The European Union

Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on the european union is often referred to as an international organisation sui generis (of its own kind). what makes the european. Therefore the EU is primarily regarded as a supranational organization since it requires the transfer of some measure of sovereignty to the organs of the EU. Moreover, many decisions made by the EU are enforceable irrespective of member state cooperation and coordination.4 For example, in Cassis de Dijon the European Court of Justice ruled that a member state could not impose qualitative restrictions on goods from another member state.5 Moreover, in Kramer, it was held that where the EC had competence in a policy area, the member state could not act on its own accord.6 Thus the ECJ has ruled against the exercise of state sovereignty in giving force to the idea of a supranational EU. It has also been argued however, that the EU is nothing more than an example of regional integration since much of the political and economic integration networks within the EU, like all other regional organizations, depend on Member States’ voluntary compliance.7 In this paper it is argued, that although the EU may share some similarities with regional and international organizations, it is substantively different and can best be described as a supranational organization and is the only one of its kind. The most important differences between the EU and other international organizations is the concept of shared sovereignty. From its inception, with the implementation of the Treaty of Rome 1957, the founding of the European Economic Community which only constituted 6 states, was an agreement in which each of the states “agreed to limit, but not totally transfer national sovereignty” in terms of “economic policy to a set of common institutions”.8 By virtue of the Treaty of Rome 1957, Member States agreed to common economic policies and the removal of trade barriers.9 While this alone would have made the founding arm of the EU similar to the World Trade Organization, the Treaty of Rome went farther requiring the establishment of a European Bank, policies for increasing employment and an amalgamation of transport and agricultural policies.10 In addition, sovereignty was transferred from among the Member States in terms of keeping with the common market principles to a Council of Europe, a Commission and a Court of Justice.11 With more states joining the Community, the Treaty of the European Union 1993 was signed in 1992 and is also known as the Maastricht Treaty which “absorbed the former” Community.12 The new Treaty (which has been amended to further clarify the functioning of the EU, by the Treaty of Lisbon 2007) went beyond economic union and added a pillar of political and legal union among the Member States.13 The Maastricht Treaty established a European Parliament and a Court of Auditors which expanded on the institutions developed by the Treaty of Rome 1957.14 In addition, the Maastricht Treaty established citizenship of all citizens of Member States.

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