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European-Union-Law-Fox-Sp07

European-Union-Law-Fox-Sp07 - European Union Law Outline...

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European Union Law Outline Prof. Eleanor Fox – Spring 2007 EU History and Institutions History Constitutional Treaty France and Netherlands failed to ratify it France - voted on things not really dealt with by Constitution, also a vote of no-confidence for Chirac proposed provisions would make European Council an institution Presidency more permanent than the 6 month rotation Commission – might do rotating terms – 27 or more seems like too many commissioners, so they might do one from each until 2014, and then start rotating would have a Minister for Foreign Affairs – appointed by the Council? qualified majority – would become double majority 55% of Member States, with 65% of the population – a blocking minority must include at least 4 countries Parliament – would increase to 750, small countries would be guaranteed 6, largest capped at 96 retain one judge from each Member State, name of Court of First Instance would be changed to High Court, retain number of Advocates General (but could be increased) would have to sign WTO agreements supremacy of law of EC (within its competencies) Charter of Fundamental Rights incorporated Federalism v. Confederate model economic plane cultural plane – fear of losing sovereignty, a way of life, nationality UK – wants wider Europe least pro-federal non-interventionist State Germany – wants deeper Europe most pro-federal interventionist State foreign policy should there be a single European voice? lowest common denominator? could counter-balance the US democracy / accountability democratic deficit Comm’n not really accountable to Parliament or representative of majority political parties P not sole legislator (lacks power, can’t initiate legislation) better with codecision Constitutional Treaty wants more accountability send proposals to nat’l legislatures supranational law EC Treaty is like a Constitution – some provisions are tantamount to a Constitution (institutional structure), some human rights stuff, some stuff like legislation (Competition law stuff) Institutions European Commission - commissioner from each member state – the heart of the bureaucracy initiates legislation – send it to Council and Parliament the Executive body – located in Brussels; enforces legislation, can bring claims and make decisions Commissioners are assigned portfolios (1 or 2 – departments / ministries - directorates) – 6 year terms Council of Ministers - made up of heads of state (or ministers of relevant departments) adopts legislation – can take legal action voting is very important – qualified majority v. unanimous (depending on type of legislation) weighted voting in Treaty, based loosely on population began as main legislative body (since become co-legislative body ) European Council - heads of state convene 3-4 times a year , and initiate policy
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