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European union lecture 101

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Slide for a lecture by Alon van Dam on the European Union for the Israeli Debating League and members of the Liberal Debate Club.

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European union lecture 101

  1. 1. EUROPEAN UNION 101 By: Alon van Dam On: 25.07.2019
  2. 2. AGENDA EU – History EU – Institutions EU – Politics
  3. 3. CAVEATS Very high-level Oversimplification EU has exceptions for everything. Bias
  4. 4. 1. HISTORY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
  5. 5. GOALS Principles of the EU Background: EU / UK relations Background: Rule of Law issues Background: Economic issues
  6. 6. EU TIMELINE 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
  7. 7. EUROPE PRE-1945
  8. 8. 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?  Nationalized coal  Trade with US & Commonwealth
  9. 9. 1957 – EUROPEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY -Treaty of Rome
  10. 10. SOME CONCEPTS Free Trade Area: No internal obstacles to trade. Customs Union: Single external tariff. Common Market: Four Freedoms Goods Capital Labor Services Economic Union: Common macroeconomic policies.
  11. 11. 1973 – BRITAIN JOINS THE EU UK economic & political realities shifted post-war. UK tried to join in 1961, rejected. Joins in 1973: has to pay into the CAP. Lobbied for Common Market in 1983.
  12. 12. 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
  13. 13. COPENHAGEN CRITERIA Political  Democracy  Rule of Law  Human Rights  Protection of Minorities Economic  Market Economy  Maastricht Criteria Legislative:  Adopt EU Law, Acquis Communautaire
  14. 14. FRICTIONS Widening vs. Deepening Common perception: widening prevents deepening. Econ. Strong vs. Weak States Strong feel that weak are freeloaders. Weak feel oppressed & abused by strong.
  15. 15. HISTORY - TAKEAWAYS Purpose: Peace. Method: Economic interdependence. Tension between Widening & Deepening Tension between Rich/Poor, Strong/Weak UK & EU: starting off on the wrong foot
  16. 16. 2. EU INSTITUTIONS
  17. 17. “Who do I call if I want to call Europe?” -Henry Kissinger
  18. 18. GOALS How does the EU work? How is EU law made? How democratic is the EU? Who’s in charge?
  19. 19. AGENDA 1. High-level overview of EU institutions 2. Appointment & election of institutions 3. Deep dive 4. How EU Laws are passed 5. Frictions
  20. 20. 2.1 HIGH-LEVEL OVERVIEW The EU has 7 institutions:  Executive  European Council – compare to Presidency & Council of State  European Commission – compare to Prime Minister & Cabinet  Legislative  Council of the European Union – compare to Senate / Lords  European Parliament – compare to House of Reps / Commons  Judicial  Court of Justice of the EU – compare to Supreme Court  Other  European Central Bank – compare to Central Bank  Court of Auditors
  21. 21. 2.2 APPOINTMENT / ELECTION
  22. 22. 2.3.1 EUROPEAN COUNCIL Membership: 28 Heads of State/Government President: Donald Tusk → Charles Michel Voting: QMV QMV: 55% of countries, 65% population Responsibilities:  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”
  23. 23. 2.3.2 EUROPEAN COMMISSION Membership: 28 Commissioners (1 + 7 + 20) President: J-C Juncker → Ursula von der Leyen Voting: Consensus / Simple Majority Responsibilities:  Day-to-day executive.  Initiates legislation.  Adopts Decisions (similar to Executive Orders).  Implements policy.  Administers & disburses the EU Budget.  Administers executive agencies. Tidbits: 32,000 bureaucrats, Berlaymont building.
  24. 24. 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. Responsibilities:  Legislative power.  Budgetary power.  Common Foreign & Security Policy (CFSP).  Joint Actions & Common Positions  Usually: co-decision with Parliament.
  25. 25. 2.3.4 EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT Membership: 751 MEPs President: David Sassoli (S&D) Seat: Brussels, Strasbourg, Luxembourg Voting: Simple / Absolute Majority Responsibilities:  Legislative power.  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.
  26. 26. 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
  27. 27. 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  Review budget.  Never, ever approved one.
  28. 28. 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 Defined ‘how’ Needs EP & Council
  29. 29. 2.5 INHERENT FRICTIONS Democratic Deficit Parliament vs. European Council Member States blame EU National Interest vs. EU Interest Difficulty to make decisions
  30. 30. WHO DO YOU CALL? Nobody knows.
  31. 31. INSTITUTIONS - TAKEAWAYS European Council: National Leaders Commission: Executive Parliament & Council: Bicameral Legislature Complex system of making laws encourages scapegoating.
  32. 32. 3. EU POLITICS & CURRENT EVENTS
  33. 33. GOALS The challenge of populism What’s happening in Hungary & Poland? What’s happening with Brexit? Where next for the EU?
  34. 34. AGENDA 1. Euroscepticism 2. Visegrad Group 3. Brexit 4. New Parliament & Commission 5. Future
  35. 35. 3.1 EUROSCEPTICISM Populism Society vs. Elites Politics as expression of general will Need for binding element Migration Crisis EU useful scapegoat
  36. 36. 3.1 EUROSCEPTICISM: MIGRATION CRISIS
  37. 37. 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%
  38. 38. 3.2 VISEGRAD GROUP Alliance of Hungary Poland Czech Republic Slovakia United in fight against communism, reignited recently.
  39. 39. 3.2 HUNGARY Viktor Orban – Fidesz. Elected in 2010 Constitution amended in 2013 & soon. 2014: “Illiberal Democracy” Consolidation of media Expulsion of NGOs Attacking minorities. 60% of tenders: 1 bidder
  40. 40. 3.2 POLAND 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.
  41. 41. 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. Requires consensus. Illiberal states back each other up.
  42. 42. 3.3 BREXIT Recap:  EU/UK relations fraught from the beginning.  UK feels they were taken advantage of by UK Cameron promised referendum. Referendum:  Take Back Control  Migration  Money to NHS  Ending EU regulations  Ending ECJ oversight 2016 referendum: 52% - 48%
  43. 43. 3.3 BREXIT Irish border issue What’s a backstop? Commons against everything. Result: Johnson PM. What’s next?
  44. 44. 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)
  45. 45. 3.4 EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ELECTIONS
  46. 46. 3.4 FORMING A NEW COMMISSION Promised: “Spitzenkandidat”  EPP: Manfred Weber  S&D: Frans Timmermans  ALDE: Margrethe Verstagen Results: Everyone won but lost.  Macron blocked Weber  Merkel blocked Verstager  Visegrad4 blocked Timmermans Ergo: Backroom talks
  47. 47. 3.4 VON DER LEYEN COMMISSION
  48. 48. 3.4 VON DER LEYEN COMMISSION Von der Leyen: highly unpopular  German Social Democrats  Greens  European Parliament in general Had to promise many things:  Power of initiative to European Parliament.  Restoring Spitzenkandidaten.  Ambitious climate goals.  EU where “nobody’s perfect”

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