The European Union is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. It has an area of 4,475,757 km2, the EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states. Within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished, a monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002, and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency. The EU operates through a system of supranational and intergovernmental decision-making. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community, the community and its successors have grown in size by the accession of new member states and in power by the addition of policy areas to its remit. While no member state has left the EU or its antecedent organisations, the Maastricht Treaty established the European Union in 1993 and introduced European citizenship. The latest major amendment to the basis of the EU. The EU as a whole is the largest economy in the world, additionally,27 out of 28 EU countries have a very high Human Development Index, according to the United Nations Development Programme.
In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, through the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the EU has developed a role in external relations and defence. The union maintains permanent diplomatic missions throughout the world and represents itself at the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G7, because of its global influence, the European Union has been described as an emerging superpower. After World War II, European integration was seen as an antidote to the nationalism which had devastated the continent. 1952 saw the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community, the supporters of the Community included Alcide De Gasperi, Jean Monnet, Robert Schuman, and Paul-Henri Spaak. These men and others are credited as the Founding fathers of the European Union. In 1957, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany signed the Treaty of Rome and they signed another pact creating the European Atomic Energy Community for co-operation in developing nuclear energy. Both treaties came into force in 1958, the EEC and Euratom were created separately from the ECSC, although they shared the same courts and the Common Assembly.
The EEC was headed by Walter Hallstein and Euratom was headed by Louis Armand, Euratom was to integrate sectors in nuclear energy while the EEC would develop a customs union among members. During the 1960s, tensions began to show, with France seeking to limit supranational power, Jean Rey presided over the first merged Commission. In 1973, the Communities enlarged to include Denmark, Norway had negotiated to join at the same time, but Norwegian voters rejected membership in a referendum
European Coal and Steel Community
The European Coal and Steel Community was an organisation of 6 European countries set up after World War II to regulate their industrial production under a centralised authority. It was formally established in 1951 by the Treaty of Paris, signed by Belgium, West Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The ECSC was the first international organisation to be based on the principles of supranationalism, the ECSC was first proposed by French foreign minister Robert Schuman on 9 May 1950 as a way to prevent further war between France and Germany. He declared his aim was to make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible which was to be achieved by regional integration, of which the ECSC was the first step. The Treaty would create a market for coal and steel among its member states which served to neutralise competition between European nations over natural resources, particularly in the Ruhr. These would ultimately form the blueprint for todays European Commission, European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, the 1967 Merger Treaty led to all of ECSCs institutions to merge into that of the European Economic Community, but the ECSC retained its own independent legal personality.
In 2002, the Treaty of Paris expired and the ECSC ceased to exist in any form, its activities fully absorbed by the European Community under the framework of Amsterdam and Nice treaties. Despite stiff ultra-nationalist and communist opposition, the French Assembly voted a number of resolutions in favour of his new policy of integrating Germany into a community, the International Authority for the Ruhr changed in consequence. Schumans guiding principles were moral, based on the equality of states, the Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950 occurred after two Cabinet meetings, when the proposal became French government policy. France was thus the first government to agree to surrender sovereignty in a supranational Community and it laid out a plan for a European Community to pool the coal and steel of its members in a common market. Such an act was intended to help economic growth and cement peace between France and Germany, who were historic enemies and steel were vital resources needed for a country to wage war, so pooling those resources between two such enemies was seen as more than symbolic.
Schuman saw the decision of the French government on his proposal as the first example of a democratic and supranational Community, a new development in world history. The plan was seen by some, like Monnet, who crossed out Reuters mention of supranational in the draft and inserted federation. The Schuman Declaration that created the ECSC had several distinct aims and it would make war between member states impossible. It would transform Europe in a step by step process leading to the unification of Europe democratically and it would create the worlds first supranational institution. It would create the worlds first international anti-cartel agency and it would create a common market across the Community. It would, starting with the coal and steel sector, revitalise the whole European economy by similar community processes and it would improve the world economy and the developing countries, such as those in Africa. Firstly, it was intended to prevent further war between France and Germany and other states by tackling the cause of war
History of the European Union
The European Union is a geo-political entity covering a large portion of the European continent. It is founded upon numerous treaties and has undergone expansions that have taken it from 6 member states to 28, both the ECSC and EEC were incorporated into the European Union while the EAEC maintains a distinct legal identity despite sharing members and institutions. The Maastricht Treaty created the European Union with its pillars system, including foreign and this in turn led to the creation of the single European currency, the euro. The Maastricht Treaty has been amended by the treaties of Amsterdam, large areas of Europe had previously been united by empires built on force, such as the Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Frankish Empire, the First French Empire and Nazi Germany. An example of an organisation formed to promote the association of states between the wars to promote the idea of European union is the Pan-Europa movement, World War II from 1939 to 1945 saw a human and economic catastrophe which hit Europe hardest.
