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The European Union: Problems and Prospects. EU as a partial polity Successful in some areas –Creation of a single market with a common framework of law.

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Presentation on theme: "The European Union: Problems and Prospects. EU as a partial polity Successful in some areas –Creation of a single market with a common framework of law."— Presentation transcript:

1 The European Union: Problems and Prospects

2 EU as a partial polity Successful in some areas –Creation of a single market with a common framework of law and regulation –Protection of agriculture –Regional policy Less successful international affairs –Able to speak for member states in trade policy –Great difficulty in achieving single voice on security matters

3 Explanations: EU institutions can find and build consensus through discussion and negotiation –Member-states willing to delegate authority where it serves their interests –Less willing to do so where Alternate structures and choices are available Foreign and security policy –alternate structures develop and persist NATO – cold war architecture United Nations

4 Institutions The Commission –College of Commissioners 2 from larger member-states 1 from the others –Directorates General Acts as source of initiative –Proposes new policies in consultation with expert committees –Encourages member-states to carry out regulations and directives Tries to formulate policies acceptable to member-states and European parliament

5 Council of Ministers Represents member-states –Meets in subject area or thematic councils Combines legislative and some executive functions –Can approve or reject proposals from Commission and European Parliament –Decides by qualified majority voting (QMV) –However seeks consensus whenever possible Permanent representatives ( member-state ambassadors (COREPER) – review proposals – maintain constant liaison with their governments

6 European Parliament Directly elected Organized by European level parties –Party of European Socialists –European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) –European Liberals and Democrats… Tries to increase power by –Claiming popular legitimacy –Amending policies –taking advantage of legislative procedures

7 European Council Brings together heads of government in biannual meetings Agenda set by country holding the rotating presidency Sets general policy directions Tries to resolve disputes, outline new directions

8 EU decision-making process Work by ‘community method’ Commission, in consultation with member- states, European-level interest groups, tries to formulate policies which can be approved by qualified majority Institutions provide opportunity to find areas of agreement –a slow, protracted process –One which works because There are shared interests In most instances, unanimity is not required QMV encourages member-states to get involved

9 EU foreign policy: Fragmented: –Commission speaks for EU on trade policy, assistance to third countries several commissioners involved: –External relations –Trade –Enlargement –Development aid –“Second pillar” Common foreign and security policy Formulated by European Council and General Affairs Council (foreign ministers) High representative (after Amsterdam Treaty)

10 Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) New policy area: –Shadow of cold war security architecture CFSP “under construction” –development of mechanisms for discussion and analysis –Underdeveloped military structures Possibility of action via joint strike force, troops withdrawn from NATO Broader problem: –Finding consensus –Willingness of member-states to act –Relationship to US

11 Successes and failures Successes: –Association agreements –Common strategies vis a vis Russia, Ukraine, Mediterranean rim Problems –Former Yugoslavia: Disagreements on recognition Involvement in Macedonia along side UN –Peacekeeping –Rwanda –Iraq

12 Enlargement: consequences and implications Terms: –Member-states must fulfill variety of conditions Liberal democratic form of government Accept ‘acqui’ – EU laws and policies developed to date Problems: –Disparities in wealth, development –Bringing in new member-states on an equal basis –Acculturating them to new institutions –Modifying institutions to make them work –Finding new basis of consensus and understanding


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