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These 2 IGCs led to the draft of the MAASTRICHT TREATY (also called TEU)

which was signed in Maastricht in 1992 and still in force since 1993.

There were originally seven titles in the TEU:

Title I provisions”

 “common

Title II, III and IV Pillar amendments to the EEC, ECSC and Erratum

 First

Treaties respectively

Title V Pillar of the Common Foreign and Security Policy

 Second

Title VI the Third Pillar of Justice and Home Affairs

 

Title VII provisions. T

 final

“This Treaty marks a new stage in the process of creating an ever

Article A:

closer union among the peoples of Europe, in which decisions are taken as

closely as possible to the citizen”.

The most important change has been the introduction of the 3 pillars structure:

1) THE COMMUNITY PILLAR: there were three communities: EURATOM, ECSC,

EEC. There is more supranational decision-making structure;


general. More intergovernmental and less supranational decision-making


3) THE JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS PILLAR: included cooperation on a range of

international crime issues and various forms of judicial, customs and police

cooperation, including the establishment of a European Police Office (Europol)

for exchanging information. The decision-making process was more


Two kinds of changes:


 Increasing European Parliament legislative power, introducing co-decision

 procedure under article 251 TEC

Giving the European Parliament the power to request the Commission to

 initiate legislation or the power to block the appointment of a new


European Central Bank (ECB) and a European Central Bank System

 (ECBS); article 8 TEC;

Parliamentary Ombudsman, an individual who has the power of

 controlling over the EP administrative activities;

Committee of the Regions


 Subsidiarity principle, by which different matters are divided for the aim

 of intervening between European Institutions and Member States on their


European Citizenship statues, by which Member Stats’ citizens own some

 specific rights because of they come from a Community State;

Economic and Monetary Union (EMU);

 New areas of competences felt under European Community Jurisdiction.


In 1995: Finland, Austria and Sweden.


The Amsterdam Treaty was signed on 2 October 1997 and came into effect on

1 May 1999. It deleted obsolete provisions from the EC Treaty (TEC), adapted

others, and renumbered all the Articles of the TEU and the EC Treaty.

Some horizontal changes:

• Community pillar: incorporation into the Community Pillar of a large part of

the former Third Pillar on free movement of persons, covering visas, asylum,

immigration and judicial cooperation in civil matters. The aim of this title and

that of the amended third Pillar was to establish “an area of freedom, justice

and security” (AFSJ). Some matters covered under the remaining two pillars has

been included in the first pillar: “communitarization”, meaning a more

supranational structure of the EU;

• CFSP pillar: no big changes with the exception of the Secretary General of the

Council who was also nominated as “High Representative” for the CFSP to

assist the Council Presidency, it’s a sort of Minister of Foreign Affairs for the EU;

• PJCC pillar renominated “Police and Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters”

(PCJJ): its aim is to provide citizens with a high level of safety within an area of

freedom, security, and justice, by developing “common action” in three areas:

police cooperation in criminal matters, judicial cooperation in criminal matters,

and the prevention and combating of racism and xenophobia.


The Treaty of Nice was signed by European leaders on 26 February 2001 and

came into force on 1 February 2003.

In 2000 was also concluded the Nice Charter, a charter of fundamental rights

for the EU, which was a soft law document, then, with Lisbon Treaty in 2007, it

will acquire legal force. One of the most important changes dealt with the

adoption of the common currency, the EURO, by some MS on the 1st January

2002, within the Economic and Monetary Union; not all Member States have

adopted the EURO (UK, Ireland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary,

Denmark, Poland, Romania, Sweden). In 2004 there was an enlargement which

brought 10 States within the EU, which are : Czech Rep., Estonia, Cyprus,

Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia. The Nice Treaty

modified only the first pillar (the Community Pillar) extending the co-decision

procedure to other matters, instead the second and the third pillars were not



The Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe (TCE) was an unratified

international treaty intended to create a consolidated constitution for the

European Union (EU). It would have replaced the existing European Union

treaties with a single text, given legal force to the Charter of Fundamental

Rights, and expanded Qualified Majority Voting into policy areas which had

previously been decided by unanimity among MS. In December 2001, the

Laeken European Council was created in order to discuss over a reform process

to be taken, which had to be contained in the so called “Constitutional Treaty”.

