Treaty on European Union

Treaty on European Union

Topic: Treaty on European Union, 1992

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ESSAY QUESTION
The horrors unleashed by World War II led European leaders to call for closer relations so as to avoid conflicts descending into warfare. In the postwar decades, Western Europe intensified its diplomatic energies to ensure peace among nations through increasing political and economic integration. In 1957 the Treaty of Rome, signed by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany, created the European Community. In 1992 a treaty strengthening the integration of European nations and creating the European Union (EU) was signed by each European Community member state of the time.

After fighting two highly destructive wars in the first half of the twentieth century, European leaders agreed that integration of the continent was vital to avoiding another full-scale war. Think about the provisions of the Treaty on European Union and how their implementation would lead to European cohesion. Consider the implications of the Treaty and of the creation of the European Union in light of the events of the time.

Write an essay that explains the reasons behind the establishment of the EU and the necessity of political and economic integration. Your essay should describe the specific needs of Europe in the postwar and post-Cold War period, both in terms of relations between European countries and relations between the EU and the international community. How successful has the Treaty on European Union been in intensifying the cohesion of European nations?
Treaty on European Union, 1992

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Following the 1951 formation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), which had built upon the ideals of the Schuman Declaration and included six founding member states, Western Europe continued over the ensuing decades to progress toward greater economic and political integration, eventually forming what became known as the European Community (EC). In late 1991, representatives from each of the EC member states, which numbered twelve at the time, met in the city of Maastricht in the Netherlands to formulate the following treaty, which was finally completed and signed in February 1992. The treaty laid the groundwork for monetary union through a common currency (the "Euro") and established the European Union, which went on to expand by 2007 to include 27 countries in both eastern and western Europe.
Source: http://europa.eu.int/en/record/mt/top.html, excerpts from Titles I, V, and VI.
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TITLE I COMMON PROVISIONS
ARTICLE A By this Treaty, the High Contracting Parties establish among themselves a European Union, hereinafter called "the Union". This Treaty marks a new stage in the process of creating an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe, in which decisions are taken as closely as possible to the citizen. The Union shall be founded on the European Communities, supplemented by the policies and forms of cooperation established by this Treaty. Its task shall be to organize, in a manner demonstrating consistency and solidarity, relations between the Member States and between their peoples.
ARTICLE B The Union shall set itself the following objectives:
to promote economic and social progress which is balanced and sustainable, in particular through the creation of an area without internal frontiers, through the strengthening of economic and social cohesion and through the establishment of economic and monetary union, ultimately including a single currency in accordance with the provisions of this Treaty; to assert its identity on the international scene, in particular through the implementation of a common foreign and security policy including the eventual framing of a common defence policy, which might in time lead to a common defence; to strengthen the protection of the rights and interests of the nationals of its Member States through the introduction of a citizenship of the Union; to develop close cooperation on justice and home affairs; to maintain in full the "acquis communautaire" and build on it with a view to considering, through the procedure referred to in Article N(2), to what extent the policies and forms of cooperation introduced by this Treaty may need to be revised with the aim of ensuring the effectiveness of the mechanisms and the institutions of the Community.
The objectives of the Union shall be achieved as provided in this Treaty and in accordance with the condition and the timetable set out therein while respecting the principle of subsidiarity as defined in Article 3b of the Treaty establishing the European Community.
ARTICLE C The Union shall be served by a single institutional framework which shall ensure the consistency and the continuity of the activities carried out in order to attain its objectives while respecting and building upon the "acquis communautaire". The Union shall in particular ensure the consistency of its external activities as a whole in the context of its external relations, security, economic and development policies. The Council and the Commission shall be responsible for ensuring such consistency. They shall ensure the implementation of these policies, each in accordance with its respective powers.
ARTICLE D The European Council shall provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development and shall define the general political guidelines thereof. The European Council shall bring together the Heads of State or of Government of the Member States and the President of the Commission. They shall be assisted by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Member States and by a Member of the Commission. The European Council shall meet at least twice a year, under the chairmanship of the Head of State or of Government of the Member State which holds the Presidency of the Council. The European Council shall submit to the European Parliament a report after each of its meetings and a yearly written report on the progress achieved by the Union.
ARTICLE E The European Parliament, the Council, the Commission and the Court of Justice shall exercise their powers under the conditions and for the purposes provided for, on the one hand, by the provisions of the Treaties establishing the European Communities and of the subsequent Treaties and Acts modifying and supplementing them and, on the other hand, by the other provisions of this Treaty.
