at national level
  • Most are members of a Euro Party
  • Ideological alignment does color political
    agreements and choices of appointments (such as
    their President)

Party Party QMV
People's Party 15 204
Socialists 5 65
Liberal Democrat and Reform Party 4 31
Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists 2 41
Party of the Left 1 4
Total Total 27 345
The Court of Justice
  • Ensures that the European Treaties are
    interpreted and implemented in accordance with EU
  • 13 judges appointed by agreement with Member
  • Assisted by 6 advocates general
  • Judgements overrule those of national courts
  • Power to fine a Member State
  • National courts have power to
  • enforce decisions of Court of
  • Justice

The Court of Auditors
  • Monitors the Unions financial activities
  • 1 member from each EU member state
  • Appointed by Council
  • 6 yr terms
  • 800 auditors
  • No judicial functions
  • Function externally check EU budget
  • In Luxembourg

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EU Legal Instruments
  • Binding
  • Regulations - Apply directly in the Member
    States w/o requiring any further national
  • Directives - Binding in substance but up
    discretion of Member States how to transpose them
    into national legislation execute them.
  • Decisions - Addressed to a Member State, firm, or
  • Non Binding
  • Recommendations
  • Opinions
  • Resolutions

Pop Quiz Who is the European President?
  • a. Herman Van Rompuy - President of the European
    Council since 12/1/09
  • b. José Manuel Barroso - President of the
    European Commission since 11/22/04
  • c. Ireland - Presidency of the Council of the
    European Union 1/1/13 7/1/13
  • Anyone?

Pop Quiz Who is the European President?
  • Van Rompuy is President of Council. Not of EU.
    Yet, the press usually cites him as President.
  • Barroso is President of Commission. Not of EU.
    Yet, the press often cites him as President. Has
    more power that Van Rompuy. Gets fewer mentions
    as President.
  • Ireland. Not. Hehe
  • ? Answer There is no EU President.
  • ?Does this matter?
  • No - Presidents are not necessary
  • Yes - most Europeans think there is a President

Challenges of the EU
  • Broadening, Deepning Legitimizing
  • ...oh, and the economy

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EU Policy Challenges 2009-2019 A Report to the
  • Economic Issues
  • Deepening/extending economic reforms
  • Reducing unemployment and large gov.
  • Revising financial regulation and supervision
  • Completing the Single Market
  • Balance multilateralism and bilateralism in trade
  • Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
  • Ageing population and shrinking workforce
  • Climate change
  • The future of transport

EU Policy Challenges 2009-2019 A Report to the
  • 3. Cultural Issues
  • World Wide Web-balancing security and privacy
    intellectual property Audiovisual and cultural
  • Civil Rights and Justice
  • Migration policy
  • Crime
  • Safeguarding diversity and cultures
  • 4. The Politics of Poltics
  • Inter EU Structural Issues Good Governnance and
    Insitution Building
  • Security Crisis Mangement
  • Turnout in European Elections in 2014 and 2019

EU Policy Challenges 2009-2019 A Report to the
  • 5. Intermestic Issues
  • Stabilization and Reform in the Balkans
  • Question of Turkish membership
  • Deepening the Eastern Partnership without
    alienating Russia
  • 6. Foreign Policy
  • Promoting Middle East Peace
  • Seizing the 'Obama moment' to deepen
    Transatlantic relations
  • Strengthening Europe's relevance to Asia
  • Deepening the EU-Latin American partnership

Its the Economee Stoopid
  • If EU is to flourish far beyond its 50th
    birthday, it is its economy that most needs
  • -The Economist Fit at 50

Its the Economee Stoopid
  • France followed by the Netherlands rejected EU
    Constitution in 2006.
  • New members are more enthusiastic than the old
  • Skeptcism is strongest in UK, though
    Eurobarometer polls show dissatisfaction in other
    EU members as well
  • No further expansion

Broadening Eastern Europe?
  • Possible new members Croatia, Albania, Bosnia,
    Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo, and Montenegro
  • -West Easterners may sink the boat

Broadening Turkey?
  • Pro
  • -USA
  • -extension into southern Caucasus
  • -stabilize pipeline oil and gas
  • -compatibility of Islam with democracy?
  • Con
  • -dif. levels of development
  • -religious and ethnic feuds
  • -Cyprus

  • Structures Functions?
  • To increase legitimacy? Is it just PR?
  • Broadening vs. Deepening Focus on deepening and
    broadening or one of the two?