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The Development of the European Union Cheat Sheet by

Mentions the treaties and cases.


Sovereign States: a state with a defined territory that admini­sters its own government and is not subject to or dependent on another power.

Under intern­ational politics, the powers of the state are unlimited (only limited by reality of what the state can do).

Malta is a sovereign state.

Intern­ational Law: derives its power from the willin­gness of sovereign states to restrain themselves and abide by certain rules when carrying out intern­ational affairs.

Legal Orders

Legal Order
a system of laws that exists indepe­ndently of another system. It requires a basic law, its Consti­tution where there will be a democracy. The instit­utions in the system must follow the Consti­tution.
Intern­ational Legal Orders
it is in the interest of states to do commerce with other states so there must be certain norms that all states must follow so that there is co-ope­ration.
European Legal Orders
EU is a new legal order of intern­ational law; intern­ational states are sovereign but sacrifice part of this sovere­ignty to form part of the EU as a legal order.

Monism and Dualism

Monist Countries
accept that the internal and intern­ational legal systems form a unity. Both national legal rules and intern­ational rules that a state has accepted, for example by way of a treaty, determine whether actions are legal or illegal.
Dualist Countries
treat the intern­ational and domestic systems of law as separate and indepe­ndent. The validity of intern­ational law in a dualist domestic system is determined by a rule of domestic law author­izing the applic­ation of that intern­ational norm.
Malta is dualist: our Consti­tution distin­guishes between national and intern­ational law.

National law is applied in Maltese Courts whereas EU law is part of Maltese law through the European Union Act (Chp. 460) --> EU law is not made in parliament but overrides Maltese national law.

Principles of EU

Principle of Direct Effect
EU may confer rights on people which the courts of member states are bound to recognise and enforce.
Principle of Subsid­iarity
decisions are retained by Member States if the interv­ention of the European Union is not necessary. The European Union should take action collec­tively only when Member States’ power is insuff­icient.

Interg­ove­rnm­ent­alism and Suprat­ion­ati­onalism

whereby nation states, in situations and conditions they can control, cooperate with one another on matters of common interest
Interg­ove­rnm­ental Decisions
decisions by member states undecided by the EU between other state govern­ments
members create instit­utions, staffed by members of the nations and it takes decisions indepe­ndent of the separate state govern­ments for common interest
Supran­ational Decisions
sovereign nations have pooled their authority through a common instit­ution which decides on behalf of members

The Lisbon Treaty (2007)

Member States did not want to waste all the work that went into the EU Consti­tution draft. It amended Treaty on European Union and Treaty establ­ishing the EU. Renamed EC Treaty as Treaty of Functi­oning European Union.

First 3 titles of consti­tution were kept and 7 parts were added; compet­ences, discri­min­ation and citize­nship, policies and internal actions, associ­ation of overseas countr­ies­/te­rri­tories, external action and instit­utional and budgetary provis­ions.
Therefore, The EU is founded on The European Union and The Functi­oning European Union Treaties. They both hold the same legal value.

The Nice Treaty (2000)

Community Pillar was changed where it was agreed on weighting of votes, distri­bution of seats in the parliament and compos­ition of Commis­sion.

Article 43 EU enhanced co-ope­ration and relaxed some conditions required before enhanced co-ope­ration could be used.

Charter of Human Rights was made and was used as a step for legiti­macy, identity and human rights of EU.

Enlarged in 2004 where Czech Repblic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia joined.

The Treaty of Amsterdam (1999)

Deleted obsolete provisions from EC Treaty, added others, renumbered articles, titles, sections of TEU and EC treaties.

Principle of Openness was added where decisions where to be taken openly and close to EU citizens.

Article 6 EU was changed to declare that EU was founded on respect for human rights, democracy and rule of law and this became a requir­ement to join the EU.

The Maastricht Treaty (1992)

Was primarily a vanishing treaty; it started off as a list of amendments consol­idated into the EEC treaty (renamed as European Community Treaty) and the concept of the European Union was created politi­cally. It also brought about the Three Pillar Structure.

The Merger Treaty (1965)

Merged high author­ities, assemblies and courts of the past 3 treaties. Establ­ished the same instit­utions for 3 commun­ities; merged 3 commis­sions, commun­ities and courts into 1.

