José Ramón Canedo European Master in Transnational Trade Law & Finance University of Deusto - PDF

European Master in Transnational Trade Law & Finance University of Deusto Main points to cover I. EU s Main Features II. The competences of the EU III. The institutional system

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European Master in Transnational Trade Law & Finance University of Deusto Main points to cover I. EU s Main Features II. The competences of the EU III. The institutional system IV. The types of norms V. The relationship between EU norms and national norms The European Union: 50 years of evolution Since the creation of the EU 50 years ago, Europe has enjoyed the longest period of peace in its history. European political integration has no precedent in history. European Union United in diversity EU successive enlargements have helped overcome the divisions of Europe contributing to peace, prosperity, and stability across the continent. We have created a single market and established a common currency, conditions for companies and consumers. EU has united the citizens of Europe (?) while preserving Europe s diversity. Combined population of EU Member States Member States Percent of world s population Percent of global GDP 501 million 30 Percent of combined worldwide Official Development Assistance Servants EU Fundamentals Shared values: liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law. Largest economic entity in the world. Successful model for advancing peace and democracy. A unique organization Member States voluntarily hand over their national sovereignty in many fields to carry out common policies and governance. Not a super-state to replace existing states, nor just a classical international organization for cooperation. 23 official languages and 3 alphabets The enlargements What is the European Union? First, what it is not: It is not a nation-state It is not a traditional international organization What is it then? U.P.O. It is a political system that combines elements of both What does it do? It makes policy (and legislates) in specified areas The Policies of the European Union OLD EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES Customs Union and Single market Common Agricultural Policy Common Fisheries Policy EU competition law Economic and monetary union EU-Citizenship Education and Culture Trans-European Networks Consumer protection Healthcare Research Environmental law Social policy Asylum policy Schengen treaty Immigration policy EUROPEAN FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY Foreign policy: Human rights Democracy Foreign aid Security policy: European Security and Defense Policy EU battle groups European Rapid Reaction Force Peacekeeping POLICE AND JUDICIAL COOPERATION IN CRIMINAL MATTERS Drug trafficking and weapons smuggling Terrorism Trafficking in human beings Organized crime Bribery and fraud DIVISION OF COMPETENCES EU-MS Principle of conferral (art. 5 EU). To be read in connection with arts. 352 (example) and art. 114 TFEU (example) The exercise by the EU of its competences is governed by the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality (art. 5 UE and Protocol on those principles) DIVISION OF COMPETENCES EU-MS (art. 2 TFEU) EU exclusive competences. Only the EU may legislate, except if MS are empowered by it or in order to implement EU acts. Shared competences. Both can legislate but pre-emption in favor of the EU (with exceptions). Most of the activities of the EU are included here. Supporting, coordinating or complementary competences. The EU support will essentially by financial. Outside this classification, we find coordination of economic and employment policies and common foreign and security policy. The Institutions of the European Union European Parliament 736 members Court of Auditors 27 members European Council 27 Heads of State or government + its president + President of the Commission Council of the EU 27 ministers European Central Bank European Commission 27 Commissioners EU Court of Justice 3 courts - 27 judges Committee of the Regions 344 members Econ. & Social Committee 344 members Consultative organs EU Main Institutions (Overview) European Commission 27 Commissioners, representing the European perspective, each responsible for a specific policy area. EU s executive branch proposes legislation, manages Union s day-to-day business and budget, and enforces rules. Negotiates trade agreements and manages Europe s multilateral development cooperation. European Commission President José Manuel Durao Barroso Council of the European Union EU s main decision-making body, composed of ministers of 27 Member States, representing governments point of view. Decides also on foreign policy issues. EU Main Institutions (Overview) European Parliament Voice of European citizens members elected for five-year terms. With the Council, passes EU laws and adopts EU budget. European Parliament in session Exercises democratic supervision over the other European institutions in several ways. European Court of Justice Highest EU judicial authority. Ensures all EU laws are interpreted and applied correctly and uniformly. Can act as an independent policy maker but unlike the U.S. Supreme Court, the ECJ can only deal with matters covered by the Treaties. EU Main Institutions (Overview) European Central Bank The European Central Bank (ECB) is the central bank for Europe's single currency, the euro. The ECB s main task is to maintain the euro's purchasing power and thus price stability in the euro area. The ECB operates independently from Member State governments. The euro was introduced in 1999 The euro area comprises the 15 European Union countries that have introduced the euro since 1999. How EU laws are made Citizens, interests groups, experts: discuss, consult Commission: makes formal proposal