European Union Law
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”
Title II, III and IV Pillar amendments to the EEC, ECSC and Erratum
Title V Pillar of the Common Foreign and Security Policy
Title VI the Third Pillar of Justice and Home Affairs
Title VII provisions. T
“This Treaty marks a new stage in the process of creating an ever
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;
2) THE COMMON FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY PILLAR: external actions in
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.
8. ENLARGEMENTS in the EU
In 1995: Finland, Austria and Sweden.
9. TREATY OF AMSTERDAM
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.
10. NICE TREATY AND THE EURO
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
11. THE CONSTITUTIONAL TREATY
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)
Chairman (1) d’Estaing as
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.
12. LISBON TREATY
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
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”.
- 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.
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.
1.GENERAL REMARKS AND OVERVIEW
Article 13 of the TEU under its first paragraph provides for a list of the
The Union's institutions shall be:
— European Parliament,
— European 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
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
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;
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
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;
b) holds a Directorate General: these DGs cover almost
every matter on which the Commission has the power to decide.
Heads of Division/Unit;
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
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,
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).
4. EUROPEAN COUNCIL
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
creation of IGC (Intergovernmental Conference) amending the treaties
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.
5. EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
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
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.
+1 anno fa
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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