This reform process had to be intended as a “constitutionalization” of the EU,

meaning that the “treaty system” adopted until that moment had to be

abandoned, in order to create a Constitution which had to contain all the

previsions about EU.

The Laeken European Council was composed of:

Representatives from national governments (3)

 National parliaments (2)

 Parliament (2)

 Commission (2)

 Accession countries

 Chairman (1) d’Estaing as

 Giscard

Vice-chairmen (2) Amato and Dehaene

 

We can highlight 4 parts of the Constitutional Treaty:

- Part I: basic objectives, fundamental rights, institutional division of power;

- Part II: Charter;

- Part III: policies and functions;

- Part IV: final provisions.

The Treaty was signed on 29 October 2004 by representatives of the then 25

member states of the European Union and it was later ratified by 18 member

states. The rejection of the document by French and Dutch voters in May and

June 2005 brought the ratification process to an end.


The Treaty of Lisbon was created to replace the Constitutional Treaty and was

forged by Member States and Community institutions.

The Treaty was signed on 13 December 2007 and entered into force on 1

December 2009.

By the end of 2007, the IGC produced a document, initially named the Reform

Treaty, but then called the Lisbon Treaty, which has been ratified by each MS

(Unanimity Principle), but Ireland, in a first referendum, decided to withdraw

from the Treaty; with a second referendum, in Ireland, Irish citizens wanted to

ratify the Treaty. The reluctance of Czech president to ratify the document

because there were some provisions which went against the Czech Constitution

so many statements has been cut down by the Czech Constitutional Court.

The Lisbon Treaty has seven Articles, of which Article 1 TEU amends the Treaty

on European Union and contains core principles governing the EU (EU replaces

EC and it had legal personality) and CFSP, Art. 2 amends the EC Treaty

renamed TFEU. The TEU and the TFEU have the same legal value; EU is no

more founded on the “pillars structure”.

Art.1 TEU

Art.2 TFEU

Further enlargements:

- 2007: Bulgaria and Romania;

- 2013: Croatia.

9. ASYMMETRIES in the membership: the case of UK.

Examples of Asymmetry.

• Economic and monetary union. Not all MS have euro, they are called

“Eurosceptic” countries: UK, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Czech Republic,

Hungary, Romania, Sweden, Poland, etc.

• Schengen area in migration matters. The Schengen Convention covers an

agreement finalized to support free circulation across member states

territories. Some States did not undertaken it with the consequence that is not

possible talking about free circulation over there.

•UK case: United Kingdom always had a special status within EU context.

Its position affects a particularly complicated issue due to the 2016

referendum about Brexit.

In 2017 UK Supreme Court recognized that EU law is directly binding

National authorities. The consequence was the necessity to first consultate

Parliament to correctly adopting the procedures ex. art. 50 of TEU.

There is a paradox: EU may lost any residual power on UK even tho it had

consistently kindly approach to UK institutions.

Different settlement:

SOFT BREXIT: the country could have several advantages even tho it

 wouldn’t be part of EU. The problems of this option are that every MS

could decide to withdraw and paradoxically get more benefits than


HARD BREXIT: UK abandon the EU and all its treaties and institutions.

 So it exit from the single market, too.



Article 13 of the TEU under its first paragraph provides for a list of the

European Institutions.

The Union's institutions shall be:

— European Parliament,

— European Council,

— Council,

— European Commission

— Court of Justice of the European Union, , the Court of Auditors

— European Central Bank

According to the second paragraph of article 13, we have two different



relation between EU institutions and member states.

Paragraph 4 The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission shall be

assisted by an Economic and Social Committee and a Committee of the


They are not defined as institutions and have limited powers. The main function

is supporting other institutions.

