Overview and Functioning of the European Union


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The basics of the EU. Including structure, members and a who’s who guide.

Overview and Functioning of the European Union

  1. 1. The European Union ( EU )<br />By Jason Cates<br />
  2. 2. The European Union, EU.<br />What is it?<br />What is the European Union?<br />A unique economic and political partnership between 27 democratic European countries.<br />What are its aims?<br />Peace, prosperity and freedom for its 498 million citizens — in a fairer, safer world.<br />What results so far?<br />Frontier-free travel and trade, the euro (the single European currency), safer food and a greener environment, better living standards in poorer regions, joint action on crime and terror, cheaper phone calls, millions of opportunities to study abroad … and much more besides.<br />How does it work?<br />To make these things happen, EU countries set up bodies to run the EU and adopt its legislation. The main ones are:<br />the European Parliament (representing the people of Europe);<br />the Council of the European Union (representing national governments);<br />the European Commission (representing the common EU interest).<br />JASON CATES<br />EUROPA.EU<br />
  3. 3. I. Peace and stability<br />II. Bringing Europe together again<br />III. Safety and security<br />IV. Economic and social solidarity<br />V. Identity and diversity in a globalised world<br />VI. Values<br />The European Union, EU.<br />Why?<br />JASON CATES<br />EUROPA.EU<br />
  4. 4. The European Union, EU.<br />Members.<br />Austria Belgium<br />Bulgaria Cyprus<br />Czech Republic Denmark<br />Estonia Finland<br />France Germany<br />Greece Hungary<br />Ireland Italy<br />Latvia Lithuania<br />Luxembourg Malta<br />Netherlands Poland<br />Portugal Romania<br />Slovakia Slovenia<br />Spain Sweden<br />United Kingdom<br />JASON CATES<br />EUROPA.EU<br />
  5. 5. The European Union, EU.<br />Members.<br />Expansions<br />1952<br />1973<br />1981<br />1986<br />1990<br />1995<br />2004<br />2007<br />JASON CATES<br />EUROPA.EU<br />
  6. 6. 1952- Treaty establishing the European Coal and Community<br />1958 - Treaty of Rome<br />1967 - Merger Treaty<br />1987 - Single European Act (SEA)<br />1993- Treaty on European Union<br />1999 - Treaty of Amsterdam<br />2003 - Treaty of Nice<br />2009 – Treaty of Lisbon<br />The European Union, EU.<br />Treaties.<br />JASON CATES<br />EUROPA.EU<br />
  7. 7. The European Union, EU.<br />The Founding Fathers?<br />Konrad Adenauer<br />Alcide De Gasperi<br />Winston Churchill<br />Robert Schuman<br />Jean Monnet<br />JASON CATES<br />EUROPA.EU<br />
  8. 8. European Parliament<br />Is made up of Elected Members of the European Parliament (MEP’s).<br />Elections are held every 5 years<br />Council of the European Union<br />The council is made up of national ministers who with the European Parliament, adopt EU law<br />European Commission<br />Is made up of appointed Commissioners and the EU’s civil service.<br />The Commission is responsible for the day-to-day running of the the EU and ensures EU treaties are being complied with.<br />The Commission is also responsible for proposing legislation and carrying out decisions made by the European Council and Parliament.<br />The European Union, EU.<br />Structure.<br />JASON CATES<br />EUROPA.EU<br />
  9. 9. Court of Justice of the European Communities<br />EU law courts.<br />Are Responsible for interpreting EU law and ensuring it is carried out.<br />European Court of Auditors<br />Reviews and audits the financing of the EU’s institutions activities.<br />Is composed of one member from each EU member state.<br />European Ombudsman<br />Investigates complaints made by a citizen or resident of the Union about maladministration by EU institutions and bodies<br />European Data Protection Supervisor<br />It’s duty is to uphold data protection standards in EU institutions and bodies and plays advising role on data protection legislation.<br />The European Union, EU.<br />Structure.<br />JASON CATES<br />EUROPA.EU<br />
