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1 THE EUROPEAN UNION Institutions and Legal Framework Michele Colucci Web site: Parma.

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Presentation on theme: "1 THE EUROPEAN UNION Institutions and Legal Framework Michele Colucci Web site: Parma."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 THE EUROPEAN UNION Institutions and Legal Framework Michele Colucci Web site: Parma 8-9 November 2006

2 2 PURPOSES OF THIS COURSE INTRODUCING THE EU UNDERSTANDING THE EU INSTITUTIONS MECHANISM EU LAW IN MOTION

3 3 What is the European Union? A DREAM... –Monnet, Schuman, Spinelli,... A REALITY –As of : 27 Member States, one currency for 13 Member States, more than people united in diversity! A HOPE –Peace and prosperity

4 4 HISTORIC STEPS Treaty of Paris, which set up the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1951 (expired on 23 of July 2002); Treaties of Rome, which set up the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) in Single European Act (1986); Treaty of the European Union (Maastricht, 1992); Treaty of Nice (2001). Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe signed in Rome on 29 october 2004 but not ratified yet

5 5 THE EUROPEAN UNION: A political and economic structure

6 6 THE INSTITUTIONS THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT THE COURT OF JUSTICE THE COURT OF AUDITORS

7 7 OTHER INSTITUTIONS THE COMMITTEE OF REGIONS THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE THE EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK AGENCIES

8 8 THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION Structure PRESIDENT AND 25 COMMISSIONERS (2006) Secretariat General, Legal Service 36 DIRECTORATES- GENERAL (DGs):Agriculture, Environment, Employment and Social Affaires,Transport, and so on.

9 9 The European Commission Role INITIATOR OF LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS GUARDIAN OF THE TREATIES EXECUTIVE ARM OF THE EU MOUTHPIECE FOR THE EU AT INTERNATIONAL LEVEL

10 10 THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT Structure 732 Members from all 25 EU countries – Malta (5 seats), Germany (99 seats) 7 Europe-wide political groups 17 committees Administrative offices in Luxembourg Plenary sessions in Strasbourg Committee meetings in Brussels

11 11 THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ROLE PASSING EUROPEAN LAWS – jointly with the Council DEMOCRATIC SUPERVISOR over the other EU institutions POWER OF PURSUE

12 12 THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION Structure One minister from each Member State 9 different Council configurations Presidency: rotation every six months Location: Brussels

13 13 The Council of the European Union Role To pass EU legislation To coordinate economic and social policies of MS To conclude international agreements between the EU and other countries To approve the EUs budget To develop the EUs CFSP To coordinata cooperation in the area of Freedom, security ans justice

14 14 The Council of the European Union Organisation COREPER The Council Presidency The General Secretariat

15 15 The Council of the European Union voting system UNANIMITY –CFSP –Taxation –Asylum and Immigration policy Qualified Majority voting (in some cases a two thirds majority) and –minimum of 232 votes is cast in favour –representation of at least 62% population

16 16 THE COURT OF JUSTICE Structure 1 judge from each MS (25 in total) for 6 years; 8 advocates-general It seats as: –Full court –« Grand chamber » of 13 judges –Chambers of 5 or 3 judges

17 17 THE COURT OF JUSTICE Role to ensure that: – EU law is complied with. – Treaties are correctly interpreted and applied. It intervenes by: –References for a preliminary ruling –Actions for failure to fulfil an obligation –Actions for annulment –Actions for failure to act.

18 18 CoJ: the procedure Written phase: –Written statements from the parties –Reports by judges Oral phase –Public hearing Opinion from the advocate General Judgement decided by a majority

19 19 COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE and EUROPEAN CIVIL SERVICE TRIBUNAL CFI: Created in 1989 Cases on: –Actions brought by private individuals –Competition law ECST –7 judges –Disputes between EU/civil servants

20 20 The Court of Auditors checks that : –all the European Union's revenue has been received; –all its expenditure incurred in a lawful and regular manner –EU budget has been managed soundly.

21 21 The EESC and the CoR EESC: –317 members: Workers, Employers, others (NGOs, Academics) –Consultation role CoR: –317 members: regional and local authorities –Consultation role

22 22 The way ahead From six to 27 MS:Revision of the decision making system Definition of the aims and objectives of the Union Definition of the EU and MS competences Keeping in mind that ….

23 23 WE DO NOT UNITE STATES, WE UNITE PEOPLE. Jean Monnet ( )


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