ARTICLE F 1. The Union shall respect the national identities of its Member States, whose systems of government are founded on the principles of democracy. 2. The Union shall respect fundamental rights, as guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms signed in Rome on 4 November 1950 and as they result from the constitutional traditions common to the Member States, as general principles of Community law. 3. The Union shall provide itself with the means necessary to attain its objectives and carry through its policies.
TITLE V PROVISIONS ON A COMMON FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY
ARTICLE J A common foreign and security policy is hereby established which shall be governed by the following provisions.
ARTICLE J.1 The union and its Member States shall define and implement a common foreign and security policy, governed by the provisions of the Title and covering all areas of foreign and security policy. The objectives of the common foreign and security policy shall be: to safeguard the common values, fundamental interests and independence of the Union; to strengthen the security of the Union and its Member States in all ways; to preserve peace and strengthen international security, in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter as well as the principles of the Helsinki Final Act and the objectives of the Paris Charter; to promote international cooperation; to develop and consolidate democracy and the rule of law, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The Union shall pursue these objectives; by establishing systematic cooperation between Member States in the conduct of policy, in accordance with Article J.2; by gradually implementing, in accordance with Article J.3, joint action in the areas in which the Member States have important interests in common.
The Member States shall support the Union’s external and security policy actively and unreservedly in a spirit of loyalty and mutual solidarity. They shall refrain from any action which is contrary to the interests of the Union or likely to impair its effectiveness as a cohesive force in international relations. The Council shall ensure that these principles are complied with.
ARTICLE J.2 Member States shall inform and consult one another within the Council on any matter of foreign and security policy of general interest in order to ensure that their combined influence is exerted as effectively as possible by means of concerted and convergent action. Whenever it deems it necessary, the Council shall define a common position. Member States shall ensure that their national policies conform on the common positions. Member States shall coordinate their action in international organizations and at international conferences. They shall uphold the common positions in such fora. In international organizations and at international conferences where not all the Member States participate, those which do take part shall uphold the common positions.
ARTICLE J.3 The procedure for adopting joint action in matters covered by foreign and security policy shall be the following:
The Council shall decide, on the basis of general guidelines from the European Council, that a matter should be the subject of joint action. Whenever the Council decides on the principle of joint action, it shall lay down the specific scope, the Union’s general and specific objectives in carrying out such action, if necessary its duration, and the means, procedures and conditions for its implementation.
The Council shall, when adopting the joint action and at any stage during its development, define those matters on which decisions are to be taken by a qualified majority.
Where the Council is required to act by a qualified majority pursuant to the preceding subparagraph, the votes of its members shall be weighted in accordance with Article 148(2) of the Treaty establishing the European Community, and for their adoption, acts of the Council shall require at least fifty-four votes in favour, cast by at least eight members.
If there is a change in circumstances having a substantial effect on a question subject to joint action, the Council shall review the principles and objectives of that action and take the necessary decisions. As long as the Council has not acted, the joint action shall stand.
Joint actions shall commit the Member States in the positions they adopt and in the conduct of their activity. Whenever there is any plan to adopt a national position or take national action pursuant to a joint action, information shall be provided in time to allow, if necessary, for prior consultations within the Council. The obligation to provide prior information shall not apply to measures which are merely a national transposition of Council decisions.
In cases of imperative need arising from changes in the situation and failing a Council decision, Member States may take the necessary measures as a of urgency having regard to the general objectives of the joint action. The Member State concerned shall inform the Council immediately of any such measures.
Should there be any major difficulties in implementing a joint action, a Member State shall refer them to the Council which shall discuss them and seek appropriate solutions. Such solu tions shall not run counter to the objectives of the joint action or impair its effectiveness.
ARTICLE J.4 The common foreign and security policy shall include all questions related to the security of the Union, including the eventual framing of a common defence policy, which might in time lead to a common defence.
The union requests the Western European Union (WEU), which is an integral part of the development of the Union, to elaborate and implement decisions and actions of the Union which have defence implications. The Council shall, in agreement with the institutions of the WEU, adopt the necessary practical arrangements. Issues having defence implications dealt with under this Article shall not be subject to the procedures set out in Article J.3. The policy of the Union in accordance with this Article shall not prejudice the specific character of the security and defence policy of certain Member States and shall respect the obligations of certain Member States under the North Atlantic Treaty and be compatible with the common security and defence policy established within that framework.
