Evolution of the European Council Sample Essay

To to the full appreciate the place of the European Council within the European Union we foremost took a brief expression at how the European Union came approximately. The European undertaking foremost started shortly after the 2nd universe with the creative activity of the ECSC ( European Coal and Steel Community ) to harmonize dealingss between the Nations of Europe and to forestall any farther struggles of the graduated table of the wars that had preceded its creative activity. The new spirit of cooperation aimed to convey about a new epoch of peace and prosperity across Europe. The founding states were Belgium. France. Germany. Italy. Netherlands and Luxemburg.

The first expansion came in 1973 when Ireland. Denmark and the United Kingdom joined the EU. Since so a farther 18 states have joined the Union doing the European Union a household of 27 states. There have been many pacts along the manner which have shaped and formed how the European Union is today. We are traveling to be looking at the development of the European Council as an establishment within the European Union. We will be analyzing the pacts and policies that were made that shaped the functions and duties of the European Council. We will besides analyze how the actions of the European Council itself brought about their powers as an establishment. Furthermore we will discourse and analyze the duties the European Council now has and the function it plays in the administration of the Union. In add-on we will discourse where the balance of power now lies within the Union or so if there is a individual dominant establishment. Development of the European Council

The European Council foremost convened in 1974 as an informal treatment forum that caputs of province or authoritiess could run into to discourse issues sing the way of the European Community. although these meetings did take topographic point from the late 1960’s on. it wasn’t until 1974 that the council was created. The European Community felt that it was necessary for the caputs of province and authoritiess to run into in a more informal scene because the other establishments where handicapped by ruddy tape. For illustration the European Commission was weakened by the Luxemburg Compromise of 30 January 1966 which placed more accent on inter-governmental determination devising ; the Council of Ministers was handicapped by sectoralism and its policy of merely continuing on the footing of unanimity. The European Council gives the brotherhood the thrust it needs to developed and specify the general political waies of the Union although it does non exert any legislative maps. The European Council evolved outside the model of pacts but the most recent pacts have made commissariats the Council to inform or confer with with the European Parliament.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

Over the old ages a procedure of constitutionalisation began with respects to power and place of the European Council. this happened in six stairss. Step 1 was declarations which the Euro Council made which gave them more power. such as the declarations made in London and Stuggart in 1977 and 1983 severally. These declarations were made with the intent of clear uping their function but failed to make this to any great extent. Step 2 was the SEA ( Single European Act ) of 1986 which gave the European Council legal acknowledgment for the first clip and besides clarified rank. and besides reduced the figure of meetings from three meetings a twelvemonth to two meetings through two short paragraphs in the Act. Step 3 came in the form of the Maastricht Treaty which expanded on the SEA and besides gave the European Council more powers and duties. It had 3 sets of mentions with respects to the European Council. Within the Maastricht Treaty the TEU ( Treaty of Establishment of the European Union ) was amended and the European Council was assigned duty for make up one’s minding the general way of the European Union and besides given of import powers in relation to the CFSP ( Common Foreign and Security Policy ) .

The concluding set of mention came within the TEC ( Treaty Establishing the European Community ) which was amended to give the Council certain responsibilities and determination devising powers affecting the EMU ( European Monetary Union ) . Step 4 came in the form of the Amsterdam Treaty which reaffirmed the powers and duties given to the Council within the Maastricht Treaty. It so extended these powers and duties with respects to the EMU and CFSP. The Nice Treaty was step 5 wherein it gave the Council the power to put up the individual to be put frontward for the place of President of the European Commission. The concluding and 6th measure came in the signifier of the Lisbon Treaty when the European Council was established as a fully-fledged establishment of the European Union. The Lisbon Treaty stated “The European Council consists of the Heads of State and Government of the Member States and is an official establishment of the Union ( Article I-21 ) ” ( Europa. Eu. 2012 ) . This pact changed the construction of rank of the European Council. Before the Lisbon pact the rank was a two tiered system.

The first grade consisted of the caputs of province or authorities of the member provinces and the president of the committee. The 2nd grade consisted of the foreign curates of each member province and one other member of the committee. Before the Lisbon pact merely two members per deputation were permitted to go to meetings of the council. This was to advance a more relaxed and informal ambiance than that in council of curates. Since the Lisbon pact there is merely one tier of rank consisting of caputs of province. the European council president and the committee president. The Lisbon pact besides reformed the system for delegating the function of president of the European council. Before the pact the place of president was rotated between the member provinces every six months. This meant that each province had its chance to lend to meetings at the highest degree. The disadvantage of this system was the convulsion and perturbation to the running of the European council that this turnover of presidential term caused on a semiannual footing. Since the pact the president is appointed and done so on a semi-permanent footing.

The place of president is held for two and a half old ages and is renewable one time. the place is elected by a Qualified Majority Voting method within the members of the European Council. This system of election tends to favor the larger states within the council as they have more ballots than the smaller states hence given them more power. although it could besides be argued that this system is the fairest system as the caputs of province or authorities from the larger states represent a larger part of the population of the Union. The current president of the European Council is Herman Van Rompuy a former Belgian premier curate. his functions and duties are nevertheless slightly obscure. For illustration. within the pact commissariats on the president of the European council it states that he shall chair and drive forward its work. this is ill-defined as to what his functions are as the statement could be interpreted in different contexts.