It demonstrated the horrors of war, and of extremism, through the Holocaust, once again, there was a desire to ensure it could never happen again, particularly with the war giving the world nuclear weapons. Most European countries failed to maintain their Great Power status leaving two rival ideologically opposed superpowers, the exception was the USSR, which became a superpower after World War II and maintained the status for 45 years. To ensure Germany could never threaten the peace again, its industry was partly dismantled and its main coal-producing regions were detached. With statements such as Winston Churchills 1946 call for a United States of Europe becoming louder and it gave birth to the first institutions, such as the High Authority and the Common Assembly. The first presidents of institutions were Jean Monnet and Paul-Henri Spaak respectively. The attempt to turn the Saar protectorate into a European territory was rejected by a referendum in 1955, the Saar was to have been governed by a statute supervised by a European Commissioner reporting to the Council of Ministers of the Western European Union.
After failed attempts at creating defence and political communities, leaders met at the Messina Conference, the report was accepted at the Venice Conference where the decision was taken to organise an Intergovernmental Conference. The two new communities were created separately from ECSC, although they shared the same courts and the Common Assembly, the executives of the new communities were called Commissions, as opposed to the High Authority. The EEC was headed by Walter Hallstein and Euratom was headed by Louis Armand, Euratom would integrate sectors in nuclear energy while the EEC would develop a customs union between members. Throughout the 1960s tensions began to show with France seeking to limit supranational power, Jean Rey presided over the first merged Commission. While the political progress of the Communities was hesitant in the 1960s, after much negotiation, and following a change in the French Presidency, Denmark and the United Kingdom eventually joined the European Communities on 1 January 1973.
This was the first of several enlargements which become a policy area of the Union. In 1979, the European Parliament held its first direct elections by universal suffrage,410 members were elected, who elected the first female President of the European Parliament, Simone Veil
Treaties of the European Union
The Treaties of the European Union are a set of international treaties between the European Union member states which sets out the EUs constitutional basis. They establish the various EU institutions together with their remit and objectives, the EU can only act within the competences granted to it through these treaties and amendment to the treaties requires the agreement and ratification of every single signatory. The treaties have been amended by other treaties over the 65 years since they were first signed. The consolidated version of the two treaties is regularly published by the European Commission. The two principal treaties on which the EU is based are the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. These main treaties have been altered by amending treaties at least once a decade since they came into force. Lisbon made the Charter of Fundamental Rights legally binding, though that is not a treaty per se, the troubled ratification of Lisbon has meant there is little climate for further reform in the next few years beyond accession treaties, which merely allow a new state to join.
Following the preamble the treaty text is divided into six parts, Title 1, Common Provisions The first deals with common provisions. Article 1 establishes the European Union on the basis of the European Community, the member states share a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, justice and equality between women and men prevail. Article 3 states the aims of the EU in six points, the first is simply to promote peace, European values and its citizens well-being. The second relates to free movement with external border controls are in place, point 3 deals with the internal market. Point 5 states the EU shall promote its values, contribute to eradicating poverty, observe human rights, the final sixth point states that the EU shall pursue these objectives by appropriate means according with its competences given in the treaties. Article 4 relates to member states sovereignty and obligations, Article 5 sets out the principles of conferral and proportionality with respect to the limits of its powers.