  10. 10. The European Union, EU.<br />Governance, who’s who?<br />JOSE MANUEL BARROSO (Portugal) – President of the Commission.<br />CATHERINE ASHTON (UK) - High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Commission vice-president.<br />Herman Van Rompuy (Belgium) - President of the Council. <br />JASON CATES<br />EUROPA.EU<br />
  11. 11. The European Union, EU.<br />How Rich Is The EU.<br />37 300 <br />27 800<br />24 700<br />27 800<br />24 700<br />10 793<br />10 035<br />10 000<br />6 400<br />10 793<br />10 035<br />10 000<br />3676<br />1 326<br />468<br />6 400<br />China<br />Russia<br />United States<br />Russia<br />China<br />Japan<br />United States<br />EU<br />EU<br />Japan<br />Size of economy: Gross Domestic Product in<br />billion of euros, 2006<br />Wealth per person: Gross Domestic Product<br />per person in Purchasing Power Standard, 2007<br />China<br />Japan<br />Russia<br />United States<br />Russia<br />China<br />Japan<br />United States<br />EU<br />EU<br />JASON CATES<br />EUROPA.EU<br />
  12. 12. International representation of the EU is handled by Common Foreign and Security policy, determined by the European Council or in terms of economic trade, dealt with by the European Commission. The chief EU diplomat in both situations is the High Representative Catherine Ashton. Some degree of defence co-operation is described within the Common Security and Defence Policy.<br />The European Union, EU.<br />International Relations.<br />JASON CATES<br />EUROPA.EU<br />
  13. 13. An economic powerhouse of nearly half a billion people, the European Union has an important role in global affairs – and its weight is growing as EU countries increasingly make foreign policy decisions as a bloc.<br />The EU is building relations with the republics of central Asia.<br />The EU holds regular summits with the United States, Japan, Canada and, more recently, Russia, India and China. EU relations with these and other countries cut across many fields, including education, the environment, crime and human rights.<br />The European Union, EU.<br />International Relations, Overview.<br />JASON CATES<br />EUROPA.EU<br />
  14. 14. Seven countries in the Balkans region aspire to become EU members. Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) have been officially accepted as candidates for EU membership. The EU considers five other western Balkan countries as potential candidates: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia. Kosovo declared itself independent from Serbia in 2008, but there is still no international agreement on its status. The EU is actively seeking a diplomatic solution while providing practical help. Some 1 900 justice experts and police officers have been sent by the EU to help strengthen the rule of law.<br />The European Union, EU.<br />International Relations, Candidates.<br />JASON CATES<br />EUROPA.EU<br />
  15. 15. The EU is committed to an effective and balanced partnership with the US, its biggest trade partner. In 2007, the two sides created the Transatlantic Economic Council, a political body that oversees efforts to strengthen economic ties. More recently the EU and the US concluded a plan for closer cooperation on crisis management and conflict prevention. The EU is also looking to work with the US on climate change and on improving the banking system in wake of the financial crisis.<br />The European Union, EU.<br />International Relations, USA.<br />JASON CATES<br />EUROPA.EU<br />
  16. 16. The EU and Russia are working on a new agreement to govern their relations. The talks began in July 2008 but were suspended for several months after conflict between Russia and Georgia. The two sides are seeking more cooperation on all fronts, recognising their growing ties. In particular, the EU wants to work more closely with Russia to ensure energy supplies. Russia supplies a large share of Europe’s oil and gas but those flows have been repeatedly disrupted by disputes between Russia and transit countries, mainly Ukraine.<br />The European Union, EU.<br />International Relations, Russia.<br />JASON CATES<br />EUROPA.EU<br />
  17. 17. The European Union, EU.<br />UK Public Opinion, Information.<br /><ul><li>18% of UK respondents felt informed about the EU compared to 12% and 15% in, respectively, 2002 and 2006. However, 83% 2 said they knew little or nothing about the EU.