The European Economic Community (1957)

Was made to establish a common market, approx­imate economic policies of members, promote economic activi­ties. [also aimed to increase stability, raise standard of living and promote closer relations between members.]

Barriers to trade ended, common customs tariff and national monetary policies were going to be set up. Economic and Social Committee (with advisory status) was set up.

European Social Fund was also created to improve employ­ment. European Develo­pment Fund for overseas countries and territ­ories of some members was made.
Became the Treaty of the Functi­oning EU (in 1957). Became European Community after Maastricht Amendments (94) TFEU (09).

The European Coal and Steel Community (1952-­2002)

France and Germany agreed to create something which unites and discou­­rages wars. Most important resources of the time were coal and steel and so, France and Germany created an authority to ensure that they do not use their resources against each other.

Also known as 'Treaty of Paris' and was signed by France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Nether­lands and Luxemb­ourg.

The European Union as an Organi­sation

EU is sui generis (i.e. unique) where the organi­sation can make decisions for its member states. When joining the EU, members are giving up some of their rights for the greater good of the state.

For example: EU members together decide standard rate of VAT (meaning countries within EU cannot tax more than that limit).

EU and member states are equals; when joining the EU, member states must abide by certain common rules and give priority to EU law over domestic law.
EU was created to avoid wars and internal conflicts.

Single European Act (1986)

First substa­ntive treaty amendment

Provided a list of amendments to last 3 treaties. It enhanced European Parlia­ment's power in legisl­ative process through a legisl­ative co-ope­ration procedure (Article 95 EC)

With this act, the markets were no longer shared but merged into one (in EEC treaty there was a common shared market).

Three Pillar Structure

First Pillar
European Commun­ities (EC Treaty, Eurotom and ECSC till 2002)
Second Pillar
Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)
Third Pillar
Justice and Home Affairs
1st Pillar: Treaty of Rome (revised by SEA), single market, European citize­nship, economic and monetary union (i.e. single currency, European central bank and co-ord­ination of economic policies).

2nd Pillar: Common foreign policy (syste­matic cooper­ation and common positions with joint actions) and eventual common defense policy.

3rd Pillar: Closer cooper­ation in various areas (such as asylum policy, immigr­ation policy, combating drug addiction and more).

Costa v ENEL

ENEL was given monopo­listic power (against the EEC treaties). Costa challenged ENEL because ENEL was not legally consti­tuted and Costa did not want to pay his bills.

Since Italian law was contra­dicting the EEC treaty, the Italian Court reasoned that the treaty could not be overridden by domestic provisions (as seen in Luxemb­ourg).

Changes to Pillar Structure by Amsterdam Treaty

Community Pillar
A large part of the 3rd pillar was incorp­orated into it. It's aim was to establish area of freedom, justice and security. The co-dec­ision procedure was amended making European Parliament more powerful in decisi­on-­making.
Common Foreign and Security Policy
Only a small change to the commission was made; it was allowed to submit implem­ent­ation proposals.
Police and Judicial Cooper­ation in Criminal Matters
Parts were incorp­orated into 1st pillar and was renamed Police and Judicial Cooper­ation in Criminal Matters. Remaining provisions were subjected to instit­utional controls closer to those of community pillar. It's aim was to provide citizens with high level of safety within area of freedom, security and justice.

Van Gend en Loos Case (26 of 62)

Between Netherland and France, the Dutch author­ities came up with a custom code that imposed custom duties (which contra­dicts the treaty).

Ven Gend en Loos was charged custom duties, and so sued the Dutch custom author­ities in a dutch court. This case was then taken to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

The ECJ establ­ished that provisions of the EEC treaty were capable of creating legal rights which could be enforced by natural and legal persons before the courts of the member states.
The European Economic Community treaty abolished customs duties for trade among the Member States of EU.

Non Ratified Consti­tut­ional Treaty

Was split into 4 parts:

Part 1: basic objectives and values, binding human rights, compet­ences, forms of lawmaking and more.

Part 2: Charter of Rights

Part 3: Policies and functions of the EU

Part 4: final provisions
Member States could not agree on the final draft in December 2003. 15 Members ratified the treaty, but since France and Nether­lands rejected the treaty, many members postponed their ratifi­cat­ions. Thus, it never became law.


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