Saturday, October 26, 2019

Which EU institution is the most powerful? Essay -- Economics

Which EU institution is the most powerful? The European Union (EU) is currently made up of 25 countries, known as Member States, which together form the largest voluntary and peaceful block of countries in the world. Many people mistakenly view the European Union as a single body whilst in fact; the EU consists of a number of different institutions that together carry out activities on behalf of the Member States. There are many institutions but the main five being the Commission, the Council of Ministers (also called the Council of the European Union), the European Council and the European Parliament and the European Court of Justice. In this essay I am going to focus on these institutions and discuss which is to be considered more powerful. I will firstly look at each one individually and how it is organised then analyse its powers and responsibilities before comparing them and drawing up my conclusions. However I would like to note that there are many different interpretations and parameters of ‘powerful’ which make it difficult to answer the question. The EU was established in 1992 by the Maastricht Treaty. It comprises what are known as three ‘pillars’. Firstly the EC; secondly, inter-governmental co-operation (i.e. between national governments) in foreign and security policy and the third pillar being inter-governmental co-operation in justice and home affairs. In the second and third pillars policy decisions are made by unanimous cooperation between members and cannot be enforced. Therefore for the most part, the governing institutions of the EC pillar have limited input in these pillars. The European Commission does much of the day-to-day work in the European Union and is the driving force in the Union's institutional system. Their main responsibility is to initiate and implement new programs, and they form a permanent executive that supervise the work of the EU, much in the way that a national cabinet operates. This power is displayed in article 211 of the Treaty Establishing the European Community, which states that, the Commission: 'Shall formulate recommendations or deliver opinions on matters dealt with in this treaty, if it expressly so provides or if the commission considers it necessary.' The Commission is made up of a President and the College of Commissioners (the political arm), and the Direc... ...------------------------------------- [1] The Presidency of the Council is the driving force in the legislative and political decision-making process, organising and chairing all meetings and working out compromises to resolve any difficulties. The Presidency rotates among the Member States every six months and is used as a mechanism through which Member States can advance specific priorities. The UK will next hold the Presidency in the second half of 2005. [2] The European Council's far reaching and dramatic decisions have helped propel their meetings into the public spotlight where they have become the focal point for media coverage of the EU, which increases their power [3] During the political, economic and institutional weakening of the European Community (EC) in the 1960s and 1970s the ECJ persisted and struggled on to create an extensive and powerful mass of case law that continued the process for deeper integration. The outcome of this was extremely positive. The work of the ECJ developed not just a new legal order but also assisted in the EC's resurgence during the 1980s. (Dinan 2000: p301)

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