Flashcards in European Union Deck (53)
What does supranational mean (in the context of the EU)?
National governments transfer sovereignty to the EU to have decision-making authority, which then takes primacy over domestic laws
How did the EU originally begin? (which were the member states, what year was it created, what was its initial name and function, what was the purpose of the union)
In 1950, 6 countries (Italy, Luxembourg, Belgium, France, Netherlands and West Germany), established the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) to control the trade of coal and steel between them (removed tariffs). This was to foster economic cooperation so as to reduce the likelihood of future conflict/warfare.
What was the Treaty of Rome? When was it signed?
Treaty of Rome 1957 created the European Economic Community (EEC) (extended control of trade to all goods and services) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) (develops nuclear technology for the EU).
When did the 3 European communities merge? What was the name of the merged community?
European Community established in 1965
When did the UK join the EU? Why did it not join earlier?
UK joined in 1973 as the French President Charles de Gaulle vetoed British membership twice in the 1960s
What developments occurred in the EU during the 1970s?
European Monetary System and Exchange Rate Mechanisms established
Describe the UK's membership of the Exchange Rate Mechanism
UK was forced out of the system after it failed to keep within the stipulated boundaries for its currency value
What is the Single European Ac? When was it signed?
An Act in 1986 that created the single market within the EU by removing technical (ie. standards and quality inspections), fiscal (ie. tariffs) and physical (ie. border checks) barriers regarding the trading of goods and services
What is the Maastricht Treaty? When was it signed?
Maastricht Treaty 1992 established the EU by adding a justice and home affairs department and expanding the role of the EU to include common foreign and defence policy
When was the Eurozone created? What did it do?
Created in 1999, countries joining the Eurozone ceded monetary policy to the European Central Bank and transferred sovereignty of their national currency to the Bank by switching to the Euro (common currency)
What are two pieces of EU legislation that the UK has opted out of? Why?
1. Social Chapter (common social policy, including working hours) - UK has a right-wing, free-market approach whilst EU has a left-wing, worker-oriented approach
2. EMU and euro - UK did not want to cede monetary policy to a foreign bank after 2 decades of inflationary crisis + UK economy is service-based whilst most EU countries have goods-based economies (hence economic conditions may not be compatible)
What is the Stability and Growth Pact? What are two examples of its provisions?
Regulations for countries joining the Eurozone (eg. GDP-to-debt ratio must not be above 60% and deficit must not be above 3% of GDP)
What can be said about public understanding and engagement with the widening and deepening of the EU?
As the functions of the EU increased, public understood it less; as the EU enlarged, public felt it became out-of-touch
What year did 10 countries join the EU?
What are the 4 significant EU treaties (in your syllabus)?
1. Amsterdam Treaty
2. Nice Treaty
3. EU Constitutional Treaty
4. Lisbon Treaty
What did the Amsterdam Treaty do?
Established an area of 'freedom, security and justice) by establishing free movement of people, gaining sovereignty over civil and criminal law and common foreign and security policy
What did the Nice Treaty do?
Established common defence policy
What is the significance of the EU Constitutional Treaty?
Treaty never came into force as France and the Netherlands vetoed it -> member states can halt the transfer of sovereignty to the EU (Treaty wanted to codify all treaties into a constitution, making EU law harder to repeal)
What did the Lisbon Treaty do?
Watered down version of the EU Constitutional Treaty (created position of the President of the EU, increased the number of double majority voting in the Council of Ministers rather than unanimous voting, allowed member states to leave the EU)
What are the institutions of the EU? (5)
1. European Commission
2. European Parliament
3. Council of Ministers
4. European Council
5. European Court of Justice
What is the composition of the European Commission? (3)
- President (elected by MEPs)
- College of Commissioners (28 members - 1 from each member state, however they are not representatives of their nation; act impartially) given portfolios of a policy area
- European civil service
What are the powers of the European Commission? (4)
- propose legislation
- implement legislation
- propose budget
- head of civil service
What is the composition of the European Parliament?
- 751 MEPs (countries allocated MEPs based on population size - UK has 73)
- MEPs directly elected through proportional representation by public
What are the powers of the European Parliament? (3)
- co-legislator (can veto legislation proposed by the European Commission)
- cannot propose legislation (however can submit a request to the European Commission to propose a piece of legislation however EC need not carry this out)
- elect the President of the EC and approve of the College of Commissioners
What is an example of the European Parliament vetoing a piece of legislation?
EP vetoed an Act regarding the sugar content in baby food, stating that the threshold was too high
What is the composition of the Council of Minsters?
- government ministers from each member state
What are the powers of the Council of Ministers? (5 policy areas)
Legislates on the budget, agriculture, foreign policy, security and defence
What is the European Council?
A meeting between PM and foreign ministers of each member state several times a year
What are the powers of the European Council?
Determines the strategies, agenda and political direction of the EU