Parliament and Council of Ministers: decide jointly National or local authorities: implement Commission and Court of Justice: monitor implementation The functions and influence of the Commission Promotes the general interest of the Union in total independence from the Member States. Major powers of the Commission (Almost) the monopoly of legislative proposal (reinforced by art. 293 TFUE) Monitoring of policy implementation Executes the EU budget Management of European programmes External relations role Mediator amongst 27 member states & between the Council and the EP The functions and influence of the Commission Limited role of the Commission Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) Gathers elements of both supranationalism (a European dimension, due to its tasks) and intergovernmentalism (as a consequence of its composition). Commission influence Relatively insignificant (intergovernmentalists) Having an independent impact on policy outcomes (supranationalists / institutionalists) It is not a government, but some sort of federal administration. The structure of the Commission The President and the Commissioners College of Commissioners: 27 Commissioners, including its President and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (one of its Vice-Presidents) The College operates on the basis of the principle of collegiality Nominated by national governments and approved by the EP for 5 years (read art EU) The Commission Services 26 Directorates-General (DGs): sectoral and functional (horizontal) departments Recruitment of officials (approx ): a merit basis with a view to an appropriate geographical balance among member states Connection with national administrations: Committees and networks Roles of expert committees and standing advisory groups Assist the Commission in its preparatory work on new legislation and in other forms of policy-making Comitology committees (Implementation committees) Monitoring the Commission when delivering delegated legislation The Commission: calls and chairs the meetings, sets the agenda, submits the proposals requiring discussion. National Interests and Collective Action in the EU Composition: shall consist of a representative of each Member State at ministerial level, who may commit the government of the Member State in question and cast its vote. Member states in the Council Protecting national interests in the EU Ensuring collective EU action The governance of the Council Consensual culture A mixture between intergovernmentalism and supranationalism The Institutional Status of the Council At the centre of the EU power The most important EU institution Representing the Governments of Member States A legislative and executive body An arena for inter-state diplomacy and negotiation (bargaining) The institutional settings of the Council Ministerial level: the Council of Ministers Committee level: COREPER Working group level Ten sectorally specialised formations E.g., GAERC, ECOFIN, Agriculture Decision-Making in the Council Hierarchical structure, and network relationship The ministerial Councils, the COREPER, the working groups, the General Secretariat Significant variation of the decision-making process across different issue areas The Council Presidency The six-month rotation, with the exception of the Foreign Affairs one (art EU) Planning and chairing meetings Relationship with other EU institutions The Commission holds the 28 th seat in the Council Co-decision and the European Parliament The Evolution of the Council System Decision-making capability of the Council Growing membership Increasing issue areas The democratic deficit of the Council Remains remote and nontransparent When the meetings are broadcasted, not real ones. Enlargement and the Council The consequences of new voting weights Decision-making process in the Council Unanimity Abstentions by Members present in person or represented shall not prevent the adoption by the Council of acts which require unanimity (art TFUE). Majority of members Qualified Majority voting (weighted votes) Number of votes for each country in the Council (QMV) Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom Spain and Poland Romania Netherlands Belgium, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary and Portugal Austria, Bulgaria and Sweden Denmark, Ireland, Lithuania, Slovakia and Finland Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Luxembourg and Slovenia Malta Total: A minimum of 255 votes out of 345 (73.9%) is required to reach a qualified majority. In addition: a majority of member states (in some cases two thirds) must approve the decision, and any member state may ask for confirmation that the votes cast in favour represent at least 62% of the EU s total population VOTES IN THE COUNCIL COUNTRY POPULATION VOTES NUM. OF INHABS. PER VOTE GERMANY FRANCE UK ITALIE SPAIN ESTONIA CYPRUS LUXEMBOURG MALTA New Qualified Majority after Lisbon As from 1 November 2014, a qualified majority shall be defined as at least 55% of the members of the Council, comprising at least fifteen of them and representing Member States comprising at least 65% of the population of the Union. A blocking minority must include at least four Council members, failing which the qualified majority shall be deemed attained. Special regimen : From 1 November 2014 to 31 March 2017, if members of the Council, representing: (a) at least three quarters of the population, or (b) at least three quarters of the number of Member States necessary to constitute a blocking minority resulting from the application of Article 9 C(4), first subparagraph, of the Treaty on European Union or Article 205(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, indicate their opposition to the Council adopting an act by a qualified majority, the Council shall discuss the issue. The European Council The European Council