Article 6 binds the EU to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, Article 7 deals with the suspension of a member state and article 8 deals with establishing close relations with neighbouring states. Title 2, Provisions on democratic principles Article 9 establishes the equality of national citizens, Article 10 declares that the EU is founded in representative democracy and that decisions must be taken as closely as possible to citizens. Article 12 gives national parliaments limited involvement in the legislative process and it obliges co-operation between these and limits their competencies to the powers within the treaties. Article 18 establishes the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Title 4, Provisions on enhanced cooperations Title 4 has only one article which allows a limited number of member states to co-operate within the EU if others are blocking integration in that field. Title 5, General provisions on the Unions external action and specific provisions on the Common Foreign, Article 21 deals with the principles that outline EU foreign policy, including compliance with the UN charter, promoting global trade, humanitarian support and global governance
The Santer Commission was the European Commission in office between 23 January 1995 and 15 March 1999. The administration was led by Jacques Santer, the body had 20 members and oversaw the introduction of the euro. It was cut short when the Commission became the first to resign en masse due to allegations of corruption, some members continued under Manuel Marín until the Prodi Commission was appointed. In 1994 Jacques Delors was due to step down from a successful tenure as President of the European Commission, however his federalist style was not to the liking of many national governments. Hence when the proposal of Jean-Luc Dehaene was presented, he was vetoed by the UK on the grounds he was too federalist, Jacques Santer, then-Prime Minister of Luxembourg, was seen as less federalist as his presidency had earlier proposed the pillar structure. Hence he was nominated and approved by the European Council on 15 July 1994, hence he was seen as being the second choice which weakened his position, with the European Parliament approving him only by a narrow majority.
Santer himself admitted that he was not the first choice – and he did however flex his powers over the nominations for the other Commissioners. The President gained this power under the Maastricht Treaty that came into force the previous year, on 18 January 1995 he managed to get his Commission approved by Parliament by 416 votes to 103 and they were appointed by the Council on 23 January. The Santer Commission oversaw the development of the Treaty of Nice before it was signed in 2000, negotiations with countries to join in 2004. Notably it contributed to the development of the euro and issued a series of papers based on Commissioner Yves-Thibault de Silguys work. The Commission developed the euro currency symbol, the euro was established on 1999-01-01. The Commission continued Delors social agenda, pushed for more powers in that field including tackling unemployment, desiring a quotable slogan for his administration, stated his Commissions aim would be to do less, but do it better. However, during 1998 the Commission began to lose authority due to management criticisms from the Parliament, the communitys budget for each year needs to be discharged by the Parliament following its report by the European Court of Auditors.
It had only refused to do so once previously, in 1984, paul van Buitenen, a whistle-blower working in the Commission, had sent the Parliament a report alleging that widespread fraud and cover ups, stating, I found strong indications that. Auditors have been hindered in their investigations and that received instructions to obstruct the audit examinations. In response, the Commission suspended him on half pay for releasing details of an inquiry, however it eventually supported the discharge 14 to 13 on 11 December, recommending that the plenary support the discharge. It was taken to plenary for debate four days however the assigned rapporteur publicly went against the Committees official position. President Santer announced that the Commission would treat the vote of discharge as one of confidence, in a vote on 17 December 1998, the Parliament denied the discharge
The Hallstein Commission is the European Commission that held office from 7 January 1958 to 30 June 1967. Its President was Walter Hallstein and held two separate mandates and it was the first Commission on the European Economic Community and held its first formal meeting on 16 January 1958 at the Château of Val-Duchesse. It was succeeded by the Rey Commission and it served two terms and had 9 members. It began work on the European single market and the Common Agricultural Policy, the Commission enjoyed a number of successes, such as the cereal prices accord which it managed to achieve in the wake of de Gaulles veto of Britains membership. De Gaulle was an opponent to the Commission, and proposals such as the cereal prices accord were designed to bind France closer to the EEC to make it harder to break it up. Its work gained it esteem and prestige not only from the member states, in 1965 president Hallstein put forward the Commissions proposals for financing the Common Agricultural Policy. The proposals would have allowed the Community to develop its own resources, independently of the states.
Furthermore, though, it applied the majority voting into the Council, Hallstein knew of the risky nature of the proposals and was unusually active in drafting them. The tone of internal deliberations at the time show the institution was aware of what they would cause. However, they were seen as vital for the Commissions long-term goals. The legislation would not only the Commissions powers, but the Parliaments in an attempt to build a supranational structure. Because of this president Hallstein won support from the Parliament who had long been campaigning for more powers, Hallstein played to the Parliament by presenting his policy to the Parliament on 24 March, a week before he presented them to the Council. However, in this it proved that, despite its past successes, when Hallstein put forward his proposals, the Council was already troubled. Then-French President, Charles de Gaulle, was sceptical of the supranational power of the Commission. This, and similar differences between France and the Commission, were exacerbated when France took on the Presidency, thereby losing the normal system of mediation.
