2º Semestre 2005/2006
Comparative reading between the Treaty of Nice and the European Constitution;
Who should have the legislative competences? The member states, the European Union? We have to think about the EU in terms of treaties and enlargements. The first treaty within theUnion was the Treaty of Rome in 1957. In fact, there was a prior treaty which isn’t considered, the Treaty of Paris:
Treaty of Paris & Treaty of Rome – 1950’s: Coal and Steel, this community was the 1st and has lasted for 50 years, next came EURATOM (to study atomic energy) and the EEC (European Economic Community).
In Paris we dealt with one community (Coal and Steel), and in the Treaty ofRome with another two communities – Euratom & EEC.
The people that wrote these treaties were killing each other just a few years before (France and Germany) – but the main objective of the EEC was to create such a unity that no other internal war would be fathomable – and it worked because in the last 50 years there has not been another war like WWI and II. Some people think that the main reasonis because people don’t want to loose money, others say that it hasn’t happened because we are so concentrated on commercial transactions that there isn’t time to go to war – basically there are several theories to explain why there has been peace in the European territories.
1. The Treaty of Rome was a contract between six countries – Belgium , Germany, ,France, Italy, Luxembourg andNetherlands. After these first founding partners, other countries wanted to become a part of this union:
» The 1st enlargement took place in 1964 and the countries involved were – UK, Ireland and Denmark;
» The 2nd enlargement was in 1981 when Greece joined.
2. In 1986 the Single European Act was constituted. This was the 1st act that amended the Treaty of Rome, it doesn’t have the formaltitle of treaty but is considered to be just as important as the other treaties. It was here that the ideas about qualified and simple majorities were first discussed.
The 3rd enlargement cam in 1986 with Portugal and Spain, supposedly when decisions were easier to be made(?)
3. In 1992 another treaty was celebrated – the Treaty of Maastricht; giving birth to the European Union based on threepillars:
» EC – European Community (from Rome ’57);
» PESC – Foreign Policy and Security;
» JHA – Justice of Home Affairs.
“The EU was the umbrella that covered the 3 pillars”.
Overtime some of the areas of decision that were in the JHA have passed over to the EC, and the instruments differ from the 1st to the 2nd pillar. The difference between the Union and the Community is thatthe Union is political but doesn’t have legislative powers, whilst the community does – and the union covers more areas than the community. We are citizens of the Union and not the community.
The 4th enlargement happened in 1996 with Austria, Sweden and Finland joining the Union.
4. In 1997 we celebrated the Treaty of Amsterdam – the Treaty of Rome has been altered over the years, sonowadays we refer to it as Rome (SEA); after 1992 we were left with;
» Treaty of Rome, version of Maastricht – TEU (Treaty of the European Union);
» Treaty of Rome (SEA – Single European Act);
» Treaty of Rome.
The Treaty of Amsterdam amended the TEC (Treaty of the European Community) and TEU. One of the most important decisions made was to replace the letters (before the acts haddifferent versions, i.e. Art. 123 B…) and renumber all the articles. The Union is much more ambitious than the community; when the union was created they had much larger objectives, because they were also dealing with a much larger number of citizens. They also changed the treaty of the European community.
The Treaty of Amsterdam also included:
» Charter of fundamental rights – peace and...