There are other entities: European Investment Bank (gives support to countries

who are actually facing financial concerns), Agencies (deals with several issues

as it come to migration and so on), High Representative (he/she covers

different tasks).

There’s no rigid separation of powers.


The European Commission, according to the article 17 TEU, has the power of

promoting the EU integration and is the “guardian of treaties”. Commissioners

must have general competence and must be independent.

Commissioners term should be of five years.

Article 17.4 TEU provides for the SIZE of the Commission, which shall be

formed of one national of each Member State, including the President and the

High Representative, who shall be one of its Vice-Presidents, but, according to


17.4 TEU, the size of the Commission should be this way until 31 October 2014,

then, from 1 November 2014 on, article 17.5 TEU is applied, providing that the

number of the Commissioners shall be the two third of the number of the

Member States, including the President and the High Representative.

According to article 17.6 TEU, the President of the Commission shall lay down

guidelines for the Commission, by deciding on the internal organization of the

Commission and appoint V

ice-Presidents .

Article 17.7 provides for the APPOINTMENT of the Commission and of the

President, claiming that the European Council, acting by a qualified majority,

shall propose to the European Parliament a candidate for President of the

Commission. The Council, by common accord with the President-elected, shall

adopt the list of the other persons whom it proposed for appointment as

members of the Commission. The President, the High Representative and the

other members of the Commission shall be subject as a body to a vote of

consent by the European Parliament. On the basis of this consent the

Commission shall be appointed by the European Council, acting by a qualified


Two type of removals:

1. individual removals: (article 247 TFEU; article 17.6 TEU) a Commissioner

or the High Representative shall resign if the President of the Commission so

requests. Under no circumstances the EP can force a single Commissioner to


2. collective removals: (article 17.8 TUE; article 234 TFUE) the EP may vote on

a motion of censure of the Commission, forcing both the Commission and the

High Representative to resign. weekly

The decision-making proceeding operates in 4 different ways: A.

meetings, usually on Wednesday;

written procedure,

B. the i.e. a proposal sent to the Commissioners and if

there is no objection whiten a specified period of time, the decision is taken;


C. i.e. the decision of the Commission to give the power of

taking a decision to one of the Commissioners, respecting the principle of

collective responsibility;

the Commission delegates the Directors General and Heads of Service for


taking some decisions.

Talking about the Commission bureaucracy, every Commissioner has:


a) a (i.e. the list of different matters with which every Commissioner


the Commission decides to whom attribute every portfolio;

Director General

b) holds a Directorate General: these DGs cover almost

every matter on which the Commission has the power to decide.

Heads of Division/Unit;


d) consultations

There are even with national civil servants.

The power of the Commission, provided under article 17 TEU, are divided in:

legislative power: the power of legislative initiative, so it’s know as “motor of

integration” of the EU, then, the Commission has to develop once a year an

overall legislative plan, which shall contain the guidelines for the forthcoming

year reforms. The Commission has san autonomous legislative powe r,

according to which this organ can adopt a legislative act without involving any

other EU Institution;

administrative power: power of managing programs

• and policies, once a

legislative act has been approved by the Commission, it has to be implemented

into domestic laws.

executive power: the Commission prepares and approves the EU budget, it

plays an important role within the external relations, indeed it negotiates

international treaties;

quasi-judicial power: the Commission has two kinds of judicial powers: first of

all there is the power for which the Commission must control the application of

the EU law; if a branch is found, then the Commission must bring the case

before the CJEU (infringement proceeding). The second judicial power is that for

which the Commission acts, only in some matters, as investigator and initial



The Council (or Coucil of Ministers) is regulated by the article 16 TEU. At the

paragraph 2 of this article, it’s provided that the Council shall consist of a

representative from each Member State at ministerial level.

The Council meets in Brussels on the request of the Commission, of the


of the Council or of one of the members of the Council.

Council meetings are divided in two parts: legislative acts (be public meetings)

and non-legislative acts.

The Council has different formations, but three of them are most relevant:


Council (Economic and Finance matters), Foreign Affairs Council (which is

chaired by the High Representative) and General Affairs Council (which deals

with matters being at the crossroad of various formations).

