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European Egal Systems Essay

1377 words - 6 pages

European Legal Systems Assignment 1"Under art 202 EC treaty, the functions of the Council are stated as being to ensure that the objectives of the EC treaty are attained, and to ensure the co-ordination of economic policies of member states".The Council of the European Union, also known as the Council of Ministers, is the institution, which shares legislative and budgetary power with parliament. It is the main decision making body within the European Union. The Council is specified in Articles 202 to 210(ex 145 to 154), which is the main political institution of the EC .It comprises government from each of the fifteen member states. The Council meets every week in Brussels in Belgium, except ...view middle of the document...

They examine and sift commission proposals before the Council makes the final decision. COREPER 1 is made up of deputy permanent representatives which concentrate just on the technical issues. COREPER 2 focuses on the general and political issues. They may create a specialist community and working groups who will research the matter and then report back to COREPER.The Council has three main functions, which are set out in Article 145 EC:·Power to legislate - here the council shares its power with European Parliament and in most circumstances the European laws are made by a co-decision procedure, meaning the Council and the Parliament sort out the proposals for legislation on a joint basis.·They co-ordinate the general economic policies of the member states every year. These are then made into a recommendation and the council supervises their implementations by member states.·The power of the purse - shared by parliament. Parliament supervises spending by the European Union and also adopts the annual budget for the EU. When it comes to spending on Agriculture and spending arising from international agreements, Parliament can add modifications, but the Council always has the final say.The number of council meetings held varies according to the urgency of the subjects dealt with. The General affairs, Economic and financial affairs and Agriculture Councils meet once a month, while the transport, Environment or Industry Councils meet two to four times a year.The Council sessions are often very long and frequent . Only the members of the Commission have access and the right to speak. To ensure transparency, the Edinburgh Summit of 11th - 12th December 1992, introduced the possibility of public debates. The Council then changed its rules of procedure and now certain sessions are open and available to the public and could be broadcasted. In 1994, the Council held around roughly 100 formal ministerial sessions, during which it adopted about 300 regulations, 50 directives and 160 decisions.There are three different ways of voting. Simple Majority, qualified majority or unanimity. There is no set way of voting as it all depends upon what the legal basis of the act in question is. Qualified majority voting has over the years become the most used way of voting within the Council. Qualified voting involves a system of weighted voting; this is related to the size of the member states. The four biggest member states are the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy, where they each have ten votes, whereas the smaller states such as Luxembourg only has two votes. A qualified...

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