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The aim and goals of the european union

In a historic referendum in June 1994, Austrian voters indicated their desire to join the EU, and in January 1995 Austria became a member. The following year, Austrians commemorated 1,000 years of common history. At the end of the war, several western European countries sought closer economic, social, and political ties to achieve economic growth and military security and to promote a lasting reconciliation between France and Germany.

The ECSC created a free-trade area for several key economic and military resources: To manage the ECSC, the treaty established several supranational institutions: A series of further international treaties and treaty revisions based largely on this model led eventually to the creation of the EU.

The EEC created a common market that featured the elimination of most barriers to the movement of goods, services, capital, and labour, the prohibition of most public policies or private agreements that inhibit market competition, a common agricultural policy CAPand a common external trade policy.

Signing of the Treaty of Rome, March 25, 1957. AP Images The treaty establishing the EEC required members to eliminate or revise important national laws and regulations. In particular, it fundamentally reformed tariff and trade policy by abolishing all internal tariffs by July 1968.

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It also required that governments eliminate national regulations favouring domestic industries and cooperate in areas in which they traditionally had acted independently, such as international trade i. The treaty called for common rules on anticompetitive and monopolistic behaviour and for common inland transportation and regulatory standards.

The CAP, which was implemented in 1962 and which became the costliest and most controversial element of the EEC and later the EU, relied on state intervention to protect the living standards of farmers, to promote agricultural self-sufficiency, and to ensure a reliable supply of products at reasonable prices.

To advise the Commission and the Council of Ministers on a broad range of social and economic policies, the treaty created an Economic and Social Committee. It also combined the councils of the three organizations into a common Council of Ministers. The Commission officially known as the European Commission consists of a permanent civil service directed by commissioners.

It has had three primary functions: Initially, commissioners were appointed by members to renewable four-year terms, which were later extended to five years. In consultation with member governments, the president appoints the heads of the Directorate-Generals, which manage specific areas such as agriculture, competition, the environmentand regional policy.

The Commission has shared its agenda-setting role with the European Council not to be confused with the Council of European organization that is not an EU bodywhich consists of the leaders of all member countries. Established in 1974, the European Council meets at least twice a year to define the long-term agenda for European political and economic integration. The European Council is led by a president, an office that originally rotated among the heads of state or heads of government of member countries every six months.

Upon the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009, the presidency was made permanent, with the officeholder being selected by European Council members. The composition of the council changes frequently, as governments send different representatives depending on the policy area under discussion.

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All community legislation requires the approval of the council. The president of the council, whose office rotates among council members every six months, manages the legislative agenda. Council meetings are chaired by a minister from the country that currently holds the presidency. The exception to this rule is the Foreign The aim and goals of the european union Council, which, since the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, is under the permanent supervision of the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy.

The Common Assembly, renamed the European Parliament in 1962, originally consisted of delegates from national parliaments. Beginning in 1979, members were elected directly to five-year terms. The Parliament is organized into transnational party groups based on political ideology—e.

Until 1987 the legislature served only as a consultative body, though in 1970 it was given joint decision-making power with the Council of Ministers over community expenditures. Eight impartial advocates-general assist the ECJ by presenting opinions on cases before the court. The ECJ has established two important legal doctrines. The promulgation of the Lisbon Treaty signaled the acceptance of these legal doctrines by national courts, and the ECJ has acquired a supranational legal authority.

Members also made several attempts to manage their exchange rates collectively, resulting in the establishment of the European Monetary System in 1979. It gave the meetings of the EPC a legal basis, and it called for more intensive coordination of foreign policy among members, though foreign policy decisions were made outside community institutions.

As a result of the act, there was a substantial increase in funding for social and regional programs. More generally, the SEA set out a timetable for the completion of a common market. A variety of legal, technical, fiscal, and physical barriers continued to limit the free movement of goods, labour, capital, and services. For example, differences in national health and safety standards for consumer goods were a potential impediment to trade. Originally, the Commission proposed legislation, the Parliament was consulted, and the Council of Ministers made a final decision.

