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The European Union
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The European Union

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  1. The European Union

  2. What is the European Union? • The European Union (EU) is unique in the international system. • Some characteristics of an international organization. • Created through treaties among sovereign states • Many functions of a state • Provides a greater number of public goods and enforces a wider range of more detailed contracts than any other IO in the modern era

  3. How big is the European Union? • The land area is slightly less than half of the United States. • The EU has about 460 million citizens, just over 1.5 times the US population.

  4. Members of the EU • 1953: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands • 1973: Denmark, Ireland, United Kingdom • 1981: Greece • 1986: Portugal, Spain • 1995: Austria, Finland, Sweden • 2004: Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia • 2007: Bulgaria • 2013: Croatia • http://europa.eu/about-eu/countries/member-countries/index_en.htm

  5. Beginnings of European Integration • 1944: Anti-Nazi resistance movements call for “federal union of European peoples” after the war • 1948: Transnational NGO, International Committee of the Movements for European Unity, holds international congress

  6. Beginnings of European Integration • 1948 - US supports creation of Organization of European Economic Cooperation to administer Marshall Plan aid • 1949 - Council for Mutual Economic Assistance- COMENCON founded for economic cooperation and integration among USSR and its satellites

  7. Beginnings of European Integration • Coal and steel producing regions of Alsace-Lorraine part of frequent wars between France and Germany • Economic production devastated by WWII • 1951 - European Coal and Steel Community eliminated trade barriers on coal, steel, and iron ore • Explicitly intended as first step towards a “European federation indispensable to the preservation of peace”

  8. History of European Integration • The EU gradually evolved through a series of treaties. • 1951: European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) • 6 members: Belgium, West Germany, Luxembourg, France, Italy and the Netherlands. • 1957: Treaties of Rome were signed, creating • European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) • the European Economic Community (EEC). • Removal of all intra-European tariffs to form common market and customs union (common external tariffs)

  9. History of European Integration • 1967: The ECSC, EURATOM, and EEC merged. • 1985: Single European Act • Removal of all non-tariff barriers to mobility of people, goods, services, and capital

  10. European Union • 1992: Treaty of Maastricht • Makes the EEC into the European Union • Cooperation on defense, justice, and domestic policy • 2002: Common currency, the Euro, introduced in twelve member countries • UK, Denmark, and Sweden opt out.

  11. Broadening and Deepening • 2003: The Treaty of Nice • Expands qualified majority voting (limits states’ veto power) • 2004: Ten new states from eastern Europe, including former Soviet republics, join the EU. • Before joining, new members must adopt and adjust to body of EU law (acquis communautaire).

  12. Structure of the EU • Legislative Branch • European Parliament (popularly elected but little power) • Council of Ministers (represents national governments) • Executive Branch • European Commission (main bureaucracy) • Council of Auditors (budget) • European Central Bank (monetary policy) • Judicial Branch • European Court of Justice (reviews national law)

  13. Implementing integration • EU directives are proposed by the Commission and approved by the Council of Ministers. • National governments then pass their own laws to implement the directive. • EU regulations are directly binding. • Basic regulations come from the Council of Ministers. • Executive regulations come from the Commission. • ECJ can hear complaints from the Commission or member states if a member does not implement EU law.

  14. Fully integrated issue areas • Trade policy • No tariffs with EU, common tariffs with other trading partners • Collective negotiation in WTO • Competition policy • Limitation on monopolies, etc. • Monetary policy • Single interest rate from Central Bank • Requires constraints on taxation, spending, deficits

  15. Mostly integrated issue areas • Consumer health & safety regulations • Harmonized rules allow for economies of scale • Free movement of people • Citizens of EU states can travel & work in other EU states without visas or passports • Police cooperate in tracking across borders • Does not fully include UK, Ireland, or 10 new members • Some free movement suspended after terrorist attacks on London 2005

  16. Least integrated issue area • Foreign and security policy • Ireland, Austria, Finland, Sweden are neutral • Must compete with NATO for relevance • So far, mostly focused on humanitarian intervention • Division over 2003 US invasion of Iraq

  17. EU Constitution • Negotiated between member states in 2004 • Intended to simplify institutional structure • Necessary for further expansion • Creates President and Foreign Minister of EU • 5/29/2005 – Rejected by referendum in France • 6/1/2005 – Rejected in Netherlands

  18. Realism on the EU • US security guarantees after WWII freed European states from concerns about relative gains. • Enlargement locks in Eastern Europe against future Russian encroachment. • Classical realists: Integration will collapse in the absence of US guarantees. • Neo-realists: European states will ally to balance against US unipolarity. • Does not require deep integration

  19. Neo-liberalism on the EU • European integration was intended to • Create wealth • Make war between European states too costly to contemplate • Enlargement expands the markets and allows for further specialization. • European integration will continue as long as there are efficiency gains to be made by supranationalizing policy. • Often requires side-payments/issue linkage

  20. Constructivism on the EU • An attempt to create a common identity. • Flag created in 1955 • Anthem adopted in 1972 (Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”) • Enlargement expands the EU to include all of the region of shared history and identity. • Turkey, a Muslim state, is “Other”, so may never join • Integration continues through development of European identity, particularly in elites.