Furthermore, the Commission became marginalised as the debate became one between France and the members, making the Council the centre of debate. Thus any chance of using the expertise of the Commission to come up with proposals was lost, finally on 30 June 1965 Paris recalled its representative in Brussels stating it would not take its seat in the Council until it had its way. This empty chair crisis was the first time that the operation of the EEC had failed because of a member state, Paris continued its policy for six months until the impact upon its economy forced it back into negotiations
Ideas of European unity before 1945
The idea of European unity is a historically recent concept. It was the Greek civilisation that first used these names in their modern senses, the first proposal for peacefully unifying Europe against a common enemy emerged after the Fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453. George of Podebrady, a Hussite king of Bohemia, proposed in 1464 a union of European, Christian nations against the Turks. However, his proposal was based on the shared religious ideology. The idea of Germany and Europe being coterminous was taken to its conclusion by Adolf Hitler. Kikuchi Yoshio of Meiji University suggested that the notion of Holy Roman Empire as a political entity influenced the structural ideas of the European Union. In 1728, Abbot Charles de Saint-Pierre proposed the creation of a European league of 18 sovereign states, with common treasury, no borders, some suggestion of a European union can be inferred from Immanuel Kants 1795 proposal for an eternal peace congress. In the 1800s, customs union under Napoleon Bonapartes Continental system was promulgated in November 1806 as an embargo of British goods in the interests of French hegemony, felix Markham notes how during a conversation on St.
In the conservative reaction after Napoleons defeat in 1815, the German Confederation was established as an association of thirty-eight sovereign German states formed by the Congress of Vienna. Napoleon had swept away the Holy Roman Empire and simplified the map of Germany, in 1834, the Zollverein was formed among the states of the Confederation, to create better trade flow and reduce internal competition. An extension of this union may have been become the model for a unified Europe. The current ideas of geopolitics and a Mitteleuropa were influential in providing a framework for European Union in Germany. United States of Europe was the name of the concept presented by Wojciech Jastrzębowski in About eternal peace between the nations, published 31 May 1831, the project consisted of 77 articles. The envisioned United States of Europe was to be an international rather than a superstate. Italian writer and politician Giuseppe Mazzini called for the creation of a federation of European republics in 1843 and this set the stage for perhaps the best known early proposal for peaceful unification, through cooperation and equality of membership, made by the pacifist Victor Hugo in 1847.
Hugo used the term United States of Europe during a speech at the International Peace Congress, organised by Mazzini, a day will come when we shall see. The United States of America and the United States of Europe face to face, however, he was laughed out of the hall, yet returned to his idea again in 1851. Victor Hugo planted a tree in the grounds of his residence on the Island of Guernsey he was noted in saying that when this tree matured the United States of Europe would have come into being
European Atomic Energy Community
It is legally distinct from the European Union, but has the same membership, and is governed by many of the EUs institutions. Since 2014, Switzerland has participated in Euratom programmes as an associated state, its main focus is on the construction of the International Fusion Reactor ITER financed under the nuclear part of FP7. Euratom provides a mechanism for providing loans to finance projects in the EU. It was established by the Euratom Treaty on 25 March 1957 alongside the European Economic Community, the Common Assembly proposed extending the powers of the European Coal and Steel Community to cover other sources of energy. However, Jean Monnet, ECSC architect and President, wanted a community to cover nuclear power. In the end, Monnet proposed the creation of separate atomic energy, the Intergovernmental Conference on the Common Market and Euratom at Val Duchesse in 1956 drew up the essentials of the new treaties. Euratom would have its own Council and Commission, with fewer powers than the High Authority of the European Coal, on 25 March 1957, the Treaties of Rome were signed by the ECSC members and on 1 January 1958 they came into force.
To save on resources, these separate executives created by the Rome Treaties were merged in 1965 by the Merger Treaty, in 1993, the Maastricht Treaty created the European Union, which absorbed the Communities into the European Community pillar, yet Euratom still maintained a distinct legal personality. The European Constitution was intended to consolidate all previous treaties and increase democratic accountability in them, the Euratom treaty had not been amended as the other treaties had, so the European Parliament had been granted few powers over it. The Euratom treaty thus remains in force relatively unamended from its original signing, as of 2016, EAEC had co-operation agreements of various scopes with eight countries, U. S. Japan, Australia, Ukraine and South Africa. The United Kingdom announced its intention to withdraw from the EAEC on 26 January 2017, formal notice to withdraw from the EAEC was provided in March 2017. Withdrawal will only become effective following negotiations on the terms of the exit, which are scheduled to last two years