The SEA introduced qualified majority voting for all legislation related to the completion of the common market. Under this system, each member was given multiple votes, the number of which depended on national population, and approval of legislation required roughly two-thirds of the votes of all members.

The new procedure also increased the role of the European Parliament. Specifically, legislative proposals that were rejected by the Parliament could be adopted by the Council of Ministers only by a unanimous vote.

  • The range of policies subject to qualified majority voting in the Council of Ministers was broadened;
  • Despite opposition from those who feared that expansion of the EU would stifle consensus and inhibit the development of Europe-wide foreign and security policies, the EU in 2004 admitted 10 countries Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia , all but two of which Cyprus and Malta were former communist states; Bulgaria and Romania joined in 2007;
  • Members also made several attempts to manage their exchange rates collectively, resulting in the establishment of the European Monetary System in 1979;
  • The treaty met with substantial resistance in some countries;
  • Although several countries failed to meet the convergence criteria e;
  • Joining the European Union Under Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union , any European state may apply for membership if it respects the democratic values of the EU and is committed to promoting them.

The treaty met with substantial resistance in some countries. Voters in France narrowly approved the treaty in September, and in July 1993 British Prime Minister John Major was forced to call a vote of confidence in order to secure its passage.

An amended version of the treaty officially took effect on November 1, 1993. The treaty consisted of three main pillars: The agreement gave the EC broader authority, the aim and goals of the european union formal control of community policies on development, education, public healthand consumer protection and an increased role in environmental protection, social and economic cohesion, and technological research.

It also established EU citizenship, which entailed the right of EU citizens to vote and to run for office in local and European Parliament elections in their country of residence, regardless of national citizenship.

The Maastricht Treaty specified an agenda for incorporating monetary policy into the EC and formalized planning that had begun in the late 1980s to replace national currencies with a common currency managed by common monetary institutions.

Countries were required to have annual budget deficits not exceeding 3 percent of gross domestic product GDPpublic debt under 60 percent of GDP, inflation rates within 1. The members that qualified were to decide whether to proceed to the final stage—the adoption of a single currency.

The decision required the establishment of permanent exchange rates and, after a transition period, the replacement of national currencies with the common currency, called the euro. Although several countries failed to meet the convergence criteria e. Greece failed to qualify, and Denmark, Sweden, and the United Kingdom chose not to apply for membership.

Greece was admitted to the euro beginning in 2001. Initially used only by financial markets and businesses, the euro was introduced for use by the general public on January 1, 2002.

The Commission was reformed to increase its accountability to the Parliament. Beginning in 1995, the term of office for commissioners, who now had to be approved by the Parliament, was lengthened to five years to correspond to the terms served by members of the Parliament. The ECJ was granted the authority to impose fines on members for noncompliance.

The treaty also created a regional committee, which served as an advisory body for commissioners and the Council of Ministers on issues relevant to subnational, regional, or local constituencies. One of the most radical changes was the reform of the legislative process.

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The range of policies subject to qualified majority voting in the Council of Ministers was broadened. The treaty also endowed the Parliament with a limited right of rejection over legislation in most of the areas subject to qualified majority voting, and in a few areas, including citizenship, it was given veto power.

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The treaty formally incorporated the Court of Auditors, which was created in the 1970s to monitor revenue and expenditures, into the EC. Members agreed that, where possible, they would adopt common defense policies, which would be implemented through the Western European Uniona security organization that includes many EU members.

