Politics Notes

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  • Created by: LukeDee
  • Created on: 13-03-15 11:55

Key Terms:

Sovereignty:

A.V. Dicey - "the right to make or unmake any law whatever” within a Geographical boundary.

Pooling sovereignty – not lost but sharing sovereignty enhancing domestic sovereignty

Inter-governmentalism:

Voluntary co-operation between the nation-states - a Europe of Nations as decision-makers, acting unanimously and accountable to their national parliaments. The Commission would be a civil service; the European Parliament (EP) would have a very limited role. British governments prefers inter-governmentalism, rather than supranational integration.

Supranationalism:

A political authority above the nation state; sovereignty ceded to the EU. This brings into question the principle of UK parliamentary sovereignty. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the European Commission (EC) embody this concept, because members are supposed to forget their national loyalties and look at issues from a European perspective.

Subsidiarity:

The principle that, within a federal-type system, decision should be made at the lowest possible level. Maastricht Treaty enshrines principle of subsidiarity: the EU ‘shall take action ... only if and in so far as the objectives of the proposed action cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States’

Federalism:

A political system where power is constitutionally divided between different levels of government, in which no level is subordinate to another, e.g. Germany and USA

The EU displays characteristics of Quasi-Federalism: the EU might have responsibility for certain policy areas, e.g. foreign policy/defence, single currency and the internal market, while nations may have other responsibilities – e.g. education and welfare.

The European Union

Nature:

The European Union (EU) is an organisation of 27 member states that contains both intergovernmental and supranational institutions. It is often viewed as a federal union.

 

 

 

Origins:

The EU began life as the European Community (EEC) in 1957, with the Treaty of Rome – 6 members signed up (Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany)

1973 - Ted Heath (CONSERVATIVE) leads Britain into EEC after two previous unsuccessful applications

1975 - Referendum votes 2:1 to ‘stay in EEC’

1986 - Single European Act marks new move towards integration

1992 - Maastricht Treaty marks further moves towards integration

1997 - Amsterdam Treaty continues Maastricht processes

2000 - Launch of the Single European Currency, overseen by Central European Bank

2000 - Nice Treaty prepares for expansion with new members

2009 Lisbon Treaty, replaces constitutional developments

SEE LATER SECTION FOR MORE DETAILS

Aims:

The aim of the European Union is to establish a more integrated Europe; the Treaty of Rome states create an “ever closer union, integration of key policy areas”.

This is shown by the fact that the EU also has some of the symbols and elements associated with a country - such as its own Parliament, anthem, flag, etc.

 

Purposes:

The EU is a very significant actor within international relations. For example:

  • It is the world’s largest donor of humanitarian aid
  • Peace, democracy and civil rights
  • Population of 500 million, largest economic bloc in terms of GDP – almost $13 trillion
  • The EU has more votes in international forums than

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