  18. 18. Only a tiny minority of the British public “strongly” agreed that the information available on EU affairs was simple and clear (4%), and a third (34%) agreed to some extent.
  19. 19. Respondents felt that EU reports on television, radio and, particularly, in the written press were too negative. Almost half (48%) perceived a negative bias in press reports.
  20. 20. More than half of the British public (54%) indicated that they did not want to receive more information about the EU.
  21. 21. British citizens mainly expect their government to inform them about the European Union and its decisions (43%). </li></ul>JASON CATES<br />EUROPA.EU<br />
  22. 22. The European Union, EU.<br />UK Public Opinion, EU Support.<br /><ul><li> Respondents were divided about the “image” of the EU: of those taking a position, about half had a rather positive image of the EU (37%), while the other half took the opposite view (40%).
  23. 23. Similarly, 37% of respondents felt the economic benefits of the UK being a member of the EU outweighed the costs and 40% took an opposite viewpoint.
  24. 24. Taking an overview of the questions concerning the EU’s “image” and the “cost-benefit analysis” of membership, respondents aged 55 and over (34%) and those with the lowest level of education (39%) were the most likely to evaluate the EU and the UK’s membership consistently negatively. </li></ul>JASON CATES<br />EUROPA.EU<br />
  25. 25. The European Union, EU.<br />UK Public Opinion, Contribution.<br /><ul><li> When asked to estimate the UK’s net contribution to the EU budget, only 6% of respondents said it was below 3% of GNI (the actual figure is 0.21% (2007)). On average, respondents estimated that the UK transferred, annually, 23% of GNI to the EU. Just under half of respondents (48%) did not or could not answer.
  26. 26. Politically, 44% felt that the UK had a lot or a fair amount of influence on the way EU laws are made. Half (51%), on the other hand, felt that the UK had little or very little influence. </li></ul>JASON CATES<br />EUROPA.EU<br />
  27. 27. The European Union, EU.<br />UK Public Opinion, Policies.<br /><ul><li> Most respondents acknowledged that the EU had a role in tackling some of the most pressing topical issues – each of them having clear international dimensions (70%).
  28. 28. Presented with areas where EU membership could be beneficial, a convincing majority agreed on these benefits: the single market (67%), a cleaner environment (58%), more weight in trade negotiations (58%). They were least convinced about improved working conditions (49%). </li></ul>JASON CATES<br />EUROPA.EU<br />
  29. 29. The European Union, EU.<br />UK Public Opinion, Policies.<br /><ul><li>The perception that consumers were benefiting from the single market was exceptionally high in the youngest segment (15-24 year-olds: 81%), among the most educated (78%) and those living in large cities (72%). Those who felt informed about the EU were more likely to confirm such benefits (74%) than those who knew little or nothing about EU matters – which was generally true for all benefits tested.
  30. 30. Most interviewees would care (at least a bit) if any of these benefits were lost, e.g. by not being a member of the EU. Roughly one in six (16%), though, would not mind losing these benefits if the UK were not a member of the EU. </li></ul>JASON CATES<br />EUROPA.EU<br />
  31. 31. The future of the EU over the coming years is likely to be slow, but with continual progress towards integration.<br />This is like to be held back by the wide range of cultures and economic conditions in different EU members.<br />The European model is constantly evolving with the joining of eastern nations that are poor in comparison with other EU countries. Increasing the complexity of the union’s governance and increasing range of culture within the EU.<br />The range of cultural and historical differences are highly sensitive. This includes matters including the use of language. Such as in the French Republic, where there is growing resentment about the supremacy of the English language globally and within the EU.<br />The European Union, EU.<br />Future.<br />JASON CATES<br />EUROPA.EU<br />
  32. 32. The European Union, EU.<br />The End.<br />JASON CATES<br />Information gathered by<br />For more blogs presentations, go to<br />http://jasoncates.blogspot.com/<br />http://uk.linkedin.com/in/jasonjcates<br />Information from<br />http://europa.eu/<br />