The provisions of this Article shall not prevent the development of closer cooperation between two or more Member States on a bilateral level, in the framework of the WEU and the Atlantic Alliance, provided such cooperation does not run counter to or impede that provided for in this Title. With a view to furthering the objective of this Treaty, and having in view the date of 1998 in the context of Article XII of the Brussels Treaty, the provisions of this Article may be revised as provided for in Article N(2) on the basis of a report to be presented in 1996 by the Council to the European Council, which shall include an evaluation of the progress made and the experience gained until then.
ARTICLE J.5 The Presidency shall represent the Union in matters coming within the common foreign and security policy. The Presidency shall be responsible for the implementation of common measures; in that capacity it shall in principle express the position of the Union in international organizations and international conferences. In the tasks referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2, the presidency shall be assisted if needs be by the previous and next Member States to hold the Presidency. The Commission shall be fully associated in these tasks. Without prejudice to Article J.2(3) and Article J.3(4), Member States represented in international organizations or international conferences where not all the Member States participate shall keep the latter informed of any matter of common interest. Member States which are also members of the United Nations Security Council will concert and keep the other Member States fully informed. Member States which are permanent members of the Security Council will, in the execution of their functions, ensure the defence of the positions and the interests of the union, without prejudice to their responsibilities under the provisions of the United Nations Charter.
ARTICLE J.6 The diplomatic and consular missions of the Member States and the Commission Delegations in third countries and international conferences, and their representations to international organizations, shall cooperate in ensuring that the common positions and common measures adopted by the Council are complied with and implemented. They shall step up cooperation by exchanging information, carrying out joint assessments and contributing to the implementation of the provisions referred to in Article 8c of the Treaty establishing the European Community.
ARTICLE J.7 The Presidency shall consult the European Parliament on the main aspects and the basic choices of the common foreign and security policy and shall ensure that the views of the European Parliament are duly taken into consideration. The European Parliament shall be kept regularly informed by the Presidency and the Commission of the development of the Union’s foreign and security policy. The European Parliament may ask questions of the Councils or make recommendations to it. It shall hold an annual debate on progress in implementing the common foreign and security policy.
ARTICLE J.8 The European Council shall define the principles of and general guidelines for the common foreign and security policy. The Council shall take the decisions necessary for defining and implementing the common foreign and security policy on the basis of the general guidelines adopted by the European Council. It shall ensure the unity, consistency and effectiveness of action by the Union. The Council shall act unanimously, except for procedural questions and in the case referred to in Article J.3(2).
Any Member State or the Commission may refer to the Council any question relating to the common foreign policy and may submit proposals to the Council. In cases requiring a rapid decision, the Presidency, of its own motion, or at the request of the Commission or a Member State, shall convene an extraordinary Council meeting within forty-eight hours or, in an emergency, within a shorter period. Without prejudice to Article 151 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, a Political Committee consisting of Political Directors shall monitor the international situation in the areas covered by common foreign and security policy and contribute to the definition of policies by delivering opinions to the Council at the request of the Council or on its own initiative. It shall also monitor the implementation of agreed policies, without prejudice to the responsibility of the Presidency and the Commission.
ARTICLE J.9 The Commission shall be fully associated with the work carried out in the common foreign and security policy field.
ARTICLE J.10 On the occasion of any review of the security provisions under Article J.4, the Conference which is convened to that effect shall also examine whether any other amendments need to be made to provisions relating to the common foreign and security policy.
ARTICLE J.11 The provisions referred to in Articles 137, 138, 139 to 142, 146, 147, 150 to 153, 157 to 163 and 217 of the Treaty establishing the European Community shall apply to the provisions relating to the areas referred to in this Title. Administrative expenditure which the provisions relating to the areas referred to in this Title entail for the institutions shall be charged to the budget of the European Communities. The Council may also: either decide unanimously that operational expenditure to which the implementation of those provisions gives rise is to be charged to the budget of the European Communities; in that event, the budgetary procedure laid down in the Treaty establishing the European Community shall be applicable; or determine that such expenditure shall be charged to the Member States, where appropriate in accordance with a scale to be decided.
TITLE VI PROVISIONS ON COOPERATION IN THE FIELDS OF JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS
ARTICLE K Cooperation in the fields of justice and home affairs shall be governed by the following provisions.
