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The Legal System of the European Union - Research Paper Example

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The Legal System of the European Union Name: Institution: The Legal System of the European Union Introduction The European Union (EU) is a legal order that connects nations in Europe. The EU is essentially a political and economic union that encompasses up to 27 members states within the European region…
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Download file to see previous pages The treaty that established the Constitution for Europe was signed in the year 2004, but as at 2007, it became apparent that the treaty would not be ratified by member states. The Reform Treaty or the Treaty of Lisbon, which included an amended version of the original constitutional text of the Treaty that established the European Constitution, as well as numerous changes to the EU, was signed in December 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal. The aim of the new treaty was to ratify it in its member countries before the European elections held in 2009. The future of the Lisbon Treaty is uncertain following its rejection by a referendum in Ireland in the year 2008 and its ratification in other member states is still on hold since 2008 (Barnard, 2007). From the start, the plan behind establishing a common legal and economic community in Europe was to create a common market. This vision formally materialized in 1993, and is currently down the path of monetary, political and economic union. At this stage, it is imperative to point out the EU member states. From 2008, EU member states are Germany, Austria, Cyprus, Ireland, Latvia, Belgium, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Poland, Denmark, Italy, Estonia, Finland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, France, Hungary, Greece, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. However, Turkey Republic of Macedonia and Croatia are currently official member countries while Herzegovina, Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia, Montenegro and Serbia are potential member candidates (Albi, 2008). The EU is continually enlarging its scope through the accession of new member states. The enlargement process started with the inner six nations that founded the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952, namely, Belgium, France, West, Italy, Luxembourg and Netherlands. Since then, membership to the EU has grown dramatically. European Integration refers to the method of improvement although this term also refers to the increased cooperation between EU members through the process of gradual harmonization of individual, national laws. In order to become a member of the EU, a state must meet numerous political and economic thresholds referred to as the Copenhagen Criteria, established pursuant to the Copenhagen summit of 1993. The criteria require that the state has a stable, democratic government, which upholds the rule of land, as well as the consequential institutions and freedoms under law. Pursuant to the Maastricht Treaty, all member states together with the European Parliament must approve any enlargement (Bache & George, 2006). The operations of the EU run through a scheme of supranational independent institutions, as well as decisions negotiated by member states through an intergovernmental system. The EU systems allow free interchange of goods, people, services, and capital among EU member states as within a nation. This means that there are no tariff restrictions among member states. Furthermore, the EU member states use a single unified set of tariffs on goods and services imported from outside the union. This tariff is referred to as the common customs tariff. The establishment of a single, unified EU market has had ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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