Principles of the EU
Background: EU / UK relations
Background: Rule of Law issues
Background: Economic issues
1952: European Coal & Steel Community
1957/9: European Economic Community
1973: Enlargement #1: UK & Friends
1981/1986: Enlargement #2: Southern Expansion
1992: European Union
1995: Enlargement #3: Neutral Countries
2004: Enlargement #4: Eastern Expansion
2007: Lisbon Treaty
1952 – EUROPEAN COAL & STEEL COMMUNITY
Goal: peace through trade.
Why did they join?
NL & DE – competitive coal & steel
BE – competitive steel, bad coal
LX – economic union with BE
FR & IT – needed coal & steel
Why no UK?
Trade with US & Commonwealth
1957 – EUROPEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY
-Treaty of Rome
Free Trade Area: No internal obstacles to trade.
Customs Union: Single external tariff.
Common Market: Four Freedoms
Economic Union: Common macroeconomic policies.
1973 – BRITAIN JOINS THE EU
UK economic & political realities
UK tried to join in 1961,
Joins in 1973: has to pay into the
Lobbied for Common Market in
1992 – EUROPEAN UNION
Maastricht Treaty forms European Union
Sets up European Monetary Union (later: Euro)
Inflation: Max 1.5% over lowest.
Deficit: Max 3% of GDP.
Debt: Max 60% of GDP.
Interest: Max 2% over lowest.
Sets up Common Foreign & Security Policy
Sets up Cooperation in Justice & Home Affairs
Replaced by 2007 Lisbon Treaty
Rule of Law
Protection of Minorities
Adopt EU Law, Acquis
Widening vs. Deepening
Common perception: widening
Econ. Strong vs. Weak States
Strong feel that weak are
Weak feel oppressed & abused
HISTORY - TAKEAWAYS
Method: Economic interdependence.
Tension between Widening & Deepening
Tension between Rich/Poor, Strong/Weak
UK & EU: starting off on the wrong foot
“Who do I call if I
want to call Europe?”
How does the EU work?
How is EU law made?
How democratic is the EU?
Who’s in charge?
1. High-level overview of EU institutions
2. Appointment & election of institutions
3. Deep dive
4. How EU Laws are passed
2.1 HIGH-LEVEL OVERVIEW
The EU has 7 institutions:
European Council – compare to Presidency & Council of State
European Commission – compare to Prime Minister & Cabinet
Council of the European Union – compare to Senate / Lords
European Parliament – compare to House of Reps / Commons
Court of Justice of the EU – compare to Supreme Court
European Central Bank – compare to Central Bank
Court of Auditors
2.3.1 EUROPEAN COUNCIL
Membership: 28 Heads of State/Government
President: Donald Tusk → Charles Michel
Voting: QMV QMV: 55% of countries, 65% population
Sets EU policy agenda, “impetus and direction”
Appoints High Representative.
Appoints President of ECB.
Proposes President of Commission.
Sometimes political power, “emergency brake”
Representation abroad, “collective Head of State”
2.3.2 EUROPEAN COMMISSION
Membership: 28 Commissioners (1 + 7 + 20)
President: J-C Juncker → Ursula von der Leyen
Voting: Consensus / Simple Majority
Adopts Decisions (similar to Executive Orders).
Administers & disburses the EU Budget.
Administers executive agencies.
Tidbits: 32,000 bureaucrats, Berlaymont building.
2.3.3 COUNCIL OF THE EU
Membership: 28 relevant ministers
Depends on subject-matter, like agriculture or education.
President: Finland, rotates every 6 months.
Voting: QMV / Consensus
4 countries representing 35% of population can block.
Issues of sovereignty: don’t need EP, needs unanimity.
Common Foreign & Security Policy (CFSP).
Joint Actions & Common Positions
Usually: co-decision with Parliament.
2.3.4 EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
Membership: 751 MEPs
President: David Sassoli (S&D)
Seat: Brussels, Strasbourg, Luxembourg
Voting: Simple / Absolute Majority
No approval needed on certain issues.
Budgetary power: before & after spending.
Elects European Commission.
Oversight over Commission (no-confidence vote)
Usually: co-decision with Parliament.
2.3.4 EP – POLITICAL GROUPS
European People’s Party - 182
Christian Democrats, e.g. CDU
Socialists & Democrats - 154
Social Democrats, e.g. Labour, SPD
Renew Europe - 108
Liberals, e.g. LibDems, En Marche
Greens - 74
Greens, e.g. DE Greens, UK Greens
Identity & Democracy - 73
Eurosceptics, e.g. La Liga, Le Pen
Conservatives (ECR) - 62
Conservatives, e.g. Tories, Law & Justice
United Left - Nordic Green Left - 41
Hard Left, e.g. Syriza, Die Linke
‘Non-Inscrits’ - 57
2.3.5 OTHER INSTITUTIONS
European Court of Justice
Court of Justice: 28 justices.
Interpretation of EU law.
Settle disputes between EU institution.
Can fine member states.
European Central Bank
Monetary policy of Eurozone.
Mario Draghi → Christine Lagarde.
Court of Auditors
Never, ever approved one.
2.4 PASSING OF EU LAW
Ordinary Legislative Procedure
Initiative: European Commission
Can be requested by other institutions.
Can be requested by popular demand.
Co-Decision of Parliament & Council
Regulation Directive Decision
Binding on all
Needs EP & Council
2.5 INHERENT FRICTIONS
Parliament vs. European Council
Member States blame EU
National Interest vs. EU Interest
Difficulty to make decisions
3.1 EUROSCEPTICS IN NATIONAL PARLIAMENTS
Share of Eurosceptics in latest elections:
Italy: Liga & 5Star – 70%
Latvia: KPV, NA & ZZS – 35%
Austria: FPO – 26%
Sweden: SD – 18%
Netherlands: PVV & FvD – 15%
Germany: AfD – 13%
3.2 VISEGRAD GROUP
United in fight against communism,
Viktor Orban – Fidesz.
Elected in 2010
Constitution amended in 2013 & soon.
2014: “Illiberal Democracy”
Consolidation of media
Expulsion of NGOs
60% of tenders: 1 bidder
Law and Justice party
De facto led by Jarosław Kaczyński
Elected in 2015
Constitution amended in 2015
Weakening of supreme court.
Directly appointing court by executive.
3.2 ISSUES IN DEALING WITH RULE OF LAW
Article 7 of the EU Treaty:
Allows the EU to remove voting
power of member states.
Illiberal states back each other
EU/UK relations fraught from the beginning.
UK feels they were taken advantage of by UK
Cameron promised referendum.
Take Back Control
Money to NHS
Ending EU regulations
Ending ECJ oversight
2016 referendum: 52% - 48%
Irish border issue
What’s a backstop?
Result: Johnson PM.
3.4 EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ELECTIONS
European People’s Party – 182 (-34)
Socialists & Democrats – 154 (-31)
Renew Europe – 108 (+39)
Greens – 74 (+22)
Identity & Democracy - 73 (+37*)
ID gained 37 seats, EFDD lost 42.
5SM, Brexit, Golden Dawn, Jobbik NI
Eurosceptics gained, somewhat.
Conservatives (ECR) – 62 (-15)
Nordic Green Left – 41(-11)
‘Non-Inscrits’ – 57 (+37)
3.4 VON DER LEYEN COMMISSION
Von der Leyen: highly unpopular
German Social Democrats
European Parliament in general
Had to promise many things:
Power of initiative to European Parliament.
Ambitious climate goals.
EU where “nobody’s perfect”