This paper critically analyses the European Union in depth. The organization was chosen due to its composition, as well as its unique operations through the hybrid system of supranational independent institutions and intergovernmental made decisions which are negotiated by its member states. European Union (EU) is considered as an economic and political union composed of 27 nations located mainly in Europe. Its origin traces back in the European coal as well as steel community along with European Economic Community, which were formed by around six countries in the early fifties. In the intervening years, the organization has gained real growth due to assertion of other new member states and empowered by additional policy areas to its remit.
The organization was formed with the aim of promoting or fostering both political and economical integration of European countries. The organization was to let the free movement of individuals, goods, services as well as capital freely within the Union. According to the history, in the 1920s, there were politicians like Briand and Stresemann, who had started taking about reconciliation in France and Germany, as a foundation of the establishment of a sustainable peace in Europe. Few intellectuals like Fritz in Germany talked and even wrote about a union of such sort between France and Germany. But, both economic depression and Nazis ended up wrecking their efforts. After WWII, there were fresh talks about it but with more countries supporting the move like Churchill. The move started in 1951, with the European Coal And steel community, which ended up creating a common market for coal and steel amongst the six active members, namely West Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands, Belgium, as well as Luxembourg.
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The following step was the formation of a custom union by the name the European Economic Union in 1957. The main aim was the harmonization of tax in some of the areas. It was also felted by members that, economic interdependence, leads to peace strengthening. The joining of Britain, Ireland, and Denmark has been ever considered as the first expansion to occur. From that time, the EU has continued to grow and expand. Additional countries are still clamoring for admission. Amongst the members, Britain has been seen as being reluctant, as till now, the organization has not yet succeeded in finding post-imperial roles responsibility. In addition, their have been several incidences when the Briton politicians have ended up underestimating badly, the potential of the EU, (Kaiser, 2007).
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The Union has been collaborating with other organizations like the World Bank in the provision of aids and grants, and the U.S. Though America has wanted to ignore EU, but they have done much more together in different parts of the world. For instance, EU apart of helping the US in bring peace and stability, it has also collaborated with America in the spread of democracy in the wake of Berlin wall fall.
Currently, the Union is being faced with lots of organizational structure problems, and it has tried to deal with them, but not yet over. For instance, the union is being governed by a treaty in place of a constitution. Both Britain and Netherlands have been skeptical of the European superstate. Since the idea of having European-wide draft constitution was rejected in referenda in France and Holland, the whole idea is now facing a slow death. The treaty has been far much necessary in the regulation of interactions among the 27 nations. However, the organization has been looking forward to change the way it makes decisions. Currently, most decisions are just reached upon through a consensus; however, new voting system looks forward in the provision for rulings based double majority. This means that 55 percent of member states, which represent 65% of EU population, have to agree, (Grimm, 1995).
Another controversial thing has been voting systems in the treaty document. These concerns how in future the union will be making decisions. The intention of the draft constitution was to give directions on how the major decisions will be made, other than through consensus. It was to introduce a system of qualified majority. With such a change, there would have been a faster way of making decisions, this is especially in the areas of police cooperation and immigration matters. On the other hand, Britain has been against such moves and might be granted exceptions, (De Búrca, & Scott, 2000).
Another issue deals with the majority rules. The highest hurdle has remained being Poland’s skepticisms of the new double-majority voting plan. Though Poland has been given the relatively generous rights of voting, which are 27, as compared to 29 given to German, despite having 38 million citizens as compared to German’s 82 million, Poland wants to see the votes calculated based on inhabitants in relation to its surface area, under the so-called the square root systems. Another challenge faced by EU is its lack of political legitimacy in the process of undertaking major institutional changes, as well as an urgent need for reform, with the aim of promoting sustainable fiscal policies (Dehousse, 1998).
EU is far much democratic as it is operated under the hybrid system of supranational independent institutions and intergovernmental made decisions which are negotiated by its member states. It only operates within competencies that are conferred to it through treaties and in line with the principle of subsidiary. Different laws that are made by the organizations ends up being passed in different forms, which can be categorized into two, namely; those that come into play without national implementation, and these that need implementation measures. The Union has 7 institutions which are charged with different responsibilities. The Union does not in any way interfere with any institution. Hence respect lots of institutions’ duties and responsibility. For instance, the interpretation along with application of EU laws is independently ensured by the Court of Justice of the EU.
In addition, there are several ancillary bodies which act as Unions’ advisers. The Union also respects the decisions made by members’ sates’ population. For instance, it respected the results of referenda carried out in France and Holland, where the population rejected the draft constitution. In addition, most of the decisions in the Union are reached upon through consensus and not the dictatorship. The union’s members’ of parliament are usually elected directly by EU citizens in every five years in a democratic manner. This usually based on proportional representation to the share of votes collected by each political party. Both parliament and the Council of EU passes laws together in around all areas, (Lijphart, 1999).
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In dealing with EU problems, I recommend that the union should include rules of liberalism, which enhances cooperation as well as the possibility of opt-outs in the new constitutional treaty. This will increase the ability of the Union’s effective actions, which will in turn raise the Union’s capacity of reforming existing legislations that will no longer fit the interests or preferences of a majority of member states. In addition, this strategy will not occur as an expense of legitimate democracy, which might occur in case everything was to be overridden by majoritarian decisions at the European level. However, it should be noted that, the problem with this system is increasing the variance in geographical cover hence increasing patchwork trait of European law, (De Búrca, &Scott, 2000).
In addition, in high consensus requirement condition and uniformity insistence limits political policy choices to issues on which member states agrees. Since the aim of EU was to join the European market, which has really expounded supranational powers, commissions and courts, it should be noted that heterogeneity matters will hinder effective European actions in the face of conflicts among member states, however, there need to have European extension in economic liberties as well as legal constrains [on national social protection policies.