POLB81 Notes

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Political Science
Francis Wiafe- Amoako

POLB81 The EU -an economic and political union of 27 Member states, located primarily in Europe -operates through a hybrid system of supranationalism and intergovernmentalism -established by the Maastricht Treaty in 1993 -purpose is for regional integration -500 million citizens -30% of the world’s GDP -Member states have to weigh the benefit of integration against the loss of sovereignty -In Brussels, Belgium -Not easy to manage, i.e. Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal – instability in currency -Other countries not in the EU that use the Euro -Started as a coal and street union Operational Institutions -European commission -council of the EU -European parliament -European Court of Justice -European council European Commission -Made up of representatives appointed by the member states’ gov’ts -propose legislation; implement decisions, upholding the union treaties, and day-to-day operations -operates as a cabinet gov’t -One of the commissioners is elected by the EC to be president for 5 years -serves interest of the EU Council of the EU (Similar to Canada’s upper house – senate) -made up of cabinet ministers from respective national gov’ts -Acts as one of two chambers of the European Union – the other is the European Parliament -approves or rejects legislation -composed of 27 national ministers dependent on issue (trade agriculture, etc) -presidency rotates every 6 months European Parliament -directly elected institution of the EU -together with the Council they form the highest legislative body -Hold the Union’s budgetary authority -can modify or reject most legislation that comes down from the commission -approves of new EU members -has 734 MEPs allocated according to population size -5 year term-limit -a max number of 750 members were agreed under the treaty of Lisbon and a future max of 96 per state -Currently located in both Strasbourg, Brussels and Luxembourg European Union Parties 1) EU Parties (8) 2) Domestic parties Similar to voting for federal and provincial gov’ts -have a provincial election -have a federal election European Court of Justice -Interprets EU law and ensures its equal application across all EU member states -27 members (one per state) -In 1952, Luxembourg -Highest EU court and can overrule national laws that conflict with EU laws European Council -charts the political directions and priorities of the EU -became an institution after the coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty in Dec 1, 2009 -President is elected every 2.5 years; renewable just once -Deemed as the “supreme political authority” of the EU -Made up of its president, president of the European commission and 27 other members from each state (usually the president or the PM) -Meets 4 times in a year (twice every 6 months) Treaty of Lisbon -Signed by EU members on 13/12/07 to change the workings (structure and day-to-day operations) of the EU -creation of the president of the European Council with 2.5 year term -creation of a high representative of the union on foreign affairs and security policy to present a united position on EU policy (currently Catherine Ashton from the UK) -To make the Union’s Human Rights Charter, The Charter for fundamental rights legally binding -national parliament have a say in which country get admitted in to the EU -NP also receive draft legislation for evaluation before enacted in Brussels -Also requires EU council meetings to be held in public -EU commission should take up proposals that garner about 1 million signatures to accommodate citizen’s participation The Czech republic was the last EU member state to ratify the Lisbon Treaty on 031109 Euro -official currency of 17/27 members of the EU -Euro is managed by the European Central Bank based in Frankfurt, Germany (strongest economy) -circulation in 2002 -other non-EU countries use it too International Law -law that governs relationship b/w states -derived from traditions and agreements signed by states -Its enforcement is largely based on reciprocity collective action, and international norms Characteristics of International Law -only states are subject of international law and can bring a claim to ICS -states enjoy international legal personality and poses international rights and dut
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