Introduction to EU

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Reasons for the EU

Three P's: peace, prosperity and power. 

History of the European Union- ends of the second world war within 30 years that had started in Europe. 70 million+ were dead. Largely destroyed infrastructure. Industrial production was low. Central/eastern Europe under control of the Soviet Union.

Europe after the war- Council of Europe and European Convention of Human Rights (with European Court of Human Rights.)


2 new German States. 

Schuman Declaration- 9th May 1950. It (France) proposes that Franco- German production of coal and steel as a whole be placed under a common High Authority within the framework of an organisation open to the participation of the other countries of Europe. 

The solidarity in production thus established will make it plain that any war between France and Germany becomes not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible. 

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Reasons for the EU

Schuman Declaration 1950- by pooling basic production and by instituting a new High Authority, whose decisions will bind France, Germany and other member countries, this proposal will lead to the realisation of the first concreate foundation of a European federation indispensable to the preservation of peace. 

European Coal and Steel Community Treaty 1951- France, Germany, Italy and Benelux. Paris Treaty. Expired 2003. 

E(E)C Treaty 1957- signed in Rome in 1957. Also signed Euratom Treaty. Direct reaction to the failure of the EDC Treaty. Now the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union 2009. 

What is in the TFEU? Free movement of goods, workers, freedom to provide services, freedom of establishment, free movement of capital, competition law and state aids. 

Institutions- Council (Brussels), European Council (Brussels), Commission (Brussels), European Parliament (Strasbourg and Brussels), Court of Justice of the EU and General Court (Luxembourg), European Court of Auditors (Luxembourg) and European Central Bank (Frankfurt). 

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Sources of EU law

Treaties- primary sources-

  • Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union TFEU
  • Treaty on European Union TEU.

Legislation- secondary sources-

  • Regulations
  • Directives 
  • Decisions

Case law- 

  • Court of Justice
  • General Court

General principles

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Sources of EU law

Secondary sources- A288 TFEU-

  • Regulation- general application, binding in its entirety, directly applicable in the MS.
  • Directive- binding as to the result to be achieved, leave to the national authorities the choice of form and method
  • Decision- binding in its entirety upon those to whom it is addressed. 
  • Recommendations and opinion- not binding


  • 1963- Rejection of accession of United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark and Norway.
  • 1965-66- 'empty chair crisis' and 'Luxembourg compromise'
  • 1968- completion of the customs union
  • Important judgements of the ECJ. 


  • 1973- United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark join the EC
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Timeline of EU

  • 1975- UK referendum on EC- 67% in favour
  • 1979- European Monetary System and first direct elections to the European Parliament.


  • 1981- Greece joins EC
  • 1985- Single European Act: internal market by 1992
  • 1986- Portugal and Spain join


  • 1990- East Germany joins indirectly
  • 1992- Treaty of Maastricht 
  • 1995- Austria, Finland and Sweden join
  • 1997- Amsterdam Treaty
  • 1999- European Monetary Union.
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Timeline of EU


  • 2000- Treaty of Nice
  • 2002- Introduction of the Euro
  • 2004- Ten new MS join
  • 2005- Constitutional Treaty rejected
  • 2007- Bulgaria and Romania join and  Treaty of Lisbon
  • 2008- First rejection of Treaty of Lisbon in Republic of Ireland, financial crisis
  • 2009- 2nd October- 2nd Irish referendum, 1st December- Treaty of Lisbon
  • 2013- Accession of Croatia

Recent accession-

  • 2004- Slovenia, Hungary, Poland, Czech, Cyprus, Slovakia, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Malta
  • 2007- Bulgaria, Romania
  • 2013- Croatia

Candidates- FYROM, Turkey and Iceland.

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Historical overview

  • 1945- end of WW2
  • 1950- Schuman Declaration
  • 1951- ECSE Treaty (Paris)
  • 1954- EDC Treaty failed, WEU
  • 1957- EEC + Euratom (Rome)
  • 1973, 1981, 1985, 1995 accession
  • 1992- TEU Maastricht
  • 2000- TEU Nice
  • 2004- Accession of 10 new Member State
  • 2005- F+ NL reject Constitutional Treaty
  • 2007- Accession of Bulgaria and Romania
  • 2009- TEU Lisbon and TFEU 
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