  • The EU treaties cease to apply to the member state from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, if there is no agreement, 2 years after the original notification unless the European Council unanimously decides to extend this period;
  • The composition of the council changes frequently, as governments send different representatives depending on the policy area under discussion;
  • The exception to this rule is the Foreign Affairs Council, which, since the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, is under the permanent supervision of the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy;
  • The ECJ was granted the authority to impose fines on members for noncompliance;
  • It has had three primary functions:

Joint actions—which were not subject to monitoring or enforcement by the Commission or the ECJ—required unanimity. The elimination of border controls conflicted with some national immigration, asylum, and residency policies and made it difficult to combat crime and to apply national civil codes uniformly, thus creating the need for new Europe-wide policies.

For example, national asylum policies that treated third-country nationals differently could not, in practice, endure once people were allowed to move freely across national borders. Switzerland tabled its application in the early 1990s. Norway, Iceland, and the members of the EU along with Liechtenstein are members of a free trade area called the European Economic Areawhich allows freedom of movement for goods, services, capital, and people.

Two subsequent treaties revised the policies and institutions of the EU. Negotiated in preparation for the admission of new members from eastern Europe, it contained major reforms.

  • Building on the limited economic and political goals of the ECSC, the countries of western Europe have achieved an unprecedented level of integration and cooperation;
  • The Common Assembly, renamed the European Parliament in 1962, originally consisted of delegates from national parliaments.

The maximum number of seats on the Commission was set at 27, the number of commissioners appointed by members was made the same at one each, and the president of the Commission was given greater independence from national governments. Qualified majority voting in the Council of Ministers was extended to several new areas. Approval of legislation by qualified voting required the support of members representing at least 62 percent of the EU population and either the support of a majority of members or a supermajority of votes cast.

Although national vetoes remained in areas such as taxation and social policy, countries choosing to pursue further integration in limited areas were not precluded from doing so. After the end of Cold Warmany of the former communist countries of eastern and central Europe applied for EU membership.

However, their relative lack of economic development threatened to hinder their full integration into EU institutions. To address this problem, the EU considered a stratified system under which subsets of countries would participate in some components of economic integration e. Turkeyat the periphery of Europe, also applied for membership, though its application was controversial because it was a predominantly Islamic country, because it was widely accused of human rights violations, and because it had historically tense relations with Greece especially over Cyprus.

Despite opposition from those who feared that expansion of the EU would stifle consensus and inhibit the development of Europe-wide foreign and security policies, the EU in 2004 admitted 10 countries Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Sloveniaall but two of which Cyprus and Malta were former communist states; Bulgaria and Romania joined in 2007. Building on the limited economic and political goals of the ECSC, the countries of western Europe have achieved an unprecedented level of integration and cooperation.

The degree of legal integration, supranational political authority, and economic integration in the EU greatly surpasses that of other international organizations. Indeed, although the EU has not replaced the nation-state, its institutions have increasingly resembled a parliamentary democratic political system at the supranational level. The drafting process evoked considerable controversy, particularly over the question of whether the constitution should mention God and the Christian heritage of much of European society the final version did not.

The proposed constitution was signed in 2004 but required ratification by all EU members to take effect; voters in France and the Netherlands rejected it in 2005, thereby scuttling the constitution at least in the short term. It would have created a full-time president, a European foreign minister, a public prosecutor, and a charter of fundamental rights.

Under the leadership of Germany, work began in early 2007 on a reform treaty intended to replace the failed constitution. The resulting Lisbon Treatysigned in December 2007, required approval by all 27 EU member countries in order to take effect. The treaty, which retained portions of the draft constitution, would establish an EU presidency, consolidate foreign policy representation for the EU, and devolve additional powers to the European Commission, the European Court of Justice, and the European Parliament.

Unlike the draft constitution, the Lisbon Treaty would amend rather than replace existing treaties. The treaty failed, at least in the short term, in June 2008 after it was rejected by voters in a national referendum in Ireland.

A week after the Irish vote, The aim and goals of the european union completed its ratification of the treaty as well. At that time the treaty remained to be ratified by only one country, the Czech Republic. Although the Czech Parliament already had approved the treaty, Czech Pres.