The Presidency of the Council is formed of a bureau, composed of three States

(Estonia, Bulgaria, Austria). The President of the Council, six mouths before

taking the office, together with the High Representative, the Commission and

the President of the European Council, prepares a list of the activities to be

made by the Council in an eighteen mouths term.

The drafts to be discussed by the Council are prepared by the so called


of the Permanent Representatives (COREPER). It has two different formations:

COREPER 1 (which is composed of deputy permanent representative of

Member States) and COREPER 2 ( composed of ambassadors) dealing with

different matters. They both in the “consensus” way (raising the hand for not

letting the acts pass).

The Council has a Secretariat, which is held by Secretary General. It deals with

translations, logistic matters and so on.

Talking about the powers of the Council, there are:

1. legislative power: the Council shall adopt legislative acts, in pair with the

EP, usually with the principle of qualified majorit y, unless a Treaty claims

otherwise. Article 16.4 explains us more clearly what is the qualified majority,

claiming that

it “shall be defined as at least 55% of the Members of the Council, comprising

at least fifteen of them” and those Member States must represent at least 65 %

of the population of the Union. It’s provided that a blocking minority must be

formed at least of 4 member States;

initiative power: according to article 241 TFEU, the Council may request


to the Commission, acting by a simple majority, to undertake a proposal in

order to achieve in a better way a common objective;

3. delegated power: the Council may delegate the Commission to adopt acts

without the involvement of itself;

the power of approving EU’s budget in pair with the EP;


5. the power of concluding international agreements in pair with the


6. the power of preparing works of the European Council.

Council covers a fundamental role in the area of Foreign and Security policy

(CSFP) and in the area of Freedom and Security Justice (AFSJ).


Article 15.2 TEU, The European Council is composed of Heads of State or

Government of the Member States, so it’s composed only of politicians at the

highest level. Member States decide whom to send to the European Council.

Article 15.3 TEU, the European Council shall meet twice every six months,

convened by its President, which can also convene special meetings.

The General Affairs Council prepares the works of the European Council. Powers

and functions of the European Council are listed under article 15.1 TEU and

they are:

creation of IGC (Intergovernmental Conference) amending the treaties

economic affairs

resolution of conflicts

external relations enlargements and accessions

The President of the European Council, according to article 15.5 TEU, shall be

elected by the European Council, acting by qualified majority, and stays in

charge for two and a half years, renewable.

Article 15.6 TEU provides for a list of competences of the President, who:

1) shall chair it and drive forward its work;

shall ensure its good work, according to what is claimed by the General




3) shall facilitate cohesion and consensus within the European Council;

4) shall present a summary after each meeting.


Art. 14.2 TEU says that members of European parliament are directly elected

by EU citizens.

The maximum number for each MS shall not exceed 96 units with a slight

preference to the most populous States. Smaller ones count on the minimum of

six units.

Art.14.3 TEU says that the members of the European Parliament shall be

elected for a term of five years by direct universal suffrage.

The Parliamentary organs are:

Bureau, composed by President of European Parliament and the 14 vice -

presidents of it (Parliament). It has the competence to set up administrative

affairs and solve organizational issues. It also draws up EP’s preliminary draft


Quaestors, empowered to hold advisory competence;

Secretariat that deals with additional levels of administrative stuff.

Conference of Presidents composed by EP President and ‘’chair men’’ of

political groups. It manages the agenda of the institution and prioritizes

arguments to be discussed.

Group of 20 committees that deals with several matters as environment,

national security, internal affairs and so on.


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Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in giurisprudenza
A.A.: 2018-2019

I contenuti di questa pagina costituiscono rielaborazioni personali del Publisher martaqui di informazioni apprese con la frequenza delle lezioni di European Union Law e studio autonomo di eventuali libri di riferimento in preparazione dell'esame finale o della tesi. Non devono intendersi come materiale ufficiale dell'università Guido Carli - Luiss o del prof Gallo Daniele.

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