The European Union: An Introduction The Eurosceptic perspective <> The EU today: 27 members, 501m citizens -The most recent members (Romania and Bulgaria) joined in January 2007 The EU whats the point? Provide lasting peace and security Build economic strength and development through a common market Restore European influence in the wider world Create an ever closer union between the peoples of Europe ? EU Enlargement
Founding members: Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Italy Germany, and the Netherlands. 1957 1973 The UK joins the EEC with Ireland and Denmark Sweden, Finland
and Austria join Greece joins 1981 1986 Spain and Portugal join 1995 Romania and
Bulgaria join 2004 10 states join: Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia 2007 2011 Candidates for future membership:
Turkey, FYR Macedonia, Croatia, Montenegro and Iceland Creating the European Union: EU Treaties Single European Act towards creation of Single Market Schengen Agreement Treaty of Nice
Constitutional Treaty removes borders between 7 countries Institutional changes for 2004 enlargement rejected in France and the Netherlands Ireland rejects
EUs Lisbon Treaty 1957 1986 1992 1995 1997 2001 2002 2005 2007 2008 2009 Treaty of Rome creates the European Economic Community (EEC) Treaty of Maastricht creates the European Union (EU) Treaty of
Amsterdam Enabled enhanced cooperation Euro notes and coins adopted in 12 member states Schengen area expanded Treaty of Lisbon ratified
following second Irish referendum. How does the EU work? European Council -Heads of State or Government from Member States -Meets twice every six months, to set EU agenda European Commission -Appointed bureaucracy, headed by 27 Commissioners -Manages EU budget and common policies -Monopoly on proposing law European Parliament (EP) Co-decision -736 directly elected members (MEPs) -Cannot propose legislation only
Accept, reject or propose Amendments Council of the EU -Ministers from Member States -Votes, largely by QMV, to accept/reject Amendments European Court of Justice (ECJ) -Oversees implementation of law Law-making The Ordinary Legislative Procedure Commission proposes law EP and Council debate and vote on adopting law (co-decision) If adopted, Member States are obliged to implement law (through comitology) ECJ can act against, and fine, Member States if they do not implement the law properly
The EUs ways are complicated to the point of incomprehensibility -Dr Helen Szamuely, Bruges Group EU competences The European Commission has sole power to propose new EU laws. It is responsible for UK policy on: Trade (e.g. WTO), commerce and industry Social and labour issues Agriculture (CAP), fishing (CFP) and the environment Overseas development aid Between 60 and 80% of our laws now originate in an unelected bureaucracy in Brussels!
EU policies: CAP Under CAP, EU farmers are paid a Single Farm Payment (SFP) on top of what they receive from selling produce. CAP also sets quotas on what farmers produce, to ensure higher prices, and imposes tariffs (tax) on agricultural imports. CAP takes up 41% of the annual EU budget and costs the UK c.10.3bn p.a. The way to build lasting economic growth in Africa is for Europe to end the CAP. -Sir Digby Jones, Former Chairman CBI EU directives and regulation EU legislation cost UK business 88.3bn between January 1998 and July 2010. Some examples: Working Time Directive Services Directive Child car seats for under-12s below 45.
Permanent headlights The uro The euro was launched in 1999. Notes and coins were introduced in 2002. There are 17 Member States in the Eurozone. It was intended to make it easier to do business across the EU. One size fits all interest rate in the Eurozone is fitting no-one. 2010 Eurozone crisis - 273bn has been spent so far bailing out Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Why risk entry? The EU Constitution The EU drafted a Constitutional Treaty in 2002, which was signed by representatives of the member states in 2004. The Constitutional Treaty was supposed to combine existing Treaties to clarify what the EUs
responsibilities were. But it actually increased the power of the EU: National vetoes on 63 issues lost (to QMV) Created an EU President and Foreign Minister EU given legal personality No limits set on extension of EU power It included things such as an EU national anthem and the EU flag, yet ignored key issues such as reforming the CAP and liberalising Member State economies The reformed EU Constitution France and the Netherlands both rejected the EU Constitution in referendums in June 2005. The response of the Constitutions author : Lets be clear about this. The rejection of the Constitution was a mistake that will have to be corrected. - Valery Giscard dEstaing
The Constitutional project was resurrected under the guise of the Lisbon Treaty It replaced the Constitution (but 96% of its content was the same as the Constitutional Treaty) The Lisbon Treaty We are united in our aim of placing the EU on a renewed common basis before EP elections in 2009 - Berlin Declaration, March 2007 The Lisbon Treaty was signed in December 2007. However, Ireland rejected it in a referendum in June 2008 Following controversial negotiations, Ireland voted Yes in a second vote in October 2009. The euro-sceptic Czech Republic President, Vaclav Klaus, campaigned against the Treaty, but eventually signed it. The Treaty came into force in December 2009 Enlargement
On 1 May 2004, 10 new countries, mainly in Central and Eastern Europe, joined the EU. Romania and Bulgaria joined in January 2007. Yet the structure of the EU was built for 6, not 27, Member States. It needs reforming. Average GDP per head in the 10 Member States that joined in 2004 was just 52.9% of the EU-15. The Copenhagen Criteria has been too loosely applied and was not met by Romania and Bulgaria prior to accession. Turkey is even further off. Enlargement has raised many issues regarding immigration to the UK, the response to which has been chaotic. What do the public think? In 2010 only 29% of British people considered membership of the EU to be a good thing Just 49% of the entire
population of the EU had the same response to the question. By a margin of 60% to 30%, chief executives support moves to radically reduce the powers of the EU to a basic free trade area. QA7. Generally speaking, do you think that [your countrys] membership of the EU is? Ans: A good thing. Eurobarometer 2010 i. Why is the EU so unpopular? Complex, undemocratic, and distant from its citizens. Unaccountable and corrupt the Court of Auditors has refused to sign off EU accounts for the last 16 years!
"The creeping unification of Europe ... [has been] managed by the bureaucrats from Brussels behind the back of the citizens of individual member states." -Vaclav Klaus, Czech President ii. Why is the EU so unpopular? The trade rules of the EU disadvantage lesser developed countries around the world. The EU has serious economic problems: high unemployment, low growth and a growing government pensions debt, not to mention the ongoing Eurozone crisis. It is hamstrung by regulation and protectionism. There is a view that the more regulation you have, the more Europe you have." -Gunter Verheugen, EU Commission Vice-President Better off out?
The EU is expensive, costing each UK taxpayer approximately 300 last year. The EU should stop the tide of regulation and focus on where it can make real changes: free trade and CAP reform. The EU must return Member States power to revoke legislation. The EU is making us poorer, less democratic and less free. Daniel Hannan MEP Europe should do less, but do it better! Jacques Delors, 1992
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