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The European Union: More Economic Union Than Political Union

2186 words - 9 pages

The need to generate strong economic blocs as well as gain economic advantage with regards to imports and exports whilst promoting internal trade has promoted the development of regionalization as a means to gain the same. This has developed other themes like multi-corporations as well as globalization which are a concept through which regional markets are joining efforts in a universal network with an effort to improve governmental ideas through communication, transport and trade (Sim, et al. 2003). The concept is closely related to those of economic globalization which integrates national economies into the international economy (Robinson, 2001). Such integrations thus have been achieved by trade, foreign direct investment, capital flows, and migration (Thelen, 2003). One of these networks has been the European Union (EU) which has come up as a major bloc amongst the European nations with its effects having a global perspective.

Since 1958 with an initial 6 member states the European Union has been in existence with its membership having risen to 27 States to date. The Union was initiated as an economic as well as political union waging its history to the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and later the European Economic Community (EEC) following the Maastricht Treaty of 1993 (Craig, & Búrca, 2008). The EU has formulated its system into a hybrid one made up of supranational autonomous institutions, where the member states are the deciding organs of the intergovernmental negotiated decisions (Albi, & Ziller, 2006). There have however been opinions that the EU has been more of a balance seeking concept rather than a common goal one. The proponents of such view see the Union as an attempt by the member states to have an edge in the global market whereas as individual states they have no similar motives but rather would prefer to retain their sovereignty as well as autonomy.

The EU since its inception has been run by a number of institutions rather than one. To date there are seven institutions governing the EU as provided for by Article 13 of the Treaty on European Union. The Parliament is mandated with the legislative as well as the budgetary functions of the Union. The European Council is made up of the head of states of EU member States. It has the role of setting up the Union’s policy agenda as well as giving directions as to the drive to integration. The Council of the European Union makes the Union’s decisions since it is set up by legislative as well as limited executive powers. The European Commission form the Union’s executive arm made up of representatives from each of the member states. It enjoys monopoly with reference to the legislative initiative whilst at the same time is charged with the role of drafting the laws that govern the EU apart from being the Guardians of the Treaties. The Court of Justice of the European Union on the other hand is the interpretative arm of the Union, whilst the last one is the European...

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