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POLD89H3 (66)
Iris Au (1)


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Political Science
Iris Au

POLA 83 Week 10: The EU and (New)Governance and Globalization Week 11: The EU: Supranationalism and Non-global Integration (Europeanization) EU Institutions and Organs 1. European institutions The statutes and general objectives of the Community institutions are defined in the Treaties. Some new treaties are regularly signed to enlarge the competences of the institutions. Five MAIN institutions are: the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, the Court of Justice and the Court of Auditors. a) The European Commission The European Commission has three responsibilities: - It is the Guardian of the Treaties: it ensures the implementation of the Treaties and of the community legislation. - It has an initiative function: it proposes texts to the Parliament and the Council, which will then adopt them and edit a European law or implement financing programs. - It has an execution and management function: it manages the budget, the community funds and the common Structural Funds. - Finally it negotiates treaties for the Community. b) The European Parliament It is constituted of European Members of Parliament who are directly elected in each Member State. The Parliament holds a three-fold action: - It is one of the European decision makers; it carries Community acts - Legislative Power. - Its Budgetary Power allows it to define the definitive budget. It is enabled to reject it. - It also holds a Political control of the institutions: it can ask the Commission to submit a proposal to the Council or ask written or oral questions to the institutions. c) The Council of the European Union It is also called "Council" or "Council of Ministers" and it is constituted of twenty seven ministers, who represent the policy of their government. For instance, the Agriculture Council will gather 27 Ministers in charge of Agriculture. It carries regulations, directives, decisions, recommendations or advice. d) European Court of Justice (ECJ) The Court of Justice ensures the strict observance of the Community law. In the context of a national- wide trial, a judge may refer to the Court to answer to a Community question. e) The Court of Auditors It is an independent institution that monitors the financial management of the Union, its institutions and the recipients of European financial supports. f) A particular Case: the European Council 1 POLA 83 The European Council has a vague and rather undefined statute. It gathers the Presidents or/and the Prime Ministers of the Member States of the European Union in a Summit at least twice a year. Together, they define the priorities and the calendar of the Community construction. 2. The other Community organs a) The Economic and Social Committee (ESC) It gathers the representatives of the organized civil society of the Member States and the groups of social and economic interests (employers, workers and activity groups regarding all sectors of activity) to enable them to express and defend their opinions within the institutions. The Commission must consult it before acts related to the internal market, education, consumers’ safety, environment, regional development or social affairs are adopted. However, it can decide to issue opinion for the institutions to defend the living conditions of the citizens. b) The Committee of the Regions It is a consultative organ, which represents the local and regional authorities. The European Commission or the Council and the Parliament must consult it when the matter may have regional or local repercussions. It may emit opinions. c) The European Investment Bank (EIB) The EIB group is the financial organization of the European Union. The Group consists of the EIB itself, which allocates direct or indirect global loans and of the EIF (European Investment Fund) that supports the innovative companies through activities of capital venture or guarantees. They act in order to foster the implementation of fundamental and priority objectives in the European Union. d) The European Central Bank (ECB) The ECB manages the introduction of the single currency and defines the monetary policy of the countries belonging to the Euro-zone. Its fundamental mission is to monitor and master inflation within the Union, but it also controls the reserves and leads the change operations. e) The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) The EBRD fosters the transition towards open market-oriented economies in the Central and Eastern European countries and in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). It grants loans and brings guarantees to the projects that aim at modernizing infrastructures in those countries. COMMUNITY METHOD AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL METHOD The "Community method" is the expression used for the institutional operating mode for the first pillar of the European Union. It proceeds from an integration logic and has the following salient features:  Commission monopoly of the right of initiative;  general use of qualified majority voting in the Council;  an active role for the European Parliament in co-legislating frequently with the Council;  uniformity in the interpretation of Community law ensured by the Court of Justice. The method used for the second and third pillars is similar to the so-called "intergovernmental method", with the difference that the Commission shares its right of initiative with the Member States, the 2 POLA 83 European Parliament is informed and consulted and the Council may adopt binding acts. As a general rule, the Council acts unanimously. EURO and € COUNTRIES Today, the euro is one of the world's most powerful currencies, used by more than 330 million Europeans in twenty-two countries. The countries currently using the euro are: 1) Andorra (not EU member) 12) Luxembourg 2) Austria 13) Malta 3) Belgium 14) Monaco (not EU member) 4) Cyprus 15) Montenegro (not EU member) 5) Finland 16) Netherlands 6) France 17) Portugal 7) Germany 18) San Marino (not EU member) 8) Greece 19) Slovakia 9) Ireland 20) Slovenia 10) Italy 21) Spain 11) Kosovo (not EU member) 22) Vatican City (not EU member) 23) Estonia (Jan 1, 2011) AUSTRIA GERMANY Born 1924 Born 1873 Replaced corona Replaced talers and guilders 1 schilling = 100 groschen 1 Deutschmark = 100 pfennig 1 euro = 13.76 schilling 1 euro =
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