Bringing together the 27 heads of state or government of the MS, its president and the president of the Commission. The President is now a person (instead of a MS), elected for 2,5 years (renewable once) by the European Council by QM. The legal status of the European Council Informally institutionalised in 1974 Recognised in the SEA of 1986 The European Council The most influential institution Provides The Union with the necessary impetus and defines the broad political guidelines for EU policy. It works for the establishment of compromises: Reform of the major EU policies Treaty changes Final terms of enlargement Meets twice every six months Has no formal role in EU law-making: its political decisions must be transformed into law by other actors. It adopts its decisions by consensus (save where otherwise provided: art. 14.2, 15.5, 17 EU...). A Historical Overview of the EP 1952 the Common Assembly of the ECSC Members were members of the national parliaments Very limited powers 1962 renamed as the European Parliament 1979 direct election to the EP Increasing the number of MEPs The Institutional Power of the EP The EU is founded on representative democracy and citizens are directly represented in the EP (art. 10 EU) The increasing power of the EP The community budget 1970s Rights of modification and rejection The EP twice excised vetoes in 1979 and s Parliamentary approval for budgetary increase The Institutional Power of the EP Executive oversight Right to dismiss the Commission: the motion of censure (art. 234 TFUE) Veto power over the Commission nomination Day-to-day scrutiny of the Commission activities (oral and written questions, investigation committees, EU Ombudsman, ius standi before the EUCJ ) EU law-making From consultation to co-legislation The ordinary legislative procedure (art. 294 TFUE) and the special legislative procedure (art TFUE). The EP and Its Internal Politics The MEPs From different national political parties Including Euro-enthusiastic and Eurosceptic members The party groups Broadly cohesive ideological collectives Internal politics: compromises within the party groups The EP and Its Internal Politics The EP committees Well-established system of permanent committees Undertaking legislative work and oversight activity The EP plenary sessions Politically significant events Logistical difficulties of managing the plenary sessions Number of seats, as at 8 June 2009 Number of seats, as at 8 June 2009 EP Elections The members of the European Parliament shall be elected for a term of five years by direct universal suffrage in a free and secret ballot (art EU) in accordance with a uniform procedure in all Member States or in accordance with principles common to all Member States (art. 223 TFUE). Link between the people and the EU Providing political legitimacy to the EU EP elections and the democratic deficit EP Elections Problems of EP elections Continuously declining turnout Campaign on national political issues Disconnection with the voters The growing gap between increasing EP powers and declining public interest in EP elections EP Elections Number of seats in the EP Austria 17 (+2) Belgium 22 Bulgaria 17 (+1) Cyprus 6 Czech Republic 22 Denmark 13 Estonia 6 Finland 13 France 72 (+2) Germany 99 Greece 22 Hungary 22 Ireland 12 Italy 72 (+1) Latvia 8 (+1) Luxembourg 6 Lithuania 12 Netherlands 25 (+1) Malta 5 (+1) Portugal 22 Poland 50 (+1) Slovakia 13 Romania 33 Spain 50 (+4) Slovenia 7 (+1) United Kingdom 72 (+1) Sweden 18 (+2) Total 736 (+18) SEATS IN THE EP (AS FROM 2009) COUNTRY POPULATION SEATS NUM. OF INHABS. PER SEAT GERMANY FRANCE UK ITALIE SPAIN ESTONIA CYPRUS LUXEMBOURG MALTA Composition & structure The Court of Justice, the General Court, the Civil Service Tribunal The Court of Justice 27 Judges (one judge per member state) and 8 Advocates General (AG) Perform the tasks assigned to the Court by the Treaties The appointment of all judges must be by common accord of the governments of the member states after consultation of a panel responsible for giving an opinion on prospective candidates' suitability Composition & structure The General Court (former Court of First Instance) Initially created to lessen the workload of the ECJ (body attached to the ECJ), but following the Treaty of Nice, more cases transferred to the CFI 27 judges, but no permanent AGs The European Civil Service Tribunal Created in 2004 as a result of the entry into force of the Treaty of Nice to lessen the workload of the CFI. 7 judges It has jurisdiction to hear and determine at first instance disputes between the European Union and its servants. Mission & jurisdiction Its mission has been to ensure that the law is observed in the interpretation and application of the Treaties. As part of that mission, the Court of Justice: reviews the legality of the acts of the institutions of the European Union (Actions for annulment, Actions for failure to act) ensures that the Member States comply with their obligations under Community law (Actions for failure to fulfil obligations), interprets Community law at the request of the national courts and tribunals (References for preliminary rulings). The Court constitutes the judicial authority of the European Union and, in cooperation with the courts and tribunals of the Member States, it ensures the application and uniform interpretation of Community law. The Judicial Activism Debate Judicial Activism In the 60 and 70, the ECJ used the lack of precision of some Treaty provisions to expand the Communities powers Criticism: Court s activism exceeds its judicial powers and falls in the area of policy-making and legislation Interpreting Treaty provisions In order to guarantee the spirit and aims of the Treaties Conclusion Complex institutional system for a complex polity of peoples and States
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