Functions of the European Council
The European Council operates as a political forum or board within the European Union but does non possess any legislative powers. Although it does non hold legislative powers it still carries a batch of weight in the determination devising and the ultimate development and way of the Union. It besides acts as an arbiter for deciding issues which can non be resolved by the establishments within the brotherhood. It sets out comprises and processs to take the deadlocks barricading patterned advance which are so taken into history by the establishments involved. Their functions have evolved since their formation in 1974 in line with the of all time altering issues and challenges confronting the development and patterned advance of European undertaking. This represents the demand for such an adaptable institutional organic structure within the brotherhood. It besides represents the demand for a organic structure that can come to understandings and do determinations on policies without the bureaucratism that comes with the other establishments within the brotherhood. although these understandings need to travel through other establishments within the Union Internet Explorer. Council of curates and European Commission in order to be implemented and managed.

The current European Councils maps are more clearly defined since the Lisbon Treaty. although this is likely to alter in the ongoing development and integrating of the European Union. One of the European Councils current maps is to put overall EU policy. the policies set out by the European Council is so managed and implemented by the European Commission. this shows that although the European Commission is the organic structure that implements and manages the policies it is really the European Council that has the power to put the policies doing it a major participant within the establishments of the Union. This besides shows that the balance of power between the establishments is problematic. Another of the European Councils maps as an establishment is to put guidelines for the Common Foreign and Security Policy. These guidelines are so passed on to the Council of Ministers who so work towards an understanding within the guidelines set out. This once more shows the gray country of the balance of power between the establishments of the European Union as although the duty lies with the Council of Ministers to come to an understanding. it is the European Council has an highly influential function to play in the formation of Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union.

Along with the other establishments of the European Union the European Council represents the EU at an international degree on certain issues. Many economic issues are non internal within the European Union but are alternatively of a planetary nature. The European Council works on keeping external dealingss with other major planetary economic powers such as the US. China and Russia. The other establishments besides play a function in international dealingss. such as the European Commission who represent the European Union at United Nations meetings. informal treatments between the EU and the USA over universe agricultural trade. and besides represents Europe in the World Trade Organisation. The economic and pecuniary policies of the European Union are issues that European Council has input to and duties for.

There have been many acmes sing the overall economic state of affairs in the European Union. These acmes look at countries of growing. unemployment. rising prices and exchange rates. The European Council is one of the political forums in relation to the running of the EMU. The country of European accession applications are dealt with at the meetings of the European Council. These applications are sometimes recommended by the European Commission. They hear studies from the European Commission sing the advancement of dialogues the European Council so decides whether the treatments have been successfully concluded. This emphasises the graduated table of the European Councils power and influence within the brotherhood. Decision

We have examined the development of the European Council within the European Union. From the informal meetings in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s to the Lisbon Treaty of 2009 when the European Council was given the position of an official European establishment. We examined the maps of the European Council and its relationship with other establishments within the European Union. We wanted to seek and measure how powerful the place of the European Council is in relation to the other establishments such as the European Commission and the Council of Ministers. We wanted to set up what the duties and responsibilities of the European Council really are and give an unambiguous image of what its maps in the mechanism of the system of the European Union are. From our research into and scrutiny of the European Union and European Council we believe that the European Council has bit by bit gained more power and influence in defining and running the European Union. to the extent where it now seems that the European council is now the Centre of EU policy devising. The freedom of the European Council to make up one’s mind what it may or may non make roots from the fact that there are few pact and other legal commissariats which relate to its duties and said commissariats are at best vague.

This coupled with political position of its members is such as to set it by and large beyond much challenge. ( Nugent. 2010 ) . There is an increasing demand for intergovernmental policy coordination. which needs the mandate of the member provinces to be implemented ; this is why the European Council has become so influential as its members have the authorization to implement these policies which other establishments do non hold. The importance of the European Council was emphasised by professor Uwe Puetter of the Central European University when he stated that “…the Franco-German twosome every bit good as all the other “heads” knew in any instance that there shortly will be another chance to screen these things out: the following European Council meeting. ” ( The London School of Economics and Political Science. 2012 ) . He was discoursing the recent meeting of the European Council in Brussels on the issue of the institutional model of Economic and Monetary Union ( EMU ) .

The fact the following European Council meeting was referred to as the following chance to screen things out instead than the following Council of Ministers or European Commission meetings shows that the European Council is now the chief establishment within the European. Although the importance of the other European establishments should non be understated as the Union would discontinue to work without the work and input that each establishment provides. Each establishment relies on each other as the sheer outrageousness of the work it takes to run an administration every bit large as the European Union is far excessively much for one institute to set about. From our analysis of the European Councils place in relation to the other chief establishments of Europe we feel it has evolved from an informal meeting of caputs of province or authorities with no direct authorization in policy devising to the current chief establishment that has the most of import function to play in policy and determination devising. Looking at its development as a whole it seems inevitable that it would derive the dominant place in determination devising and advisory to the other establishments within the European Union as the members of the European Council are of the highest power within each member province.


Nugent N. ( 2010 ) The Government and Politics of the European Union. 7th edition. Hampsire. Palgrave and Mc Millan.

Puetter. U ( 2012 ) The European Council has become the new Centre of political
gravitation in the EU. 30/10/12. web logs. ise. Ac. uk. 3/11/12

Europa. Eu. 2012. The establishments of the brotherhoods. World Wide Web. Europa. Eu. 4/11/12


Carolan. Bruce. European Law 2nd edition. 2009

Davies. Karen. Understanding European Law 4th edition. 2011

Kent. Penolope. Law of the European Union. 2001


I'm James!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out