ARTICLE K.1 For the purposes of achieving the objectives of the Union, in particular the free movement of persons, and without prejudice to the powers of the European Community, Member States shall regard the following areas as matters of common interest: asylum policy; rules governing the crossing by persons of the external borders of the Member States and the exercise of controls thereon; immigration policy and policy regarding nationals of third countries; (a) conditions of entry and movement by nationals of third countries on the territory of Member States; (b) conditions of residence by nationals of third countries on the territory of Member States, including family reunion and access to employment; (c) combatting unauthorized immigration, residence and work by nationals of third countries on the territory of Member States; combating drug aIDiction in so far as this is not covered by 7 to 9; combating fraud on an international scale in so far as this is not covered by 7 to 9; judicial cooperation in civil matters; judicial cooperation in criminal matters; customs cooperation; police cooperation for the purposes of preventing and combating terrorism, unlawful drug trafficking and other serious forms of international crime, including if necessary certain aspects of customs cooperation, in connection with the organization of a Union-wide system for exchanging information within a European Police Office (Europol).
ARTICLE K.2 The matters referred to in Article K.1 shall be dealt with in compliance with the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of 4 November 1950 and the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 28 July 1951 and having regard to the protection afforded by Member States to persons persecuted on political grounds. This Title shall not affect the exercise of the responsibilities incumbent upon Member States with regard to the maintenance of law and order and the safeguarding of internal security.
ARTICLE K.3 In the areas referred to in Article K.1, Member States shall inform and consult one another within the Council with a view to coordinating their action. To that end, they shall establish collaboration between the relevant departments of their administrations.
The Council may: on the initiative of any Member State of the Commission, in the areas referred to in Article K.1(1) to (6);on the initiative of any Member State, in the areas referred to Article K1(7) to (9): (a) adopt joint positions and promote, using the appropriate form and procedures, any cooperation contributing to the pursuit of the objectives of the Union; (b) adopt joint action in so far as the objectives of the Union can be attained better by joint action than by the Member States acting individually on account of the scale or effects of the action envisaged; it may decide that measures implementing joint action are to be adopted by a qualified majority; (c) without prejudice to Article 220 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, draw up conventions which it shall recommend to the Member States for adoption in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements. Unless otherwise provided by such conventions, measures implementing them shall be adopted within the Council by a majority of two-thirds of the High Contracting Parties. Such conventions may stipulate that the Court of Justice shall have jurisdiction to interpret their provisions and to rule on any disputes regarding their application, in accordance with such arrangements as they may lay down.
ARTICLE K.4 A Coordinating Committee shall be set up consisting of senior officials. In aIDitions to its coordinating role, it shall be the task of the Committee to; give opinions for the attention of the Council, either at the Councils request or on its own initiative. Contribute, without prejudice to Article 151 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, to the preparation of the Council’s discussions in the areas referred to in Article K.1 and, in accordance with the conditions laid down in Article 100d of the Treaty establishing the European Community, in the areas referred to in Article 100c of that Treaty.
The Commission shall be fully associated with the work in the areas referred to in this Title. The Council shall act unanimously, except on matters of procedure and in cases where Article K.3 expressly provides for other voting rules. Where the Council is required to act by a qualified majority, the votes of its members shall be weighted as laid down in Article 148(2) of the Treaty establishing the European Community, and for their adoption, acts of the Council shall require at least fifty-four votes in favour, cast by at least eight members.
ARTICLE K.5 Within international organizations and at international conferences in which they take part, Member States shall defend the common positions adopted under the provisions of this Title.
ARTICLE K.6 The Presidency and the Commission shall regularly inform the European Parliament of discussions in the areas covered by this Title. The Presidency shall consult the European Parliament on the principal aspects of activities in the areas referred to in this Title and shall ensure that the views of the European Parliament are duly taken into consideration. The European Parliament may ask questions of the Council or make recommendations to it. Each year, it shall hold a debate on the progress made in implementation of the areas referred to in this Title.
ARTICLE K.7 The provisions of this Title shall not prevent the establishment or development of closer cooperation between two or more Member States in so far as such cooperation does not conflict with, or impede, that provided for in this Title.
ARTICLE K.8 The provisions referred to in Article 137,138,139 top 142, 146, 147, 150 to 153, 157 to 163 and 217 of the Treaty establishing the European Community shall apply to the provisions relating to the areas referred to in this Title.
Administrative expenditure which the provisions relating to the areas referred to in this Title entail for the institutions shall be charged to the budget of European Communities. The Council may also: either decide unanimously that operational expenditure to which the implementation of those provisions gives rise is to be charged to the budget of the European Communities; in that event, the budgetary procedure laid down in the treaty establishing the European Community shall be applicable; or determine that such expenditure shall be charged to the Member States, where appropriate in accordance with a scale to be decided.
ARTICLE K.9 The Council, acting unanimously on the initiative of the Commission or a Member State, may decide to apply Article 100c of the Treaty establishing the European Community to action in areas referred to in Article K.1(1) to (6), at the same time determine the relevant voting conditions relating to it. It shall recommend the Member States to adopt that decision in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements.

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