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THE EUROPEAN UNION Dr. Afxendiou Sachem North High School 2010-11.

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Presentation on theme: "THE EUROPEAN UNION Dr. Afxendiou Sachem North High School 2010-11."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE EUROPEAN UNION Dr. Afxendiou Sachem North High School 2010-11

2 THE HISTORY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION 1949 – Council of Europe – little power but an opportunity for national leaders to meet 1950 – European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) 1957 – European Economic Community (EEC) Treaty of Rome “Common Market” – elimination of tariffs between member states Focus is strictly economic

3 THE HISTORY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION 1965 – European Community (EC) Tries to expand beyond economy Focus the peaceful use of atomic energy Community limited by disagreements as to how much power the EC should have; fears of weakened national sovereignty

4 THE HISTORY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION 1991 – European Union (EU) Maastricht Treaty establishes a political unit with authorities beyond the economic sphere but it is still the strongest Monetary policy Foreign affairs National security Transportation Environment Justice Tourism

5 THE HISTORY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION Maastrict Treaty (Continued) Sets the THREE PILLARS (spheres of authority) I. Trade and Economic Matters Economic and monetary union into single currency Creation of European Central Bank II. Justice and Home Affairs Asylum Border crossing Immigration Judicial cooperation on crime and terrorism

6 THE HISTORY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION Maastrict Treaty (Continued) III. Foreign and Security Policy Joint positions and actions Common defense policy

7 MEMBERSHIP TO THE EU On-going expansion – 27 member states 1957 – began with 6 members Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands 1970s – added: Denmark, Great Britain, Ireland 1981 – added: Greece

8 MEMBERSHIP TO THE EU 1986 – added: Portugal, Spain 1995 – added: Austria, Finland, Sweden 2004 – added: Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia 2007 – added: Bulgaria, Romania

9 MEMBERSHIP TO THE EU Criteria for membership Stable and functioning democracy Market oriented economy Willingness to accept all EU laws and regulations Difficulties of increased membership Difficult to organize 27 countries Weak economies added to the EU – fear of immigration

10 ORGANIZATION OF THE EU 4 Major bodies – Commission, Council of Ministers, European Court of Justice, European Parliament

11 ORGANIZATION OF THE EU COMMISSION 1 member from each state members called Commissioners A bureaucracy of several 1000s of civil servants headed by a president – president serves 6 month term Each commissioner heads a department responsible for a particular area of policy Commissioners nominated by national governments but take oath of allegiance to EU and are not supposed to take direction from their national governments Commission’s main responsibility to initiate and implement new programs; to supervise the work of the EU like a national cabinet

12 HOW LEGISLATION IS PASSED IN THE EUROPEAN UNION European Commission drafts proposed new law after discussion of existing problem for EU members European Council consults the European Economic and Social Committee AND Committee of the Regions to negotiate with member countries about proposed law, Parliament considers proposed law and Council’s feedback and has 3 options Rejects proposed law Asks for changes or amendements to proposed law Approves proposed law Proposed law dies Consiliation Committee formed to make changes and rewrite proposed law New Law Adopted by EU

13 ORGANIZATION OF THE EU COUNCIL OF MINISTERS Consists of foreign ministers, finance ministers, president of France and all prime ministers of member states Heads of state meet every 6 months as the EUROPEAN COUNCIL. They are central to the legislative process – Commission proposals become law only after approval by Council. Each country gets votes in proportion to its population

14 ORGANIZATION OF THE EU EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT Limited legislative power 750 members (MEPs). Each country gets a number of representatives proportional to the number of its citizens. Maximum 96 (Germany), minimum 6 Members voted every 5 years by the people of their respective countries so they are not dependent on their national government.

15 ORGANIZATION OF THE EU EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE (EJC) The Supreme Court of the EU; has power of judicial review Interprets European law. Its decisions may limit national sovereignty; more powerful than national judicial systems. Hears cases of disagreements among Commissioners, Council of Ministers, and members of parliament Settles disputes among member nations, private companies and individuals 27 judges

16 POLICY MAKING POWER OF THE EU Creating and maintaining a single internal market – No tariffs Recognition of professional licenses in all member states (except lawyers) Union of monetary policy (control of the money supply) Euro replaced old national currencies (except Britain and Sweden) Sets basic interest rates and fiscal policy

17 POLICY MAKING POWER OF THE EU Common agricultural policy Less successful than other policies 44% of EU’s budget goes to these policies Focus on modernizing production through farm subsidies Not very successful

18 POLICY MAKING POWER OF THE EU Common Defense Most recent so less well developed policies Crisis management tasks – focus on common security and defense of member states Humanitarian Rescue peacemaking

19 POLICY MAKING POWER OF THE EU Justice and Home Affairs – Treaty of Amsterdam 1997 Focus on free movement – development of new policies on visas, asylum and immigration Cooperation among national police forces and judicial authorities in combating crime Terrorism Attacks on Spain (2004) and Britain (2005) Discussion with US on border and transportation security

20 EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION 2004 Treaty establishing European Constitution Intention – to replace overlapping treaties; to streamline decision-making After initial failures, ratified by all members and came into effect DECEMBER 1, 2009

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